1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Torpedo Roadster by Saoutchik
1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Torpedo Roadster by Saoutchik

The 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Saoutchik Torpedo that won Best of Show at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will be among the headline offerings at the 2013 RM Auctions Monterey sale, to be held August 16-17 at the Portola Hotel and Monterey Convention Center in California.

Considered the fastest sports car in the world at its time, the supercharged Mercedes-Benz 680S, chassis 35949, features a low-slung torpedo roadster body by J. Saoutchik Carrosserie. 35949 was originally custom ordered by a Mr. and Mrs. Charles Levine, but the customer failed to take delivery of the car upon its arrival in New York for reasons thought to be “business reversals” prior to the market crash. Instead, the vehicle was exhibited on the Mercedes-Benz stand at the 1929 New York Auto Salon, before going on display at the company’s New York showroom.

The Mercedes-Benz 680S by Saoutchik was later sold to its first owner, Frederick Henry Bedford Jr., a director of the Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, and went on to play a major role in the courtship of his wife. Following Mr. Bedford’s untimely passing in 1952, chassis 35949 went into storage in the family garage for almost 30 years. It emerged in the early 1980s, when Bedford’s widow commissioned a restoration to bring the car back to life before putting it on display at the Owl’s Head Transportation Museum in Maine, where it remained for the next two decades. After more than 75 years of single-family ownership, 35949 was eventually sold by the family in 2006 and came into the hands of its current owners in early 2008.

Upon purchase of the vehicle, the current owners engaged restoration firm Paul Russell & Company to complete a comprehensive, body-off restoration of the original car. With an emphasis on authenticity, the restoration team completed extensive research as part of the restoration process, with the car returned to its period correct Dove Grey with dark red accents and chassis and a reptile-skin interior. The quality of the restoration was recognized at 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where the car was awarded 100 points before going on to claim the Best of Show title. Additional accolades bestowed on the Mercedes-Benz include Restoration of the Year at the 2012 International Historic Motoring Awards and, more recently, First in Class at the 2013 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy (estimate available upon request).

“We are truly honored to offer the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Best of Show winner at our upcoming Monterey sale,” said Rob Myers, Chairman and Founder, RM Auctions. “Magnificent in every respect, the 680S Saoutchik Torpedo is a stunning work of art that blends superb design with high performance, making it an ideal candidate for the world’s leading events, including long-distance touring. It’s the perfect fit for our Monterey sale—an event held during a week that celebrates the best in design—and we’re thrilled that Paul Russell’s renowned restoration team will be on hand to help present this exceptional automobile at our Monterey auction next month.”

The RM Auctions Monterey 2013 sale returns to the Portola Hotel and Spa and Monterey Convention Center in downtown Monterey, California, from August 16–17. In 2012, RM’s Monterey auction during the Monterey Classic Car Week generated $96 million in sales and established numerous world records.

For more information, contact an RM specialist at +1 519 352 4575 or visit rmauctions.com.

[Source: RM Auctions; Photo Credit: Michael Furman]