A DECADE OF STYLE: MAGNIFICENT PRE-WAR
MERCEDES OF THE 1930S LEADS BONHAMS SALE
Bonhams Mercedes-Benz sale is led by fashionable automobiles of the sensational 1930s, headed by a rare 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500 K Cabriolet, estimated at €6,000,000-7,000,000.
The 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500 K Cabriolet was displayed at the 1935 Paris Auto Show as a mere chassis, and despite its stripped down state, was purchased straight off the stand. This swift acquisition was down to some good-natured rivalry between friends, Dr. Charles Crocker, and Lawrence Copley Thaw, which resulted in Thaw purchasing a Rolls-Royce chassis, and Crocker the 500 K chassis.
It was an exclusive and powerful chassis aimed at an equally exclusive and powerful clientele. With this in mind, and in a bid to outdo his friend, Crocker took the bare 500 K chassis to have a hand-crafted body built by one of the greatest and most fashionable coachbuilders of the time, Jacques Saoutchik, who was based in Paris.
Saoutchik was a carpenter by trade, so the coachwork he created was noted for the superior quality of workmanship, and beauty of the interior marquetry. His customers were everything from glittering socialites, artists, and couturiers, to royalty and heads of state. The owner of a chassis equipped with a Saoutchik body signaled good taste and great wealth.
Philip Kantor, Bonhams European Head of Motoring, said: “It is reported that on taking delivery of the chassis, Saoutchik declared that he would build a body for the Mercedes that would be, ‘As handsomely received half a century from now as it will today.’ And he fulfilled his promise: what remains today is magnificent."
Referred to by its original owner as ‘the magnificent vehicle’, the 500 K is estimated at €6,000,000-7,000,000.
The roaring motoring machines of the 1930s were grand, exquisitely designed and well engineered. The Art Deco movement was still in full swing, an influence that can be seen on some of the highlights offered at Bonhams Mercedes-Benz Sale.
A vision of red: Lot 132, the 1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sports Roadster,
Highlights from the 1930s include:
A 1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sports Roadster, with rare coachwork by Sindelfingen, estimated at €3,500,000-4,500,500, and a 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Roadster, with coachwork by Lancefield, estimated at €2,700,000-3,500,000.
Lot 130, the 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Roadster
A 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A, with rare coachwork by Sindelfingen, offered at an estimate of €2,000,000-2,600,000, and the 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet C, with rare coachwork by Sindelfingen, estimated at €800,000-1,200,000.
Lot 121, the 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet C, and lot 141, the 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A
Bonhams Mercedes-Benz Sale will take place on Saturday 19 March in the Mercedes-Benz Museum, Stuttgart, Germany. The Mercedes-Benz Museum charts the entire history of the world’s oldest car manufacturer, with a total of 1,500 exhibits featured in the museum.
For further information visit: https://www.bonhams.com/departments/MOT-CAR/