Kidston to Sell Gunter Sachs’ Mercedes-Benz 380 Roadster
An important addition to the Classic Driver car database is a unique Mercedes-Benz Roadster, offered for sale by ultra-high-end Geneva-based consultancy Kidston SA. The car is the 1933 Mercedes-Benz 380 Roadster, chassis number 95280 – and it comes direct from the ownership of Gunter Sachs, nephew of Fritz Opel.
It was in 1931 that the von Opel family sold the last 20% of Adam Opel AG to General Motors and, a little over a year later, Wilhelm von Opel ordered the Mercedes for delivery to his son, Fritz Adam Hermann von Opel – a young man known for his bravado in rocket-powered RAKs, both on land and in the air. Fritz’s nephew is the jet-set gentleman, Gunter Sachs, who acquired his uncle’s Mercedes-Benz 380 Roadster in 1987 via an advert in Classic Cars magazine – and then commissioned a long-term and comprehensive restoration, recently completed to the very highest standards.
In 1933, the Mercedes-Benz 380 sports tourer was one of the most advanced cars on the market. The W22 series had a synchronised four-speed gearbox and a straight-eight, 3.8-litre engine, supercharged to give 140HP and a top speed between 135 and 145km/h. The restoration of 95280 involved an almost completely new skin over the original chassis, finished in Gunter Sachs’ choice of deep burgundy with rich tan leather upholstery and a black cloth top. Huge Carl Zeiss headlights sit each side of the Mercedes-Benz radiator grille, set behind the chrome Rudge Whitworth wire wheels. There’s a discreet door on the passenger’s side of the car, to access the luggage space under the rear deck – a space which also accommodates secondary seating, concealed under a removable cover.
After only two years, production of the 380 ceased, with between 154 and 157 examples built. Just seven were lightweight, open, two-seat sporting roadsters bodied by Mercedes-Benz’s Sindelfingen coachworks, of which the example for sale, chassis 95280, is probably the most exceptional, as it’s the only known 380 Roadster that combines cutaway doors and full wings with the raked two-piece vee windscreen.
Text: Classic Driver
Photos: Kidston SA
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