Bonhams’ Mercedes-Benz Sale 2014: Highlights from the 12m-euro auction
With a 70% sale rate and total revenue of almost 12m euros, Bonhams’ Mercedes-Benz Sale, held at the Mercedes Museum on July 12, was largely positive. The highest-price sellers were the numerous pre-War cars among the near 50 lots, in particular the 1934 500K Special Roadster, which achieved the top individual price, of 3.1m euros. The car’s Swedish owner donated the money to cancer and Alzheimer’s foundations – a nice touch. The second-highest price of the auction, at 2.2m euros, was for a 1936 540K Cabriolet. Achieving 471,500 euros, meanwhile, and almost quadrupling its 110,000-150,000 estimate, was the oldest car in the entire sale, a 1901 Benz Ideal 7HP Twin Cylinder ‘Contra Motor’ Vis-à-vis.
Never a surefire sell
Important classics are never a surefire sell, as shown when the 300 SL Gullwing that Moss and Jenks used as a reconnaissance vehicle for the famous 1955 Mille Miglia failed to sell. The final bid of over 2m euros (including buyer’s premium) was just not enough for Bonhams to sell such an exceptional classic.
Other prominent lots did solidly fulfil their estimates, however, with Mika Häkkinen’s DTM racing car making 460,000 euros and Chen Yi’s 600 Pullman fetching 172,500 euros. The ex-Madonna 560 SL surpassed its 43,000-52,000-euro estimate, making just under 70,000 euros, and a 1976 Unimog doubled its estimate, selling for 82,800 euros: a new World Record.