1929 Mercedes-Benz SS 27/140/200 Sport Tourer by Fernandez & Darrin
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 7, 2020
Before there was the S-Class, there was the S-Series, which started with the Model S, which was a nice, big car introduced by Mercedes-Benz in 1926. This line of cars was responsible for the best Mercedes cars before things like the 540K rolled out.
It was topped by the SS in 1928, as shown here. This car is believed to wear a body from Fernandez and Darrin and was sold new in New York. Three versions of the SS were offered between 1928 and 1934. This is an example of the early, entry-level model, which is powered by a supercharged 7.1-liter straight-six that made 140 horsepower in normal mode and 200 with the supercharger engaged. This power rating was only available through 1930.
Things got even more intense with the SSK, but that’s another story for another day. Only 111 examples of the SS were built, and this example should bring between $6,500,000-$8,750,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | New York, New York | December 10, 2015
Photo – RM Sotheby’s
Delage is responsible for some of the most glamorous French cars of the 1930s. And American Howard Darrin was responsible for some of the most beautiful bodies on said French cars. This Cabriolet by Fernandez & Darrin (Fernandez was the money behind the company, Darrin the talent) is almost more of a targa – the open part of the roof is the purple piece over the driver’s compartment.
The D8 S was an upgraded version of the Delage’s large D8. The 4.1-liter straight-eight makes 120 horsepower in “S” form. The body is exquisitely styled right down to the smallest details. In short, it is beautiful.
Only two examples of the D8 S were built with this body style. It was sold new in the U.K. and was re-discovered there in the late 1970s, having not been driven since WWII. In 1983, it made its way to the U.S. and was restored in the late 1980s/early 1990s. The original colors (black and red) were replaced with this light purple – or lilac. This is an amazing example of French Art Deco automotive design. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1933 Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet by Fernandez et Darrin
Offered by Gooding & Company | Monterey, California | August 17-18, 2013
The Hispano-Suiza J12 is not a car you hear a lot about. You hear about Delahayes and Delages and Duesenbergs and Rolls-Royces (the list really does go on forever). For whatever reason, you don’t hear a lot about Hispano-Suiza – in general. Even less about a specific model.
The J12 was introduced in 1931, replacing the very popular H6 line of cars. It was the top-of-the-line model offered by the company. It used a 11.3-liter V-12 making 250 horsepower. That’s pretty powerful and that’s also a huge engine. Only about 100 were built before the company made the switch to aircraft engines in 1938. Only about 42 to 46 still exist.
They were powerful so they could carry extravagant coachwork – and this car is no exception. Fernandez et Darrin was the successor company to the more well-known Hibbard & Darrin. Same Darrin, new partner (yes that sounds like the tag line for a bad buddy-cop TV show). The body was originally a Sedanca Coupe from the same coachbuilder, but it was modified to its present configuration by a later owner.
This car changed owners over three continents since it was built and has been restored and taken care of. It’s a performer and a looker and the catalog says it’s an “incredible opportunity to return its body to the original… configuration” in order to display it at the most prestigious of car shows. I have to wonder what kind of price it would bring had it kept its original body – as the pre-sale estimate is $2,000,000-$3,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.