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PreWar Mercedes Benz


alsancle
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The color on the Cab A was polarizing.   I'm with Ed in that I liked it.   But I have some buddies that thought it looked like primer.   Considering the discount for RHD,  it sold for about the same as the Red Cab A at Bonhams a few years ago in similar shape.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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I can't tell you how sad it makes me that Ed has to point out the obvious.  I was thinking about what the visual differences were between the 290 and the 320,   top of the front fenders are a little different?  Anything else so I don't do that again?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,

 

I am a new member here and would like some information on some 540k bright work. One wheel is missing the star. Are there any suppliers for these or leads for new ones?

I have had hardware and bright work cast and plated in the past but I want to see if anyone has leads before I go thorough this process.

 

Thank you,

 

RG

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 11/3/2019 at 8:12 AM, alsancle said:

I can't tell you how sad it makes me that Ed has to point out the obvious.  I was thinking about what the visual differences were between the 290 and the 320,   top of the front fenders are a little different?  Anything else so I don't do that again?

 

Since I know the car, the owner, and the shop that did it........it was an unfair advantage.........even with the plate on the front of the car. There is a similar car sitting in a garage about a mile from me here in Palm Beach........just an old used car. It was for sale about a month ago, bit I didn't ask for a price. It looked like 500k would spruce it up and make it go down the road. 

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6 hours ago, alsancle said:

A 320 is an expensive restoration project.  Not as bad as a 500k/540k because the mechanics are simple but everything else is just as expensive.

 

 


The only cheap thing on a Mercedes is the owner! They are wonderful and very complicated cars.......a real handful......and beyond the ability of most collectors to deal with. Even into the 50’s there was a lot of hand work in building them.

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I checked my sources.....the car isn't at the collection I thought it was at. (Marin county, California)  For any great car, when you need information, there is always one or two individuals who have the true background on each individual manufacture. I'm a Pierce Arrow guy.......and I get and am able to answer the majority of the questions put to me. When it comes to the super exotic pre war mega dollar stuff.....there's  just one go to guy in the field.............no questions asked........See the photo below for his contact info. He not only knows all pre war mega cars like no one else.....he's a 540K guy at heart. I have done business with him, and his results are nothing short of astonishing..............and I have been at this for fifty years. Good luck in your quest, and tell him I sent you to him. Best, Ed.

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Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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  • 3 weeks later...

RM has their catalog pictures up for the coupe we discussion previously.   Originally a Cab A updated to a coupe in the early 50s by an established coachbuilder.   Very interesting and cool car which should bring a significant premium over the sidemount (deleted) Cab A that Gooding sold this summer.

 

https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/az20/arizona/lots/r0047-1937-mercedes-benz-540-k-coupe/836179

 

 

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On 2/2/2014 at 9:58 PM, Bill K. said:

This is from the 1979 Schrader book. I like this 1950 car. I wonder what the original body was on this chassis. I wonder what the chassis number is.

I apologize for lack of quality; my scanner is small and stinks!

 

I don't think Bill has been on the forum in a long time,  but the car he was asking about is 154143,  the Hebmuller coupe we are discussing.

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I’m about as far down the food chain as you can be on a Mercedes 540, that being said, car looks great, and has not been seen in years, all big positives for the sale. My one question is if/how much the POST WAR modifications effect value and desirability. I would think some people would just walk away due to the timing of the changes. Trying to apply this car to the standard 540 marketplace may not make sense. It sure has enough eyeball to exceed the high estimate. It will be fun to watch it hammer at the sale.

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4 hours ago, edinmass said:

I’m about as far down the food chain as you can be

 

Agreed Eddy,  but your analysis is spot on.   My feeling is that as an unmolested Cab A in similar condition it would bring more money,  but at this point the best value proposition is leaving it as is,  or restoring it back to its 1950 configuration (no sunroof and black).   Going all the way back would be the usual black hole of money and the car would always have the "story" attached to it.

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23 hours ago, alsancle said:

RM has their catalog pictures up for the coupe we discussion previously.   Originally a Cab A updated to a coupe in the early 50s by an established coachbuilder.   Very interesting and cool car which should bring a significant premium over the sidemount (deleted) Cab A that Gooding sold this summer.

 

https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/az20/arizona/lots/r0047-1937-mercedes-benz-540-k-coupe/836179

 

 

 

One of those links suggested the body work was done "in period." Is 14 years what concours consider in period? I thought it was 10.

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6 hours ago, 540K said:

One of those links suggested the body work was done "in period." Is 14 years what concours consider in period? I thought it was 10.


 

For most collectors any modification after the war started, or done by anyone other than the original owner and coach builder can or might be an issue.  Styling updates were common on very expensive cars, so changes are not uncommon. Weather the work is done well and tasteful is another issue. I’m not familiar with this car, or the coach builder. It looks nice........the market will decide if the changes are a plus or minus. It’s a rare car.........and has good eyeball, so it might do well.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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6 hours ago, edinmass said:


 

For most collectors any modification after the war started, or done by anyone other than the original owner and coach builder can or might be an issue.  Styling updates were common on very expensive cars, so changes are not uncommon. Weather the work is done well and tasteful is another issue. I’m not familiar with this car, or the coach builder. It looks nice........the market will decide if the changes are a plus or minus. It’s a rare car.........and has good eyeball, so it might do well.

 

Eddy,  there is no doubt the changes are a minus as a raunchy setback radiator Cab A would be more like 1.5-1.8 on the estimate.   Hebmuller is a real coachbuilder.    This would be very similar to Derham modifying a big American Classic from the 30s around 1950.   The problem here is they started with a super desirable car.   If it was a Cab B or Cab C,  the whole thing might be a push,  or if it is more attractive the Hubmuller updates would be a plus.

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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The factory Spezial-Coupe (not the Caracciola car) is one of the best looking coupes ever made. With the right paint, blackwalls, no sunroof, redone leather and carpet this could be a very nice car, but it still wouldn't be as nice as the factory Spezial-Coupe. Someone's going to be into this car for at least $2M if they restore it, and I'm not sure there would be any meat left on the bone. But I've been wrong before. 

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2 hours ago, 540K said:

Someone's going to be into this car for at least $2M if they restore it, and I'm not sure there would be any meat left on the bone. But I've been wrong before. 


Craig, rule number one of collecting cars is if you fully restore a car you are gonna lose money. You may be the only exception I can think of.

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It's a hobby. Do it because you like it. Who golfs thinking their going to make money?

I personally (if I had the money), would restore it back to its original Cab A configuration. Although it would make more sense to just buy a Cab A that needs nothing. If it looked somewhere near as good as a real Spezial Coupe, I'd leave it be, but I think the Hebmuller job looks pretty bad aesthetically.

 

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3 hours ago, West Peterson said:

 If it looked somewhere near as good as a real Spezial Coupe, I'd leave it be, but I think the Hebmuller job looks pretty bad aesthetically.

 

 

A real Special Coupe is 500k to 1M more than a Cab A.    As for aesthetics,  you think it is bad even in the black 1950 configuration with no sunroof?

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3 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

A real Special Coupe is 500k to 1M more than a Cab A.    As for aesthetics,  you think it is bad even in the black 1950 configuration with no sunroof?

 

I would have thought a Spezial Coupe would be worth 10 times a Cab A.

The Hebmuller coupe looks a LOT better in the dark color. I still don't much care for the bank-vault type windshield, and the cheap looking back light (looks like a window taken out of a camper trailer), with the even cheaper-looking spare tire cover. So, basically everything with Hebmuller's signature on it, needs to go away.

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1 hour ago, West Peterson said:

 

I would have thought a Spezial Coupe would be worth 10 times a Cab A.

 

 

This is the only public sale (2011 Monterrey) I can think of at 3,000,000.  Probably about 1 million more than the comparable Cab A would have brought in 2011.   The Coupe is basically a hard top version of the Cab A.  

 

https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/MO11/Monterey/lots/r244-1936-mercedes-benz-540-k-spezial-coupe-by-sindelfingen/192336

 

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This illustrates the differences between the Sindelfingen "special' coupe and the Hebmuller update.   We will all unanimously agree that Sindelfingen did it better,  but certainly the original 1950 version of the update is superior to the later restoration.

 

As for me saying a Coupe was a Cab A with a hardtop,  that is not exactly true.   The coupe has slightly more flowing fenders (the Hebmuller car was skirted also) and has the Special Roadster hood vents (3 at an angle).

Hebmuller-vs-Sindelfingen.jpg

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