Christie's at the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance, USA 5th June 2005 - Preview

Around half the entries to Christie’s next motor car sale are from the David H.Tunick Collection, an eclectic mixture that includes a Mercedes-Benz Gullwing in need of restoration for $US110.000 - 140.000. No such problems for the 2005 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, estimated at $US500.000 - 600.000.

The example offered for sale is finished in Crystal Galaxite black with a Silver Arrow 300SL red leather interior and 19 inch turbine wheels. A great colour combination to show off the space-age looks of a car intended to be the embodiment of the company’s relationship with Formula 1 constructor McLaren, stressing the history and tradition of its overwhelming motorsporting success over the last 90 years. Very few of these cars are being made, a situation that has resulted in a very long waiting list. This is an opportunity to jump the queue and it will be interesting to see what the premium over list will be.

The other Mercedes Gullwing car offered here caused as much of a sensation 50 years ago as its younger brother does now. With a maximum speed of 150-165mph, and jaw-dropping price, they were really intended for the world’s super rich looking for the handling and performance of the race track. The Gullwing offered here is described by Christie’s as "a definite candidate for a complete restoration and offers the buyer an honest, straight and complete package".

Originally delivered to Saudi Arabia on January 20, 1955, it appears to be the last car built in 1954 and originally sported DB 274 light green metallic paint with green vinyl and green plaid interior. It's believed that this Gullwing has not seen much, if any, use in approximately 30 years as the vehicle was found with a temporary Connecticut tag issued in 1974, and has been repainted white with new green vinyl seats an unknown number of years ago. I really love this and am sure someone will snap this up for a future restoration that will cost some money - but on an appreciating asset.

Outside the Tunick Collection, but another uncompromising 3-litre six-cylinder Mercedes from the same year, is the 300S Cabriolet A. Very much a ‘Car of the Stars’ at the time, this particular machine has been the subject of a meticulous restoration by marque specialists 'Kienle' of Stuttgart in the mid 1990s. Its estimate of $US260.000 - 300.000 is in line with market pricing. For those with smaller wallets there’s another 1955 Mercedes, a 190SL Roadster for $US40.000 - 50.000.

Enthusiasts for inter-war American luxury will like the 1936 Auburn Speedster Model 852 Straight Eight 'Bobtail' at $US125.000 - 175.000, as well as the 1931 Cadillac V12 Coachwork by Fleetwood for $US80.000 - 100.000 (both Tunick cars) and the 1931 Packard 840 Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton $US150.000 - 200.000. While going back a little further the 1913 Simplex ALF Victoria Touring, $US350.000 - 450.000, is a model from the pioneering days of American motoring and priced accordingly.

Gaining 89 points (even as a ‘driver’) in the Rolex Concours is measure of just what sort of condition the 1973 BMW 3,0 3.2 CSL 'Batmobile' is in. Finished in Polaris Silver, and just one of a handful of totally original cars remaining, it’s estimated at $US100.000 - 120.000 and is able to offer the advantages of rarity, performance and a modernity that should mean the reliability and road manners that modern drivers are accustomed to.

Finally, several lots are offered ‘Without Reserve’. One such is the 1964 Ford Falcon Futura Sprint Convertible. $US15.000 - 20.000 will buy you a piece of Ford’s ‘Total Performance’ programme of the ‘60s, and what a great car in which to go to Goodwood, the Le Mans Classic or Monterey?

All lots can be seen in detail, with colour photographs on the Classic Driver Car Database. Please CLICK HERE for full details.

For a full lotlist, please CLICK HERE.

The auction will be held at:
The Greenwich Concours d'Elegance
Sunday 5 June 2005, 12:00 pm
The Roger Sherman Baldwin Park
Greenwich, Connecticut, USA

Christie’s next London sale will be at The Jack Barclay Showroom, Vauxhall, on 11th June and an early entry is the 1952 ex-Ian Stewart Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar C-Type, estimate £1.200.000 - 1.500.000.

Christie's International Motor Cars Ltd
The Jack Barclay Showroom
2-4 Ponton Rd
Nine Elms
London SW8 5BA

Tel: + 44(0)20 7389 2851
Fax: + 44(0)20 7627 8917
[email protected]

Text - Steve Wakefield
Photos - Christie's

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