Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
2/25/11 10:16 a.m.

Ok, I saw this car up close. I sat in it, heard it run and saw it sell for a world record price of $950,051. I get it , you get a guaranteed entry to this years Pebble Beach Concours to show in the survivor class as they celebrate the 125 anniversary of Mercedes and you might even win the class. Is it really worth $150,000 more than a #1 condition perfect Mercedes Classic Center restored example?

I think this is crazy money for this car, any other opinions?

In its favor it was said to be mechanically sorted with the exception of tires and it did run well and have very low miles.

Tell me what you all think. Pics are in the upcoming Classic Motorsports newsletter.

AndreGT6
AndreGT6 Dork
2/25/11 10:23 a.m.

If I liked Merc's and had the money sure why not, but I'd still prefer the gull wing variant ;)

A.

TR8owner
TR8owner New Reader
2/25/11 10:35 a.m.

I just shake my head every time I watch Barret-Jackson. It'll be like the real estate market. There's a bottom out there somewhere.

AndreGT6
AndreGT6 Dork
2/25/11 10:54 a.m.

My dad and father-in-law always go on about the cars they owned.

Both said gee wish I had that crystal ball. Could have bought a car and stored it away for 30 odd yrs hehe.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill SuperDork
2/25/11 12:37 p.m.

I had a friend in Florence SC in the late 70s that had the chance to buy a gull wing for around $8,000. I think he said it needed a restoration. That's about what a new Cutlass sold for at the time.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
2/25/11 12:47 p.m.

Just so you guys know, most auctions are nothing like Barrett Jackson. Get out to Monterey and take an auction tour with us and see what the real collector car auctions are like. They are not the fast talking scream fest that Barrett Jackson is and tend to have very educated buyers and high quality cars.

That being said this did seem like a lot of cash despite the benefits.

rconlon
rconlon HalfDork
2/25/11 1:49 p.m.

This is a trend and a fairly new trend. It is instant barn find being sold as found. The picture still seems to have all the dirt of storage on it. Why go through all the trouble of tripping over a once-in-a-lifetime treasure when you can just buy one at an auction? Sellers will take note and we will see more of these cross the block as they test how strong the market is. I don't know this Mercedes but suspect that only top drawer cars that are original in every respect with low mileage and long term storage need apply. It is a lot of cash to me but, to a few others, $950k is obviously part of a hobby budget. I don't think this car was bought as an investment. It is only a barn find twice. Cheers Ron

Ian F
Ian F SuperDork
2/25/11 2:27 p.m.
Andy Reid wrote: Just so you guys know, most auctions are nothing like Barrett Jackson. Get out to Monterey and take an auction tour with us and see what the real collector car auctions are like. They are not the fast talking scream fest that Barrett Jackson is and tend to have very educated buyers and high quality cars.

I can imagine. I watch the Gooding and other Euro-stye auctions on TV and it's so nice compared to the US-style B-J and Mecum. I prefer the more sedate approach.

If I had the money to buy a M-B of that era, I'd pay a million for an original car vs. 1/2 that for a restored one. I like the cliche, "it's only original ONCE!"

oldtin
oldtin Dork
2/25/11 3:08 p.m.

Isn't this kind of the line they've been promoting on the Chasing Classic Cars show - keep it in barn find condition? They featured a garage find bugatti 57 that ended up pushing 800k

naparsei
naparsei New Reader
2/25/11 5:31 p.m.

According to the newest SCM, it's $400K to restore a 300SL. Obviously the value of this car is in the "it's only original once". I would have preferred the Gooding car for less money.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim SuperDork
2/25/11 6:50 p.m.

I think the big question is what sort of condition it was in under all that dust. I would expect that for the price it probably had to be close to as-new but it still looks like a large chunk of change to me.

Then again, if it's one of only a handful of unrestored, almost-as-new 300SL roadsters, I can see why someone just had to have it.

TR8owner
TR8owner New Reader
2/25/11 7:24 p.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim:

Allow me to be a voice of reason here. I don't care if I won the 100 million lottery tomorrow, I wouldn't pay 950 K for that car or any other car for that matter.

What the hell are you going to do with it - you're not likely going to drive it. So you put it in your living room and admire it and hope there's some sap out there that will pay more for it than you did when you put it up for sale.

But to each their own I suppose.

Ian F
Ian F SuperDork
2/25/11 8:35 p.m.

If I won a $100M lottery, you're damn right I'd drive it.

TR8owner
TR8owner New Reader
2/25/11 8:43 p.m.

In reply to Ian F:

Never said I wouldn't drive it. Just said I would never buy it.

benzbaron
benzbaron HalfDork
2/26/11 2:25 p.m.

I bet tires for the car are 4-500$ each if you can find the correct high speed tire for a 13/14in rim.

I like to see one mercedes overvalued while the market for almost every other mercedes minus 190sl, w113, and some cabriolets models is seriously depressed.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim SuperDork
2/26/11 2:45 p.m.
TR8owner wrote: Allow me to be a voice of reason here. I don't care if I won the 100 million lottery tomorrow, I wouldn't pay 950 K for that car or any other car for that matter.

Neither would I, even if I had the cash. If I was going to splurge a million on a single car I'd rather buy a Bugatti.

But as mentioned, I can see why someone desperately wanted it, doesn't mean I would want it that much.

TR8owner wrote: What the hell are you going to do with it - you're not likely going to drive it. So you put it in your living room and admire it and hope there's some sap out there that will pay more for it than you did when you put it up for sale. But to each their own I suppose.

You'll probably park it in a climate controlled garage with all the other expensive cars you also own...

It's a collector's item at that price point and I doubt that regular vehicle prices apply.

flyinlow
flyinlow New Reader
2/26/11 3:58 p.m.

Buyer knows the seller; instant invite to "rare car ownership,I just had to have it, and by the way it'll be at pebble beach, and on tour....." Someone bought their way into an area others have worked hard to attain. It's disgusting.

JFX001
JFX001 SuperDork
2/27/11 11:26 a.m.

Personally, I'd rather have a gullwing. That being said, I don't know the history/provenance on this one.

I'm thinking that it is 400K-450K over priced...but these are blue-chip cars, and in the rarified air category.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
2/28/11 9:08 a.m.

Just to chime back in here, this was a documented, original car with super low miles. Also keep in mind that over the same weekend a #1 condition coupe or gullwing, whichever you prefer, sold for 1.2 million dollars. These cars have been under valued for a number of years and most of us in this part of the hobby always knew they would at some time be million dollar cars, they are just so good at what they do as classic cars and are eligible for practically every type of event. Amazingly they are also good at just being usable cars which is so rare at this lever of classic cars.

Oh and I would spend the million or even more on the right car and I would also drive it and not just to events or vintage tours. I love the experience of driving these cars. I used my Daytona as a daily driver and drive my other cars quite a bit. They are meant to be driven and I love the connection with the past I get when I drive these cars.

gjz30075
gjz30075 Reader
2/28/11 9:16 a.m.
It's a collector's item at that price point and I doubt that regular vehicle prices apply.

Bingo here. With this particular market, this is falling into the same category as pre-war classics. They're simply pieces of art and no longer cars to be driven and not relevant to the segment of the market you and I are familiar with.

JFX001
JFX001 SuperDork
2/28/11 9:46 a.m.
Andy Reid wrote: Just to chime back in here, this was a documented, original car with super low miles. Also keep in mind that over the same weekend a #1 condition coupe or gullwing, whichever you prefer, sold for 1.2 million dollars. These cars have been under valued for a number of years and most of us in this part of the hobby always knew they would at some time be million dollar cars, they are just so good at what they do as classic cars and are eligible for practically every type of event. Amazingly they are also good at just being usable cars which is so rare at this lever of classic cars. Oh and I would spend the million or even more on the right car and I would also drive it and not just to events or vintage tours. I love the experience of driving these cars. I used my Daytona as a daily driver and drive my other cars quite a bit. They are meant to be driven and I love the connection with the past I get when I drive these cars.

Very impressive. I stand corrected. The ones that I've seen have been in the 450K-550K range forever, and that's where I thought the market was.

And I would drive it.

NCtim
NCtim New Reader
2/28/11 8:08 p.m.

I'm not really a concours-kind-of-guy. I enjoy the beauty and presentation of the craftsmanship and design of teens-sixties autos that concours offers the public. Most of us would never see cars like these if there weren't concours events.

I'm not really an auction kind of guy, either. I can watch it on tv and have a great armchair commentary going with my wife, but we both know the real deal is confusing. We've been to auctions in the USA and the (as we say it) schpeeel, is so fast paced and unintelligible that only the "clued-in" can decipher what's going on, let alone bid on a car.

After the cars left the paddock we still didn't know what the winning bid was. I like the European auction style much better. We're classified perusers now and we chalk the registration fees up to cheap education expenses.

But to answer Andy's question: I think the money for the M-B is appropriate. It's rare, original, and runs. Period. As Little Wayne says, "It's only original once!"

racerdave600
racerdave600 HalfDork
3/1/11 8:43 a.m.

I like the european style auctions better too. I used to watch BJ a lot, but not so much lately. i mean, how long can you watch Camaros without getting bored.

The few auctions I've been to actually had reasonably priced cars. I would hazard to guess that many actually lost money compared to what they had in them, so there were many "bargains." But none had cars like the 300SL.

If I had the money, I wouldn't mind paying the price for a good, known quanity. And if you wanted to go to PB and other big events, you need the right car. If that was your goal, it seems like a good deal. And a car's true worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

Dave
Dave New Reader
3/2/11 10:49 a.m.

Nice to see originality valued but that price does seem to be the usual BJ crazy.

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