March 2010 – Bonhams are proud to announce their having been chosen to represent an exceedingly rare and beautiful 1930 Mercedes-Benz SS Sports Tourer at their world-famous Quail Lodge summer auction, which has – for the first time in its 13-year history – been expanded to two days.
Offered from the estate of a private collection, the Mercedes SS comes to market for the first time in 55 years. Originally delivered new to British owner Sir Alfred Bird in 1930, the car was acquired in the mid-1950s by the late owner’s brother for £485. It was shipped to America shortly thereafter and remained in this family ever since. Today it is expected to realize in excess of $2-million.
Created by Ferdinand Porsche while working as chief engineer for Mercedes-Benz, the 38/250 SS model is universally regarded as one of the finest automobiles of its day. Capable of more than 100mph, period press lauded its “colossal” power and the British magazine Motor Sport described it as “the most amazing car it has ever been our fortune to drive”.
Not just an astounding road car, the SS models were fitted with a formidable competition chassis whose incredible performance was manifested by Rudi Caracciola’s astounding victory in the 1929 Ulster Tourist Trophy, also becoming a significant rival to the Bentley works cars at Le Mans.
Lining up alongside the Mercedes at Bonhams’ Quail Lodge sale is another of the finest quality automobiles of its day: a 1908 Thomas “Flyer” F 4-60, an example of the very model that won the 1908 New York to Paris Race – history’s first around-the-world automobile endurance challenge. Extraordinary for a 102-year old car, its full history is known from new and it has had, amazingly, just four owners.
For 2010, Bonhams’ annual August sale will expand to a two-day format as a result of popular demand. Says Mark Osborne, head of the Motoring Department, “In recent years we have been overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of consignors wishing to sell at our long established auction on the idyllic Quail Lodge property. We feel that a format of two sales tailored to specific audiences is the best way to accommodate buyers during the busy Monterey Peninsula Car Week.”
The Bonhams’ Auction of Exceptional Motorcars and Automobilia will take place August 12-13, at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley, California.
Press release via Bonhams/Dravcarn