300SL Gullwing tops 'ultimate' Mercedes collection at $1.1m

A 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing has led bids on the first day of RM Auctions' London sale, which runs September 8-9.

Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing auction
The sale was perfectly timed, with the market for Mercedes on a high

The car was one of a collection of 74 Mercedes models to cross the block, and was previously owned by noted US collector and 300SL owner Don Ricardo. It sold for £739,000 ($1.1m), comfortably within the £700,000-900,000 estimate.

Commenting on the collection, RM Auctions' managing director Max Girardo, said: "A single-owner collection of 74 cars is rare enough at auction, but this ultimate collection of Mercedes-Benz automobiles contains some beautiful examples of very important cars alongside some wonderful cars which are desirable, interesting, and rare in equal measure."

The sale came at an opportune time, with the Mercedes market particularly buoyant following the record sale of Juan Fangio's 1954 W196 Grand Prix car, which has attracted greater attention to the marque.

"There's less hype in the market for Mercedes than Ferrari," said Dietrich Hatlapa, founder and managing director of Historic Auction Group International (HAGI), to Bloomberg News.

"It's also less volatile. The company produced more cars and there's greater model diversity. The quality of the build is high and they're more robust."

HAGI's price index of the Mercedes classic car market is up by 23.7% since the start of the year.

RM Auctions' London sale concludes today (September 9), with lots including another stunning collection - The Laidlaw Competition Car Collection - and a James Bond submarine car. Check back with Paul Fraser Collectibles to see the results.

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