Jump to content

PreWar Mercedes Benz


Recommended Posts

On the Pebble best of show:

"This car is powered by a 6.8-liter supercharged Mercedes-Benz engine and was shown at the 1928 New York Auto Show. It then was purchased by Frederick Henry Bedford, who drove it until his death in 1952. The car was then stored for more than 30 years before being restored by his family. It was sold at auction in the 1980s, Andrews said, and he bought it from that buyer in a private sale in mid- 2010."

At first I thought it was this well known car restored. The yellow car had one owner for it's first 70 years or so of existence. Interesting that there would be 2 so similar. Or perhaps I'm not remembering the story of the yellow car correctly.

post-31305-143139139172_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

And arguably a winner at 10.7 million plus commission if not a record:

A Ford sets record at Pebble Beach auction; a Mercedes fall short - latimes.com

Missed the actual sale yesterday but got caught up in the live stream from Gooding on Saturday. His guy is entertaining to watch... If I remember right the Ferrari CA roadster may have edged out the Von Krieger car in terms of top sale at Gooding. Surprised the Packard speedster West mentions in the Speedster section fo the forum did not initially make reserve.

A.J. of course, came pretty close in estimating this some time ago as I recall... :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve, although they did not get the 15 million they were looking for I would consider the 11 million plus with commission a very healthy transaction. It beats the previous price for a 540k by at least a couple of million plus is 3 times what was paid for the Jack Warner Special roadster 10 years ago. I think a 3x appreciation over 10 years is a good return. What would be interesting is how much this car would have brought unrestored.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The hype was a bit too much for this example IMO. Yes, It was restored from an unmolested, complete condition, but the provenance is not really any better than other comparable cars...after all they were all owned by extremely wealthy, powerful people then and now......the Warner car was quite a bargain when it sold shortly after 9/11. I dont think any Special Roadster will fetch $15 MM any time soon. There are just a couple too many still around and they come on the market quite frequently. The Autobahnkurier might be in that range if it ever gets sold publically.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The rumor is the last Autobahnkurier in very rough shape exchanged hands for 3-4 million. That was 5 or more years ago. I agree with you that there are too many Special Roadsters to push crazy numbers (if 11 million isn't crazy).

post-31305-143139140181_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

A.J., I am sure more detailed accounts on this car will come up in the typical publications but MSN has some nice coverage on Pebble and the 28 680S in particular this morning. What I found interesting is the owner's account on the color change - originally grey, painted yellow when nearly new and sold out of NYC, and I guess a 6 month decision on which color to go with for the restoration. I might still be trying to make that decision...

1928 Mercedes-Benz Wins 2012 Pebble Beach Best of Show - MSN Autos

They usually don't keep this stuff up that long but might be an interesting read for those following this.

Link to post
Share on other sites

While I don't doubt the decision on which color to choose was difficult, it's not uncommon for it to take six months to finally make a decision. All the while the cr is being disassembled, body work being meticulously "metal finished" (do you think there's a spot of bondo on that car?), fitting of panels before painting, etc. I'm guessing that there was no delay in the restoration process while he went back and forth on making that decision. Kind of a sensationalized part of the story IMO.

Restorer: "Okay, Paul, time to start painting, and if you want it done in time for Pebble Beach 2012, we need a decision by Friday."

Link to post
Share on other sites
Surprised the Packard speedster West mentions in the Speedster section of the forum did not initially make reserve.

:)

It did finally meet reserve, though, and sold to Scott Kriens (on Forbes 400 list of top executives) for $975,000. Scott has purchased some big stuff during the years and is a true car guy. He bought at least two cars out of the Otis Chandler collection from what I've been told.

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

Hey, Al. I came across an RM Auctions page and it appears you (or your father?) owned this car for a while. This seems like a silly question, but there aren't too many 540K Cabriolets to look at here in East Tennessee, so let me ask this:

How does the canvas convertible boot fit over the down top? Are there slits in it to accommodate the landau hinges?

alsancle540K.jpg

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

The last one with right hand drive in beige shows the cross over in models. Everything about it is 500k visually but underneath it has the 540k engine. Changes were made gradually so there is no hard model cutover that you would see with a mass produced car.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Skip, the cab A was my dads that he owned for over 30 years and restored himself. We never put the top down on that car so I can't tell you how that cover worked. When I get a chance I'll look at mine and see how it goes on.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland, Ohio had this 500K Cabriolet A in their collection for many years. It was donated to them by Walter Halle of Cleveland department store fame sometime in the 1960's. He bought it in Europe in the 1950's. The museum sold it at a controversial auction in 1990 for $600,000. It went back to Europe. I remember this car had the original hood ornament and gas cap on it at one time, but they were both stolen while on display at the museum. It was in largely original condition. It may have been painted once, and a newer top installed along the way, but that was about it. I'd be interested in knowing what this car looks like today. Hopefully it's not red with chrome wheels.

mb540wrm.jpg

Edited by K8096 (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone also mentioned a Cab A for sale in Dallas, and there were several replies suggesting that it could be "turned into a stunner" with relatively little cosmetic work. I have studied this car in person on a couple of occasions, and I can tell you it needs a lot more than a little cosmetic attention. It photographs much better than it actually looks up close. There are a lot of incorrect parts on it, and the paint is awful. The doors need alignment work and the upholstery is not correct. However, it is what it is - a very valuable 540K Cab A. Cannot say the asking price is unreasonable even in this condition, but to be a show car you are looking at probably a $500,000 to $750,000 restoration. That plus the asking price and you might be close to the restored value - no significant quick profit. Good investment given the way these cars' prices have been going over the past 15 years, but it might take 5 years or so after restoration for the prices to permit a profit on this car. The car is currently still in the Dallas area, but the owner is out of state, I believe, and the car is advertised even by German dealers. It's just that one of the brokers trying to sell the car is in Texas, and he has been displaying the car here.

Posts above also focused on the von Kreiger car. Gooding claims $11,770,000 set two records - for any Mercedes, and for any pre-war car. I was at the auction and thought that even with very respectable prices being paid across the board, there did not seem to be the really crazy bidding wars as in previous years. The auctioneers were really working hard. The opening bid for the von Krieger car was $8,000,0000, and everyone thought "Here we go!" But it petered out relatively quickly. I went to RM the night before, and it seemed relatively dead. Last year the room was full with lots of people standing. This year the room was not nearly full. One last thought on the von Krieger - I think the 20% increase in price over last year's 540K at RM (the Sam Mann car) was "all the money." My personal opinion is that the Sam Mann car was far more stunning in appearance. Without the hyped provenance, the von Krieger should have sold for less than the Mann car. By the way, does anyone know who bought the Sam Mann car last year?

Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a short article in our MBCA Westchester/CT newsletter noting that Dragone here in Bridgeport, CT is in the process of restoring a 380, and the car is supposedly a local CT barnfind. They included a couple pictures which I am trying to get electronically from the editor to post here. Nothing on Dragone's site but if I can get any additional info to share I will post it. I would not imagine that many MB on Classic chassis left undocumented, although this car may likely be known already.

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

Wow. That is an unusual car. Front Fenders, bumper and spotlight mount arrangement, number of rubber strips on the running boards... Maybe an email to the event organizers at Techno Classica could help with more info?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding the unusual 540K pictured above, I went to the flickr photo, clicked on "original" size, and I could read the heading on the paper on the windshield. This car is for sale at Classic Motorcars Holland - Holten : Car details. Lots of info there. First owned by Randolph Hearst. The description does say Vanden Plas body.

Edited by 540K (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting to compare the "B" version of the 320 with the 4 door "D" version. The "C" version would be a victoria but I don't know that any were built on the 320 chassis. Pictured here is the "D". There was a very similar car and extremely original condition example for sale in the US a couple of years ago. As a general rule I find 2 doors more attractive than 4 doors but I think the "D" looks just as good as the "B". Perhaps the longer wheelbase does it.

post-31305-143139297673_thumb.jpg

post-31305-143139297676_thumb.jpg

post-31305-143139297678_thumb.jpg

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...