The Most Ridiculous Mercedes

2017 Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet

Offered by Bonhams | Knokke-Heist, Belgium | October 6, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Mercedes-Benz built a six-wheeled version of their iconic G-Class a few years ago. It was pretty intense and easily one of the most over-the-top cars money could buy. And it sold out quickly. So in 2017, Mercedes, with their bizarre new marque structure where luxury models lose the “Benz” and get appended with the halfway resurrected “Maybach” name, decided to try and one-up themselves in the ridiculousness category: they built an extended-wheelbase Landaulet version of one of the world’s most capable off-roaders.

The current generation of the G-Class dates to 1990, though the exterior has been tweaked over the years to give every buyer that true “Russian Mob” feeling. The G650 Landaulet gets the AMG treatment under the hood (I guess luxuriousness trumps power when it comes to the car’s name). It’s powered by a 621 horsepower, 6.0-liter twin-turbo V-12. That’s almost as much power as a McLaren F1.

That tan part of the roof at the back folds down to give the rear passengers the open-air experience while fording rivers – which it can do because this car is also equipped with portal axles lifted from the super-macho 4×4² version of the G-Class. Oh, and those rear passengers are coddled in the same seats from the near-limo Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. This convertible luxury truck is basically the ultimate Daimler Parts Bin Special.

And it is being sold by Daimler. It’s a zero-owner car whose proceeds will benefit charity. Only 99 of these have been/will be built and they will all sell – mostly, I’d guess, to wealthy Middle Eastern oil barons. No estimate has been published, but the base price for one of these is supposed to be around $550,000. We’ll see what this one brings. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,404,840.

A Brand New Isotta Fraschini

1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A Landaulet by Sala & Riva

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 19-20, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Isotta Fraschini built cars between 1900 and 1949 in Milan, Italy. When the 1920s came, Isotta jumped to the top of the heap as far as luxury manufacturers went. They were right there with Delage, Hispano-Suiza, and Voisin (among others) as the best Europe had to offer. They were so nice, that most were actually chauffeur-driven. In fact, so many were driven this way that Isotta offered drivers’ training in their large cars.

It is thought that this Tipo 8A, a car manufactured between 1924 and 1931, is the first example built (of 950 total). It was never known to have been sold and was instead used for chauffeur training. Once they were done with it, they parked it in a warehouse where it sat untouched until 1993 when the brand name was revived and sold to an Italian defense company.

That company came into possession of this car and sold it to someone in the U.S. in 2016. It has never been titled or registered, effectively making it a brand new car. The engine is a 110 horsepower 7.8-liter straight-eight and the body is by Cesare Sala with later updates by Carrozzeria Riva. This miraculously untouched, straight-off the factory floor Isotta Fraschini is being sold at auction to it’s first official owner. Click here for more unbelievable photos and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $434,500.

Update: Not sold, RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2019.

Brewster-Knight Model 41

1915 Brewster-Knight Model 41 Landaulet

Offered by RM Auctions | Phoenix, Arizona | January 19, 2012

Photo – RM Auctions

Here’s something you don’t see everyday. Brewster & Co. were a famous coachbuilding company based in New York as well as the American importers of French Delaunay-Belleville cars (rare enough in their own right). They were also the largest coachbuilder for Springfield, Massachusetts-based Rolls-Royce of America (and British Rolls-Royce once their American arm shut down in 1931).

During the First World War, Delaunay-Bellevilles were hard to come by and Brewster turned to building their own cars. This 1915 Model 41 was from the first year of manufacture and it featured the sleeve-valve Knight engine – as did so many other [Company Name Here]-Knight branded automobiles. The 40 horsepower four-cylinder engine was quiet – and expensive. Perhaps too expensive as Brewster-Knight built roughly 500 cars before Rolls-Royce of America acquired the company in 1925.

The pre-sale estimate on this car is $60,000-$80,000. I’ve seen some Brewster-bodied cars (notably those Brewster-Fords with that curvy, pointed grille) sell here and there but I don’t recall a Brewster-Knight.

The auction catalog says this car was probably built in 1916, even though it is title differently. Read for yourself here and find out more about the auction here.

Update: Sold $88,000.