Three Pre-War Cars from Bonhams

Three Pre-War Cars from Bonhams

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 24, 2018


1934 BMW 315/1 Roadster

Photo – Bonhams

Mercedes-Benz (and more specifically, Daimler) have been around for a long time, and have been a major producer of automobiles for essentially that entire time. Not so with BMW. It seems like the only Pre-War Bimmers that are any sort of common are 327/8/9s. Have you ever seen a 315?

This model was introduced in 1934 to replace the four-cylinder 303. The base 315 was a two-door sedan, cabriolet, or tourer. The 315/1 was the sports car variant. Built between 1934 and 1937, it shared the sedan’s chassis but had a slightly tuned engine. The 1.5-liter straight-six made 40 horsepower in this form. But, this particular car actually has an 80 horsepower, 2.0-liter straight-six from the similar 319/1 Roadster. A swap was made at some point in the past.

Only 242 examples of the 315/1 Roadster were made – perhaps most people haven’t seen them. This car has been more or less dormant for 30 years, so some work is needed. Regardless, it should still command between $125,000-$175,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $134,400.


1915 Simplex Crane Model 5 Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

The Crane, Simplex, Crane-Simplex, and Simplex Crane is one confusing mess of marques. Henry Middlebrook Crane started his own car company in 1912 and it lasted through 1914. It was acquired by Simplex and in 1915 they merged the Crane line of cars into their own, as a separate model. From 1915 through the end of the company, the cars were branded as Simplexes and the model was the “Crane Model 5” which Crane introduced back in 1914. When Simplex went under, Henry Crane bought the remnants and sold the Crane-Simplex (as a marque) for about a year in 1922. CONFUSED YET?

What we have here is a Simplex Crane Model 5. It’s powered by a ridiculous 110 horsepower, 9.2-liter straight-six with a four-speed transmission. The two-seater sports tourer body is not original but is nice. Less than 500 Crane Model 5s were produced, making this quite rare today. It should bring between $175,000-$225,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1913 Mercedes 28/60HP Phaeton

Photo – Bonhams

Daimler built some pretty impressive Mercedes-branded automobiles in the pre-Benz years. The 1913 28/60 was a development of the 28/50, which was introduced in 1910. Production of the 28/60 would continue until 1920 and power comes from a 60 horsepower, 7.2-liter straight-four.

This car has been in the same family for the last 40 years and was restored in 2008. It’s been actively toured, a testament to the usability of early Mercedes cars, despite their sometimes immense size. It’s well-outfitted in period accessories and should bring between $800,000-$1,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams in Carmel.

Update: Not sold.

Sauber C9

1989 Sauber-Mercedes C9

Offered by Coys | Fontwell, U.K. | September 7, 2017

Photo – Coys

Coys has a serious race car for it’s Goodwood sale this year. The Sauber C9 was one of the preeminent Group C race cars from the late 1980s. Introduced in 1987, it was developed from the Sauber C8 race car and was much more successful than it’s predecessor.

Co-designed by Peter Sauber, the C9 is powered by a 5.0-liter Mercedes-Benz V-8 with two turbochargers. That combination made 700 horsepower in the most basic of forms and over 900 if you cranked up the boost. The most famous C9s were those painted solid silver that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans on their way to the World Endurance Championship in 1989 (and they won the Championship again in 1990). This car is the only C9 that still wears the 1988 AEG livery – it was retained by Sauber for display in his museum after the 1988 season.

I do not have access to any race records for this particular chassis (C9-A2). The current owner purchased this car from Peter Sauber in 2010 – after 20 years of museum duty. It was restored in 2015 and a fresh engine was constructed by the original engine builder. No pre-sale estimate is available but you can see more here and more from Coys here.

Update: Sold, approximately $2,377,000.

1911 Mercedes 28/50

1911 Mercedes 28/50 PS Roi des Belges Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, England | June 30, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

What’s not to love about a big, pre-Benz Mercedes touring car? The Mercedes marque dates back to about 1900 when Emil Jellinek and Wilhelm Maybach came together to produce what would ultimately become the template for all modern cars. Of course, in 1926, Mercedes merged with Benz to become the company we all know today.

This is the 28/50 PS model and it’s powered by a 50 horsepower, 7.2-liter straight-four engine. This particular car was originally bodied in France but, because of its hearty engine and chassis combination, had at some point been converted into a bus. The current family who owns the car acquired it in 1957 and had it restored in the early 1960s.

During that restoration, the current body you see above was constructed and done so convincingly in the style of something available in 1911. It remains in running condition, having been used sparingly over the past few years. It is expected to bring between $390,000-$510,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams at Goodwood.

Update: Sold $467,080.

The Big, Pre-Benz Mercedes

1924 Mercedes 24/100/140 Custom Sport Touring by Fleetwood

Offered by Dragone Auctions | Westport, Connecticut | October 17, 2015

Photo - Dragone Auctions

Photo – Dragone Auctions

The 24/100/140 was the “big” Mercedes. Introduced in 1924, it was on sale for only two short years before the merger of Daimler and Benz – and the creation of Mercedes-Benz. The post-merger car was known as the Mercedes-Benz Type 630 through 1929. It was the long, fast, and heavy Mercedes – one of the peaks of 1920s German motoring.

The engine is a 6.2-liter straight-six that made 99 horsepower – but with the “Kompressor” (supercharger) engaged, power jumped up to 138. Strangely, this big German touring car doesn’t carry a European body. Instead, the new chassis and engine combo was shipped to Mercedes of North America in New York City. The new owner sent it to Fleetwood in Pennsylvania who was operating in its final year of independence in its founding city before being acquired and moved to Detroit.

The car was discovered in the 1970s and restored. Then it was hidden again. When it was pulled out of the garage recently, it showed that it had been well preserved since that restoration over 40 years ago. It’s been awakened and is ready to run. Only 377 of these were built after the Benz merger, so the number beforehand is likely much lower. This one should bring between $1,200,000-$1,400,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Mercedes 28/95 Phaeton

1914 Mercedes 28/95 Phaeton

Offered by Bonhams | Ebeltoft, Denmark | September 26, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

No single photo can sum up the amazing look and detail of this fine, 100-year-old automobile. The Mercedes 28/95 PS was introduced in 1914 and it lasted through 1924. Only 590 were built in that ten year span – although half of that time was a world war. In fact, only 25 examples were sold during the first year. It was the flagship for Mercedes in 1914.

The car makes an impressive 95 horsepower from its 7.3-liter straight-six. I mean this thing was serious in its day. Dating this particular example is a bit tough, however. The chassis was ordered – and cancelled – twice, with the first one in 1914. The war didn’t help. It is known that this car was was shipped to New York City in 1920 as a bare chassis – and a Sindelfingen tourer was shipped separately.

This is not that body. The plaque on this body dates it to around 1910 and it was applied sometime after arriving in New York, but no one knows when. Anyway, this car magically survived unrestored in some major collections including that of Tom Barrett (of Barrett-Jackson). Fortunately, it was acquired in 1993 by a major Mercedes collector and he recognized how great this car is and decided to preserve it. So he soaked the wooden skiff body in linseed oil – for three years! It worked. This thing is all original and it’s incredible.

It should bring between $1,500,000-$2,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,401,031.

July 2014 Auction Recap

Welcome to our July 2014 auction rundown, beginning with Artcurial’s 2014 Le Mans sale. The top sale was this 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL for $1,505,502.

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

Our feature cars all sold, with the Jaguar Buetler Prototype leading the way and smashing its estimate, selling for $217,162. Both other cars, the D.B. HBR5 and the Koenig Testarossa, sold for $160,860 each. Interesting cars were topped by this 1966 Fiat 1500 GT Barchetta by Ghia for $96,516. Check out full results here.

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

Continue reading

Mercedes 10/40/65

1924 Mercedes 10/40/65PS Sport Phaeton

Offered by Bonhams | Stuttgart, Germany | July 12, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

This pretty Mercedes touring car was built by Mercedes – before the “hyphen Benz.” In fact, it was produced just two years before Daimler (Mercedes’ controlling company) merged with The House that Karl Built in 1926.

The confusing model nomenclature used by Mercedes with the three numbers separated by slashes is like that for good reason: these were the first production cars fitted with superchargers and the numbers reflected the horsepower during various driving stages. The first number is the nominal horsepower (which was and is an outdated way of estimating power – it’s what they used for steam engines), the second number is the engine during normal operating procedure, and the third is when the supercharger is engaged.

So this 2.6-liter straight-four put out 40 horsepower – 65 when the “Kompressor” was engaged. It was the more powerful of the two four-cylinder cars Mercedes was producing at the time. My favorite part of the catalog entry for this car is that this car is currently owned by a collector of mainly post-war Mercedes and this car “does not fit his collection.” Must be a nice problem to have.

Only 851 10/40/65s were built. And this one should sell for between $610,000-$890,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Late August 2013 Auction Highlights

I may end up splitting this up into two posts because it’s bound to be insane. We’ll start with Barrett-Jackson’s inaugural Reno, Nevada, sale. Our featured Studebaker Champ pickup sold for $30,800. Top sale (not counting charity cars, which I don’t count) was this 1963 Chevrolet Corvette 327/360 Convertible for $192,500.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible 327-360

Of all the other cars, the coolest was this truck. It’s a 1955 Dodge C-3B and it sold for a really strong $90,750. Check out complete results here.

1955 Dodge C-3B

Moving forward to Monterey weekend. First up, Bonhams’ sale in Carmel. The top sale here was this 1931 Bentley 4.25-Liter Supercharged Le Mans. It’s a factory blower Bentley and it sold for $4,647,500.

1931 Bentley 4.25-Liter Supercharged Le Mans

Next up was our featured one-off Ferrari 250 Europa which went for $2,805,000. The most interesting car I didn’t get to feature was this 1902 Knox Model C Runabout. It was the first lot and it sold for $56,100.

1902 Knox Model C Runabout

Now on to the million dollar sales (in no particular order)! How about a pair of Mercedes-Benz 300SLs? First a 1955 300SL coupe ($1,100,000) and then a 1963 300SL Roadster ($1,430,000).

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL 1963 Mecedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

What would you think about an un-restored, barn-find condition 1963 Shelby Cobra 260 that was used as Car and Driver‘s test car back in the day? The 260 cubic inch engine makes it a very early Cobra. It was sold as-is for $2,068,000.

1963 Shelby Cobra 260

And now a pair of Ferraris. First, a 1960 250 GT Cabriolet Series II by Pinin Farina. It sold for $1,375,000.

1960 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II by Pinin Farina

Then there was the Brussels Motor Show 1965 275 GTS for $1,045,000.

1965 Ferrari 275 GTS

My favorite of our feature cars, the unbelievable American Underslung Tourer sold for $748,000. Speaking of early cars, how about another million-dollar Mercedes? This one is from the pre-Benz era. It is a 1910 Mercedes 45hp 4-Seat Tourabout. It sold for $1,100,000.

1910 Mercedes 45hp 4-Seat Tourabout

Like the Cobra above, this 1958 Lister-Chevrolet “Knobbly” is in completely original condition. It sold for $1,430,000.

1958 Lister-Chevrolet 'Knobbly'

Another one of our feature cars was this 1906 Autocar. It sold for $42,600. The final million dollar sale was this also-unrestored and all-original 1952 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica Mk II Competition – and just barely: it sold for $1,001,000. It has Sebring race history and was used at the 1952 Earls Court Motor Show.

1952 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica Mk II Competition

Our final feature car was the 1910 Peerless Victoria. It brought $176,000. One final cool car is this 1961 Mercedes-Benz Type O321H Bus that was used by the Swiss national hockey team. It sold for $126,500. Check out full results here.

1961 Mercedes-Benz Type O321H Bus

Next up, Mecum’s Monterey sale. The top sale there was a 1955 Porsche 550/1500 RS Spyder for $3,750,000.

1955 Porsche 550-1500 RS Spyder

Our featured Delage would’ve been next, but it failed to sell. The only other million dollar car that actually sold was this 1990 Ferrari F40 for a very strong $1,325,000.

1990 Ferrari F40

To run down some more feature cars… these feature cars failed to sell: a previously featured Duesenberg, a Ferrari 750 Monza, the JPS Lotus F1 car, and the Jaguar XJR-5. Our feature Isotta-Fraschini did sell: for $145,000. Among cool cars, I like this 1954 International R140 that went for $140,000.

1954 International R140

And finally this super-cool 1948 Allard L-Type Roadster. It sold for $44,000. Click here for full results.

1948 Allard L-Type Roadster

RM Pebble Beach 2012 Highlights

RM Auctions’ 2012 Monterey sale had some impressive results, with one car standing out above the rest. The 1968 Ford GT40/Gulf Mirage sold for $11,000,000 – a new world record for an American car sold at auction (although it’s a little British). Just like at Le Mans in the 1960s, Ford destroyed Ferrari at this sale. Ford took the #1 spot, and Ferrari was relegated to second, third and fourth. The second-highest selling car was a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder for $8,580,000.

The third place car was our featured 1955 Ferrari 410 S for $8,250,000. After that came this 1956 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta Tour de France for $6,710,000.

The next two cars were feature cars. First, the incredible Horch 853A Special Roadster brought $5,170,000, missing the lower end of its estimate by about $1,000,000 (no big deal, right?). Then there was the awesome-in-orange Aston Martin DB3S for $3,685,000. Then there was another GT40 (the apparent theme of this year’s Monterey sales). This was a 1967 Mark I road car and it sold for $2,860,000.

One of the all-time classics was available for purchase at this sale too, a 1938 Talbot-Lago T23 Teardrop. The one seen here sold for $2,640,000.

The two incredible Le Mans prototypes we featured both sold. The Bentley Speed 8 brought $2,530,000. The Audi R8 was a comparative steal at $1,034,000. Another high-dollar Bentley was this 1953 Continental R-Type Fastback by Mulliner for $1,622,500.

There was also another high-dollar Aston Martin, this one a 1960 DB4GT. I don’t know if you’ve ever witnessed one of these things buzzing around during a historic race, but they’re astonishing. This one brought $2,035,000.

The only other million dollar Ferraris were all 275 GTBs. The photos will follow in this order: first, a 1967 275 GTB/4 Competizione Speciale for $1,485,000. At the same price was a blue ’67 275 GTB/4. Then there was a 1965 275 GTB for $1,182,500.

Of our two featured homologation supercars, the Porsche 911 GT1 failed to sell (only one no-sale among our feature cars, a new record!). The Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR brought $1,100,000. Another million dollar Mercedes was the ever-present 300SL, this one a 1955 Gullwing selling for $1,171,500.

RM had Shelby Cobras out the wazoo this year, selling six of them and three Shelby GT350s. The only Cobras that surpassed the $1 mil. mark were both competition Cobras. One was a 1965 427 (below) at $1,485,000. and the other a 1964 289 (second below) at $1,320,000.

And there was a bonus piece of Shelby goodness at this sale. It’s a 1956 Fiat 306/2 Grand Prix Transporter used by Shelby to transport the Cobra Daytonas to Le Mans (as well as having been used by other race teams and privateers over the years). It has been restored  to its Shelby team days. It sold for $990,000.

Duesenberg wrap-up: J-108, the all-white Murphy Disappearing Top Convertible Coupe sold for $1,897,500. And J-151, the Murphy Sport Sedan sold for $990,000. Other interesting cars included a 1954 Hudson Italia – hands down one of the best-looking cars of all time – for $265,000.

My affectation for giant pre-WWI touring cars compels me to show you this pre-Benz 1914 Mercedes 50HP Seven-Passenger Touring that I really liked. It sold for $528,000.

One car that received a fair amount of pre-sale press was the 1960 Plymouth XNR that was restored from 2009-2011 by RM Restorations. I was going to feature this car but that  Bentley Speed 8 couldn’t be passed up. This car sold for $935,000.

Another car that almost got featured was this 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Aero Coupe by Classic Auto Rebuilding Service. If that coachbuilder’s name doesn’t sound quite “1930s enough,” you’re right. When the car was restored, the original body was basically scrap so the owners had a new one commissioned based on 1930s-era drawings. It sold for $473,000.

This 1905 Rapid Nine-Passenger Omnibus had my attention from day one. It sold for $60,500.

And finally, this 1952 Tojeiro-MG Competition Barchetta isn’t something you see everyday. You could’ve bought it for $154,000.

For complete results, click here.