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.
We shifting gears a little bit now. From here out, our monthly auction rundowns will only cover auctions from which we actually featured cars. Sorry all others, I don’t have the time. Life is busy. That also means it will be a straight-shot chronologically (well, based on when the results are published anyway). Previous rundowns used to be broken up a little bit, as we’d only feature one result from any particular auction house per highlight post. Not anymore!
We start this time around with Bonhams in Goodwood, where the top seller, by some margin, was the Williams F1 car we featured. It sold for $3,385,271, while the other F1 car – the Toyota roller – brought $86,416. Rounding it out was the Lister Storm for $583,311. Most Interesting goes to this 1956 Cooper T39 that sold for $151,228. Click here for more results.
Next up is Brightwells’ Leominster Classic & Vintage sale. This 1961 Jaguar XK150S coupe was the top sale at $134,401.
Two other previously-featured concept cars did manage to sell here. The Eco 2000 SA 109 went for $1,137 and the Tubyk $7,156 – both way down from what they brought not all that long ago at a different sale. More results are available here.
Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019
The Mercedes-Benz 170V went on sale in 1935 and quickly became the marque’s most popular model up through the outbreak of WWII. The 170S was introduced in 1949 and was built through 1952 and was slightly larger than the earlier V (which also remained in production into the 1950s).
What we have here is the sole survivor of the 10 170VS examples built – a car known as the Gelandesport. It was specially-built by Mercedes-Benz to compete in the 1938 Deutsche Alpenfahrt, a three-day rally that took drivers through the Alps from Munich to Vienna.
Power is from a 1.9-liter inline-four capable of 65 horsepower. It was discovered by an American in Germany in 1950 and was purchased in 1990 by the current owner, who began a restoration in 1995. That work completed in 2018, and the car is now a highlight of an already-packed Mecum Monterey catalog. Click here for more info.
We pick up well into June with Osenat. The Bugatti Type 35B was the only car we featured and it was easily the top seller at $455,822, therefore we shall award Most Interesting to this 1950 Hotchkiss Type 686 S. It brought $65,638. Click here for complete results.
We’ll stay in Europe for our second sale, which was from H&H Classics in Duxford. $284,358 took home this 1957 AC Ace-Bristol, besting all other lots in terms of price. The Stanley Steamer we featured didn’t meet its reserve. More results can be found here.
Next up: Barrett-Jacksons’ Northeast sale, and we didn’t have any feature cars from this sale either. Someone paid $2.7 million for the final Corvette Z06 – a car that hasn’t even been built yet. With that dumb bit of news out of the way, the top-selling car that actually existed was $280,500 paid for this 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster. More results are available here.
We’re already in April, and we start as we often do: with a leftover from the month before. In this case, it is Leclere-MDV’s sale. We didn’t get to feature anything, but the top sale ended up being this 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster for $248,014. Click here for more results.
And on into April we move, with Mecum’s Houston sale. This 2014 Ferrari F12berlinetta brought the most money: $203,500. More results are available here.
The top seller at Bonhams’ Goodwood sale was this 1964 Aston Martin DB5 that has been updated to Vantage spec. It sold for $832,103.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Essen, Germany | April 11, 2019
There are two very interesting things about this car. First, quite obviously, are its looks, as it resembles nothing else Mercedes has ever built. Second is that the looks are very 1950s and the chassis is very 1930s. That’s because it was bodied in the early-1950s by Wendler, the company most famous for building the bodies for the Porsche 550.
The Mercedes W142 was also called the Mercedes Type 320, and it was produced between 1937 and 1942. In all, 7,017 examples were built in a wide variety of body styles. Power is from a 3.2-liter inline-six making 77 horsepower.
The post-war body features three headlights, which is certainly unusual. You could drive this car rather anonymously through a Mercedes-Benz festival and no one would be the wiser. That’s what I love about it – it is uniquely coachbuilt and removes all brand pretense from the equation. Believed to be one of four “Ponton” cabriolets built by Wendler, it is a one-off and should bring between $125,000-$180,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.