The debut Bonhams Mercedes-Benz auction was held 12th July 2014 at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, resulting in €11,855,925 in total sales. The sale included nearly 50 Mercedes-Benz cars, with models of the marque spanning over 100 years.
Malcolm Barber, Bonhams Co-Chairman and auctioneer on the day, said, “Today’s sale demonstrated the fantastic diversity and engineering excellence available from the Mercedes-Benz classic motor car range. We’re delighted to have placed a marker in the history books, as the first ever auction to be held in the new Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart, and Bonhams’ largest Mercedes-Benz sale ever – achieving almost €12 million for some very happy bidders.”
The top result at the Bonhams Mercedes-Benz 2014 sale went to a 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500 K Special Roadster with unique period coachwork that sold for €3.1 million. A unique variation of Mercedes-Benz top of the line 1930s luxury sports car, it was generously donated to benefit the causes of both the Swedish Cancer Society and The Swedish Alzheimer’s Foundation charities.
A further sale highlight and the earliest model in the Stuttgart sale, a 1901 Benz Ideal 7hp Twin Cylinder “Contra-Motor” Vis-a-vis. It was designed by German engineer and Mercedes-Benz founding father, Carl Benz. At the Bonhams Mercedes-Benz museum sale, a bidding battle played out to take home this piece of automotive history – hammer falling at €471,500, some four-times higher than its pre-auction estimate.
Elsewhere in the inaugural sale, the 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet A realized €2.2 million to a telephone bidder; at almost double its estimate a 1976 Unimog 406 Doppelkabine 4×4 Utility sold for €82,800; the ex-Mika Hakkinen 2005 AMG-Mercedes C-Class DTM Touring Car set a new benchmark at €460,000 and a 600 Pullman, once owned by the Chinese Government and used by General Chen Li, a military leader during the Chinese Communist Revolution and a close associate of Chairman Mao Zedong, sold to a telephone bid for €172,500.
James Knight, Bonhams Global Head of Motoring, said, “We conceived this auction with our friends and partners at Mercedes-Benz, and I’m thrilled with the result. Michael Bock, head of Mercedes-Benz Classic and Managing Director of the Mercedes-Benz Museum, along with his team were the perfect hosts. Finally, we were delighted that the push-through of cars which allowed clients to view the classics on offer throughout the sale created such a visual spectacle for all to enjoy.”
The Mercedes-Benz Museum maps the entire history of the world’s oldest car manufacturer with a unique variety of exhibits. A total of 1500 exhibits, including 160 vehicles, can be seen on an area of 16,500 square meters.