Jump to content

PreWar Mercedes Benz


Recommended Posts

Looks great. Thanks for the update. Who is doing the engine?

I don't know, but when I saw the car it had a hole in the side of the block that I could put my fist into. Maybe a little JBWeld and it'll be ok?

Link to post
Share on other sites
[ATTACH=CONFIG]249249[/ATTACH]

Fenders! Well, a fender. Mine is finally beginning to show what it will become. Work on the right front fender might be completed next month. Can't wait for the main body panels to be done, but it will probably take most of the rest of this year. Radiator and engine rebuild should be finished this summer. Hoping the car will be finished by the end of 2015, but there is a lot that could slow it down (Like the six months spent last year fixing a severely twisted frame and bent suspension from war damage). Not bad progress considering it started as just a damaged chassis and engine.

Most people have no clue the time we spend on these projects to make them right. for the owner to be done in 2015 I am sure he has 1 or 2 people working on it full time. It is always the smallest details you spend the most on.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't know, but when I saw the car it had a hole in the side of the block that I could put my fist into. Maybe a little JBWeld and it'll be ok?

I've seen a welded patch covered with Kevlar and then titanium.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Perhaps the greatest fender of all time.

I would have to agree pre-war, though some of the Bugatti Royale's were pretty spectacular. And you might get an argument re the "spatted" Delahayes, Talbot teardrop and other Bugattis. Post-war I really like the Jaguar XK-120 coupe's fenders.

Link to post
Share on other sites
[ATTACH=CONFIG]249249[/ATTACH]

Fenders! Well, a fender. Mine is finally beginning to show what it will become. Work on the right front fender might be completed next month. Can't wait for the main body panels to be done, but it will probably take most of the rest of this year. Radiator and engine rebuild should be finished this summer. Hoping the car will be finished by the end of 2015, but there is a lot that could slow it down (Like the six months spent last year fixing a severely twisted frame and bent suspension from war damage). Not bad progress considering it started as just a damaged chassis and engine.

What was the original body style on this chassis and where did it end up?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

It's going to be a busy summer for 500K and 540K shoppers. We're up to seven to be sold at auction by Bonham's, RM and eBay, believe it or not! The latest is a 1934 500/540K roadster (factory swapped engine) donated to charity expected to bring $4.8M in Stuttgart, but being a charity car, watch the price climb. An Aktion P will be at Goodwood. The unrestored Goring Cab B is supposed to go up on eBay, but I can't imagine it will meet reserve; probably just a publicity stunt. Pretty wide selection for all you shoppers - Nazi cars, Mayfair, Mulliner, roadster, cab's, one-offs. Still weeks before the summer auction lists will be complete.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Goring Cab B should interesting. The market on a Cab B is pretty well established right now but the Goring connection would push it up I assume. Not a lot of the standard Sindelfingen bodies. The right hand drive cars are a tougher sell usually.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If the Goring car went up on ebay, I didn't see it. I found a reference to the owner restoring it, to be shown at the 2016 Pebble Beach concours.

On a side note, I saw the Bugatti exhibit at the Mullin Automotive Museum yesterday. Awesome. Runs through the end of the year, I believe. If you get a chance, go. Make sure to have advance tickets. There were 3 or 4 car clubs there yesterday, and they limit attendance each of the few days each month the museum is open. The Royale Coupe de Ville Binder was worth the trip by itself. I think this is one of the cars I saw at Harrah's in the 1970's when I was a teenager. I did not know until yesterday that this car is the rebodied Royale Esders. That explains why I keep seeing seven body styles when there were only six chassis.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought I'd post a picture of a type 230 I used to own, and ask if anyone knows if it still exists. I owned it from about 1994 until 1999. It was a Sindelfingen built car, not one from Mannheim. Unlike most cars that arrived in the Americas, this one was first sold to the government of Bolivia, where it was used by a high court judge. After a stint during WWII as an American embassy car, it eventually came to the US. When I last knew of it, it was in the hands of a Pennsylvania based restorer. I have a few more pics if anyone has interest. I was quite surprised to find how much information Mercedes still had on this car. When I (half jokingly) asked about potential spare parts, I got a classic reply: "Well, you know, you blew most of them up!"

post-32419-143142570699_thumb.jpg

post-32419-143142570699_thumb.jpg

post-32419-143142570699_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Neat car. All the Mannheim records went up in smoke but not the Sindelfingen ones. 40 years ago they would give you the original owner too but not anymore. Please post some more pictures.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, here's a few more. I recently found a thread started by Restorer32, who apparently owned it until 2005. I don't know where it is now. I remember that there was a fuel water separator (with the old clear glass bowl) and reserve petcock mounted in the passenger compartment right over the transmission tunnel. Fuel was gravity fed to it from the cowl mounted gas tank, going from the petcock to the updraft carburetor, mounted at the bottom of the engine...

The engine was a work of art, with lots of aluminum parts. The oil pan was an aluminum casting, heavily finned for cooling. The interior wood was beautiful.

post-32419-143142573435_thumb.jpg

post-32419-143142573437_thumb.jpg

post-32419-143142573439_thumb.jpg

Edited by thurman (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

What is cool about all pre-war MB is the build quality and the engineering. That dash is beautiful. Leather front and back? On the larger models the reserve fuel system (2 gallons) was in the cowl above the passenger's feet also. The valve is located in about the same place you describe. This must have been a standard feature of all MB. It helped when you ran out of gas and also when the fuel pump died.

Link to post
Share on other sites
What is cool about all pre-war MB is the build quality and the engineering. That dash is beautiful. Leather front and back? On the larger models the reserve fuel system (2 gallons) was in the cowl above the passenger's feet also. The valve is located in about the same place you describe. This must have been a standard feature of all MB. It helped when you ran out of gas and also when the fuel pump died.

Yes, it was full red leather front and back, but it may have been restored. The decorative "monkey's fist" door pulls were an elegant touch. Another interesting find was that the body was designed such that regardless if one ordered a folding cloth top or a hard top, it was made the same way. This car had a hard top; a piece of metal was carefully shaped (and compound curved) to fit the opening, and then soldered into place with lead.

There were any number of parts that were shared between the various series of cars, from the 230 on up. Many were detail items like hubcaps and various latches. I seem to remember even the windshield frame was a shared part.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If only it had looked like that when I owned it! To be clear, we never did any restoration work on this car. It had been disassembled by a previous "restorer" who managed to lose almost all the original wood framing for the body.

Link to post
Share on other sites
If only it had looked like that when I owned it! To be clear, we never did any restoration work on this car. It had been disassembled by a previous "restorer" who managed to lose almost all the original wood framing for the body.

Which of course, is how you came to own it!

If I could have afforded to have all of the wood framing custom made, I'd have kept it; as it was, I thought giving it to a restorer was the only chance the car had of surviving. While its still not restored at least it still exists! That's a victory in itself. I'm glad to know it's still around. :o

Link to post
Share on other sites

eBay has refused to host the auction for the Goring 540K, despite the fact there have been thousands of sales of Nazi material on eBay for years. A search on eBay for "Nazi" returned over 25,000 items currently up for sale, from swastika-ladened stamps and coins to artwork alleged to be Nazi loot. There is no allegation the car was stolen during WWII like the roadster that was repossessed a couple of years ago. Clearly the eBay decision is hypocritical and IMO a really stupid business decision by eBay. If they had a policy of refusing all nazi-related sales, fine, but they don't. If it was a weapon or instrument of atrocity, fine - don't host it, but it is just a car. I don't understand why the owner did not use RM, Gooding or Bonham's anyway. They have sold Aktion P's (one coming up for auction day after tomorrow) and other Reich-commissioned or used vehicles.

After typing this it came to me why the owners would use eBay to sell the car - I believe the maximum fee for auto sales is $125, versus 10% or more commission on likely a multi-million-dollar sale for the big auction houses.

Edited by 540K (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites
eBay has refused to host the auction for the Goring 540K, despite the fact there have been thousands of sales of Nazi material on eBay for years. A search on eBay for "Nazi" returned over 25,000 items currently up for sale, from swastika-ladened stamps and coins to artwork alleged to be Nazi loot. There is no allegation the car was stolen during WWII like the roadster that was repossessed a couple of years ago. Clearly the eBay decision is hypocritical and IMO a really stupid business decision by eBay. If they had a policy of refusing all nazi-related sales, fine, but they don't. If it was a weapon or instrument of atrocity, fine - don't host it, but it is just a car. I don't understand why the owner did not use RM, Gooding or Bonham's anyway. They have sold Aktion P's (one coming up for auction day after tomorrow) and other Reich-commissioned or used vehicles.

After typing this it came to me why the owners would use eBay to sell the car - I believe the maximum fee for auto sales is $125, versus 10% or more commission on likely a multi-million-dollar sale for the big auction houses.

True, but I think that using a big auction house would get a higher price; one that would more than offset the larger commission. I thought that when I sold an expensive piece of antique armorial porcelain years ago, and I still think it was the right decision. I can't imagine why the seller thinks that Ebay is an appropriate venue for a historically significant car.

Link to post
Share on other sites
True, but I think that using a big auction house would get a higher price; one that would more than offset the larger commission. I thought that when I sold an expensive piece of antique armorial porcelain years ago, and I still think it was the right decision. I can't imagine why the seller thinks that Ebay is an appropriate venue for a historically significant car.

I believe you are right because the high rollers may not watch eBay as a matter of course, and they won't get the personal service and assurances that the majors can offer. Some might point out the car got a fair amount of worldwide publicity on the proposed eBay sale, and there's something to be said for an auction running 7-10 days vs. 5-10 minutes. And, let's say they want to clear $2.5M; on ebay they only need a bid a couple of hundred dollars higher; with the big boys, the bid would have to be over a quarter-million higher. To clear $3.5M, the bid would have to be almost a 1/2M more. Your point, and I agree, is that the big boys have the connections to get more high rollers bidding than eBay does. They can actively work towards a sale before the auction, as opposed to eBay just being passive. My understanding is that the major auction houses have some cars "pre-sold" before bidding starts, in the sense that they know the reserve will be met, and it's just a matter of how high the bidding will go.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it possible the large auction houses are leery of the documentation or provenance of the Goring 540? Just a question, I have no evidence whatsoever one way or the other.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Is it possible the large auction houses are leery of the documentation or provenance of the Goring 540? Just a question, I have no evidence whatsoever one way or the other.

You raise a good issue, but I sort of doubt it. This wasn't a personal vehicle that was stolen or commandeered by the Reich, it was Goring's personal vehicle, and the provenance is well documented. The car that was repossessed in 2012 was a civilian car that was, apparently, stolen from them during the war. At least, that was the basis for the court taking it away from the guy who paid $3M for it. I am still very curious how all that shook out. There must have been contracts that indemnified the auction company, but did the seller give back the buyer's money or was he smart enough to sell it without any title guarantee? And if the seller gave back the money, did he have any recourse against whomoever he bought if from? In any event, the buyer made the mistake of showing the car in Germany - probably the one place where he could have run into trouble. If he had just kept the car in the US, I think his defense as a purchaser for (extreme) value would have been very strong.

It is an interesting question, however. Apparently, the victor can keep what legitimately belonged to the defeated, but cannot acquire title to things that were stolen by the defeated. I have not heard of a Nazi-owned vehicle being claimed by his family. Has anyone else?

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Rick Cole Monterey auction will feature the 540K Sport Cab A 130945. This will be the fourth time in six years it has been sold. It went from $2M to $3M between 2008-11, and stayed there in 2012. Will two more years change the price?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am planning to be at the Concours of America this month, and Pebble Beach Concours next month. Would like to meet any of you regular PreWar M-B posters. Let me know if you're going to either show.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Craig, be sure to take pictures of any MB you see and post it here! Unfortunately I'll be stuck at work. My lone car trip may be to the ACD festival this year.

500/540K's will be my focus, and there will be at least three in the auctions - two at RM and one at Cole - and probably three or four at Pebble. I'm sure there may be some other M-B's that will catch my eye, maybe SS or SSK. The man restoring my car will be there with a Cab A belonging to his best client, fresh from restoration completed last month.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have confirmed it is one of the two built in Massachusetts, this one completed and sold about 2011. It has a Ford suspension and 450SL engine. The second one the builder put a 560 engine in, and it's nearing completion. There may be a few original parts - trim pieces here and there, steering wheel. For such a tall asking price, you'd think the seller would have given a lot more information and posted much better photos. And he shouldn't have posted photos of a museum car to advertise his replica. My understanding is that $1M would give him a whopping profit for a car with few, and relatively insignificant, original parts, but I believe the second car by this builder is also going to be priced at $1M. I have some other photos of the car and I think either the fender valances, front axle placement, wheels or tires are off -- something just doesn't look 100% in that area. It looks to me like the front valance covers too much of the tire, but I could be wrong. Beautiful car, though. For the right money, I would love to have it to drive in rallys and all over the country. I've not seen any better fiberglass replicas from scratch with modern chassis and powertrain. Much better than any of the mass-produced cars or the Sbarro cars from the 80's.

Edited by 540K (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding the silver replica that Steve posted about, as I said above, it's a gorgeous car and a ton of work went into it. It was built by a very nice man who took a lot of care to do it right, and spent a lot of money on correct lights etc. A true labor of love. If you want an original, I believe the average inflation-adjusted price of the last 11 Special Roadsters at public auction is about $5M. There have been two Cabriolets rebodied as Special Roadsters that sold for right around $1M each, but those were in 2005-06. I have seen some excellent custom coachwork replicas of Talbot-Lago teardrop coupes, Delahayes and Bugattis, but I don't recall even the best of those selling for more than $200-250K. As beautiful as the silver replica is, am I crazy to think the price ought to be around $200-250K since it is a modern car fitted with a replica fiberglass body? I've already been very wrong the first time this car sold -- my understanding is that the current seller paid a lot more than that, but nowhere near $1M. I hope he gets the $1M.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting and informed feedback, Craig! Car has a lot of eyeball, but makes that Duesenberg II Victory Motors has for $45K look like a screaming deal to me.

To me there is a big difference between a rebodied car on an authentic chassis & using correct running gear than a car like the one above - it is really, really nice but tough to value as it is a complete recreation vs. a car with some authenticity to it. A Talbot Lago sold locally out of F-40 a couple years back with steel, true coachbuilt body was more in line with your $250K estamate; fiberglass would be a big issue I would think, at his asking price.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll second the motion that something is off on the wheels and front end. Front fenders don't look right either. The dead nuts replicas with original chassis were a million not too long ago.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...