Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | March 20, 2021
This four-door Mercedes-Benz luxury car shares its three numerical digits with the legendary 300SL “Gullwing” sports car. But both cars share the “300” with Mercedes’ 1951-1957 W186 300 series, of which the 300D seen here was the successor.
Introduced in 1957, the 300D shared a version of the Gullwing’s fuel-injected 3.0-liter inline-six that, here, produced 178 horsepower (thus the “300” designation for “3 liters”, back when such things made logical sense). The 300D was available as a four-door sedan or a cabriolet. The cars were nicknamed “Adenauer” after Konrad Adenauer, who was the first Chancellor of West Germany and a fan of this series of cars.
Only 3,077 hand-built examples of the 300D sedan were built through 1962. This one isn’t a show winner, but it’s a driveable example of one of Germany’s greatest cars of the 1950s. It is expected to sell for between $68,000-$82,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 16, 2021
I think we all know at this point that the Mercedes-Benz 300SL is one of the poster children for “collector cars.” The Gullwing coupe version is probably in the dictionary next to the phrase. The roadster was introduced in 1957 when the coupe was discontinued. It would be built through 1963.
Power is from a fuel-injected 3.0-liter inline-six. Output was rated at 240 horsepower when new. Also, keep in mind that fuel injection was no common sight in 1960. Or even 1970. The 300SL was really a landmark car and deserves its reputation as an amazing machine.
With its extended production run, the roadster was more common than the coupe, with 1,858 built. This restored example is finished in Silver Gray Metallic over red leather. It’s good-lookin’ stuff. A little over a decade ago, these were $500,000 cars. They’ve been trading right at about a million dollars now for the last five years or so. This one carries an estimate of $1,100,000-$1,300,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
The Venturi we featured sold for $65,501. Other cars that sold can be viewed here.
RM had a “European” online sale a week before having an “American” version, which is kind of weird, but I guess it you’re going to bundle cars together, you might as well do it by where they are located, or at least by what continent they are located on. Anyway, the Inaltera prototype sold for about $440,902. The top sale was $1,685,805 for this alloy-bodied 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB. Final results can be found here.
Onward to H&H Classics’ online sale. The two feature cars we had from this sale failed to find new homes and were re-consigned to H&H’s next sale in August (they were this Renault and this Willys). The top sale was this 1965 Alvis TD21 Drophead Coupe that brought $66,032. More results are available here.
And, finally, we have RM’s other online sale, the American one. We only featured one car from this one, the Alfa Romeo RZ, and it sold for $61,600. Top sale honors go to this 2005 Ford GT. All $291,500 of it. Final results can be seen here.
Offered by Bonhams | Los Angeles, California | August 14, 2020
We’ve featured five examples of the 500K – one of the finest automobiles to ever have been produced by Mercedes-Benz. Four of them were cabriolets, and there was one Sports Roadster. What they all have in common is that they are sporty drop-tops. They may have had back seats, but the focus was on making them look like convertible coupes.
Not this car. While it may have two doors, it also has a long convertible top so that rear-seat passengers still had an open view to the outside world. This was the autobahn cruiser for someone who regularly took his friends out to show off. Imagine taking three of your friends and blasting down the highway with the top down in one of these. Incredible.
Power is from a 160 horsepower, supercharged 5.0-liter inline-eight (100 horsepower without the supercharger engaged). Bonhams’ catalog description refers to this as a Cabriolet A and an Offener Tourenwagen, and it is most definitely the latter. It also claims that only 16 such cars were built on the 500K chassis, but the number 28 is reported elsewhere.
The takeaway is that it’s rare. It’s also one of the best 500Ks, apart from the Autobahnkuriers. This one should bring between $2,000,000-$2,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1928 Mercedes-Benz 630K Sports Tourer by Sindelfingen
Offered by Bonhams | Brussels, Belgium | September 6, 2020
What would become the Mercedes-Benz 630K actually started out as the pre-merger Mercedes 24/100/140 in 1924. Beginning in 1926, the line was renamed the 630, and short-wheelbase K variants went on sale later that year.
They were powered by a supercharged 6.3-liter inline-six that made 138 horsepower with the supercharger engaged, which was done by matting the gas pedal. It was an expensive car, and not all that many were sold before the model went away at the end of 1929. Only 377 630Ks were built after the merger.
This example was bodied by the factory and was first used as a Mercedes-Benz display car. It’s first owner used it competitively until the Nazis came to power, causing him to flee to Finland, where he would later crash the car. It remained in its wrecked state until 1989, when it was discovered and brought back to Germany to be restored.
The work wrapped up in the 1990s, and the car is now being offered with a pre-sale estimate of $680,000-$1,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Essen, Germany | March 26-27, 2020
The civilian version of the Mercedes-Benz Geländeagen was introduced in 1979 and remains in production today looking pretty much the same. Up until 2000, the trucks were sold in Austria (and a few select other European markets) under the Puch brand.
The G-Wagen was updated in 1990, and the first V8-powered variant was introduced in 1993. It was called the 500 GE. Only 446 were produced between 1993 and 1994. Power is from a 5.0-liter V8 good for 237 horsepower. The V8 wouldn’t reappear until 1998. And, of course, MB would drop much larger, more powerful engines in these later on.
Of those 446 500 GEs, only three were Puch-branded, with this being the first. It’s finished in a great color and features a very ostentatious Puch badge on the front grille. Sure, this truck may be a footnote in the world of Mercedes vehicles, but that’s kind of what makes it interesting. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Next up, Gooding & Company, also in Arizona. This auction proved that bedroom wall car posters are key indicators of what’s going to skyrocket in value. In this case, it was a 1995 Ferrari F50 that outsold a Tucker at $3,222,500. It also way outsold the 250 GT Cabriolet that brought $1,462,500.
We move on to Barrett-Jackson, where the top sale was a charity lot: the first mid-engine Corvette. A 2020 Stingray that hasn’t even been built yet. This red pre-production car crossed the block, but the actual first one will be black.
I couldn’t even tell you what their overall top sale was that wasn’t a charity lot because the results page isn’t sortable :(. I have strong feelings on these moonshot charity auctions, but I will keep them to myself.
Every car we featured sold, which is no surprise because this entire sale is 99.9% reserve-free. The Superbird brought $313,500, the L88 Corvette $330,000, and the Kuzma-Offy $165,000. The Aerocar went for a lot less than I anticipated, bringing only $275,000. I think, had it sold 15 years ago, it would’ve gone for much more.
On the other side of things were the Lawil at $12,100 and the Bremen Sebring at $7,700. Click here for all of the results.
Other big-dollar sales among our feature cars included the Pegaso for $782,089, a previously-featured Delahaye for $227,058, a previously-featured Talbot racer for $964,997 (less than half of what it sold for in 2014), and a BMW-Glas prototype for $229,581.
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.
Next up is Brightwells’ Leominster Classic & Vintage sale. The top sale here was an interesting one. It’s a 2011 Morgan Plus Four SuperSports factory race car and the factory transporter, which is a late-80s/early-90s Ford-based RV. Oh, and the trailer. The whole package cost someone $69,861.
Finally, RM Sotheby’s held a sale in Abu Dhabi at the end of November. If you’re imagining a sale chock full of supercars, well, you’re right. In fact, the Pagani Zonda we featured ended up as the top sale at $6,812,500. Not far behind it was Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari F2002 at $6,643,750. The other feature cars that crossed the million-dollar mark were the Zagato Raptor at $1,086,250, the Koenigsegg Agera at $1,356,250, the Ferrari 126 C2 at $2,143,750, and the Ferrari FXX-K at $4,281,250.
Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 16, 2019
The 1950s were a great time for one-off road racing specials. Returning soldiers saw the light in Europe with their lightweight sports cars and came back with an increased technical know-how to get it done. And that’s what we have here.
Charles Hughes and Kurt Kircher teamed up to build this very pretty special. Kircher was an ex-GM man who helped develop the Powerglide transmission. Hughes was an ex-G.I. who happened to buy a Jaguar XK120. He took it to Kircher, now in Colorado, and used the XK120 engine, a tube-frame chassis, and an MG steering rack to create the first version of the Hughes-Kircher Special. The body was done in aluminum.
After a few years, the car ceased to be competitive. Somehow, the duo got their hands on a Mille Miglia-prepped 300SL race engine and plopped it under the hood. Later, that engine was swapped for a 240 horsepower, 3.0-liter inline-six from a “standard” 300SL. It still has such an engine, just a different one, as the second straight-six was eventually reunited with its factory Gullwing chassis.
This car has raced all over the world and has been in some major collections. It’s been restored and looks as good as any period Ferrari. But it’ll be much cheaper – between $300,000-$400,000 will take it home. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.