Surf’s up for RM Sotheby’s in $9.3 million Santa Monica sale

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL during bidding, with the Ferrari F40 on deck | RM Sotheby's photos
The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL during bidding, with the Ferrari F40 on deck | RM Sotheby’s photos

With a diverse lineup of cars spanning the Southern California collector car hobby, RM Sotheby’s held its fifth annual Santa Monica auction for the first time in partnership with sister company Auctions America, reaching more than $9.3 million in total sales.

The one-day “boutique” auction offered 175 cars and an array of automobilia, with 111 cars sold for a 63 percent sell through, and 80 percent of the 68 automobilia pieces selling. The auction was held Saturday at the historic Barker Hangar. Continue reading

Garage-found Mercedes 190SL going to auction in UK

Specialist went to evaluate vintage motorcycles, but found this 190 SL in the garage | H&H photos
Specialist went to evaluate vintage motorcycles, but found this 190 SL in the garage | H&H photos

Mark Bryan works in the motorcycle department of England’s H&H Classics and was called on to evaluate a group of bikes for possible sale. The bikes were in an old garage in Solihull, home of Land Rover.

But the old garage held more than motorcycles. In it, Bryan discovered a long-stored 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190SL that will go to H&H’s July 26 auction at the Imperial War Museum as a barn-found restoration project. The car has an estimated pre-sale value of £50,000 (more than $63,300). Continue reading

90 years ago, Mercedes unleashed its ‘White Elephants’

On the grid June 19, 1927 at the Nurburgring: new Model S (Cars 1 and 2) and a privately entered Model K (Car 3) | Mercedes-Benz archives
On the grid June 19, 1927 at the Nurburgring: new Model S (Cars 1 and 2) and a privately entered Model K (Car 3) | Mercedes-Benz archives

Give someone a “white elephant” and they may laugh at the humor of the gifting of something that not only is useless, but perhaps even lacking in tastefulness. But 90 years ago, if you were offered a “White Elephant” from Mercedes-Benz, you were able to enjoy the dominating sports car of the era.

It was June 19, 1927 when Rudolf Caracciola steered Mercedes’ new Model S — the S short for Sport — to victory in the inaugural race for sports cars at Germany’s brand-new Nurburgring. Adolf Rosenberger finished second another Model S in a race that used both the Nordschleife (North Loop) and Sudschleife (South Loop) of the original roadways. Continue reading

RM Sotheby’s cruises in to SoCal for mellow Santa Monica auction

The 1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline is a historic piece of California's past  | RM Sotheby's photos
The 1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline is a historic piece of California’s past | RM Sotheby’s photos

Santa Monica is at the heart of Southern California beach culture. It has the famous pier, aquarium and surfing tradition, as well as its fun-in-the-sun collector car scene. But it’s not just about old woody wagons and VW microbuses.

For the past five years, Auctions America has brought a summertime car auction to Santa Monica to feed the longings of a diverse group of car collectors. But this year, the footprint has expanded with the parent auction company, RM Sotheby’s, moving in and raising the bar for the car offerings. Continue reading

Family-owned since new, pair of 300SLs going to auction

A pair of Mercedes-Benz 300SLs in the garage | Gooding & Company photos by Brian Henniker
A pair of Mercedes-Benz 300SLs in the garage | Gooding & Company photos by Brian Henniker

A pair of Mercedes-Benz 300SLs, a 1955 Gullwing coupe and a 1957 roadster purchased by the same man and family-owned ever since, will be offered for sale at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach auction in August, the auction company announced.

The cars have been in long-term garage storage and are being offered in unrestored condition and with low mileage. The Gullwing is the only one produced in British Racing Green paint. Continue reading

Paul O’Shea tribute Mercedes SLS joins Bonhams’ Chantilly sale

Paul O'Shea's 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS re-created and regularly raced in vintage competition | Bonhams photos
Paul O’Shea’s 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS re-created and regularly raced in vintage competition | Bonhams photos

“Driving his 300SL Gullwing, Paul was virtually unbeatable from coast to coast.”

— motorsports historian Art Evans in The Fabulous Fifties: A Decade of Sports Car Racing in Southern California

Officially, Paul O’Shea was a three-time Sports Car Club of American national racing champion in the mid-1950s, even though he’d quit racing cars for two years after a friend was killed at Le Mans. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster/GT C Roadster

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster comes highly recommended | Mercedes-AMG photos
2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster comes highly recommended | Mercedes-AMG photos

The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster is fast, expensive, and sexy. I could stop right there, because that summarizes this brand-new Mercedes-Benz better than anything else.

The hood stretches a veritable mile in front of the cockpit. The rump is nicely rounded. The twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V- delivers a whopping 469-horsepower, or 550 hp in the range-topping GT C Roadster model. Continue reading

Turns out, losing your car keys can be a good thing

Car's owner lost her keys after driving only 80 miles so car sat in underground garage | Coys photos
Car’s owner lost her keys after driving only 80 miles so car sat in underground garage | Coys photos

More than 20 years ago, a 1996 Mercedes-Benz SL500 was purchased at the Normand of Mayfair dealership as a birthday present for a woman in England. After driving the car only 80 miles, the new owner lost her keys — and never drove the car again!

After being stored in an underground garage in the upscale Knightsbridge area of London, the car was rediscovered (underground garage find?) and was offered up for bidding this week at Coys’ Spring Classics auction at the Royal Horticultural Halls. Continue reading

Mercedes-Benz marks 60th anniversary of the 300 SL roadster

A 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster heads out for the start of last year's Copperstate 1000 | Bob Golfen
A 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster heads out for the start of last year’s Copperstate 1000 | Bob Golfen

Mercedes-Benz was flush with the success of its 300 SL “Gullwing” coupe, known internally as W198, after it was introduced in 1954. But open sports cars were the thing, especially in the all-important U.S. market, so the Stuttgart company set out to create an evocative roadster based on the Gullwing that retained the coupe’s style and performance.

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadster was revealed to the public 60 years ago at the 1957 Geneva Auto Show, where the bold, high-performance touring car was greeted with widespread acclaim from the press and public. This year, Mercedes celebrates the 60th anniversary of the introduction of what has become a highly valuable and sought-after collector car. Continue reading

Mercedes-Benz sets three vintage racer track days

Mercedes-Benz 190 E This 2.5-16 Evolution II racing car is like the one Roland Asch raced | Mercedes-Benz photos
Mercedes-Benz 190 E This 2.5-16 Evolution II racing car is like the one Roland Asch raced | Mercedes-Benz photos

After a successful debut in 2016, Mercedes-Benz will stage three track days this year in Germany for owners of classic Mercedes racing cars. The dates are March 30 at Hockenheim, August 3 at Zolder and September 19 at Oschersleben. Continue reading