Mercedes 300SL becomes first classic car auctioned in Hong Kong

A 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster has become the first classic car to auction in Hong Kong.

The stunning-looking hard top auctioned for $1.3m at Artcurial's From Paris to Hong Kong sale on October 5 and 6.

Mercedes Artcurial
The first of many?

The sale is a landmark moment, and is being viewed as a test of the potential of the classic car market in China.

Importing classic cars is prohibitively expensive in China, although government officials are this month discussing the possibility of relaxing the laws.

And while the demand for classics in China is small compared with Britain and the US, Artcurial believes this could change.

"China is set to play an important part in the collectors' car market in the future," Artcurial's managing director, Matthieu Lamoure, told Classic Cars For Sale.

"We don't currently have a large number of Chinese clients due to the prohibitive duties and costs involved, but I am nevertheless convinced that the Chinese taste for modern prestige cars will evolve to embrace the elegance and exclusivity of vintage and collectors' cars."

The experiment was undermined somewhat by the fact the buyer was a European.

The Classic Vehicle Union of China is a strong advocate for a change in the country's policy.

Its executive president, Guian Zong, told Classic Cars For Sale earlier this year that such a move could see prices surge around the world.

"The impact would be huge, because the appetite for classic cars in China is dramatic. There is a huge demand, so allowing cars to be imported would definitely have a global influence on prices," he said.

The Bund Classic, China's leading concours d'elegance, takes place on October 16-18 in Shanghai.

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