Our Top Five... Classic Mercedes-Benz cars sold at auction

It was this week in history (today in history, May 11) back in 1924 that Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz merged their companies into Mercedes-Benz and one of the car industry's finest-ever manufacturers was born. 

As you are no doubt aware, Mercedes-Benz - often called the called the 'engineer's car company'- has some bona-fide classics to its name. These regularly turn the heads of enthusiasts and investors at the world's top classic car sales.

So, to mark Mercedes-Benz's 87th birthday, here are some of the finest Merc's ever to have rolled onto the auction block, as chosen by Paul Fraser Collectibles... 

5. 1989 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL

It isn't only high-end buyers who can enjoy the luxurious experience of Mercedes-Benz, there are plenty of cars available to entry-level buyers too. Like a 1989 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL which sold at H&H in the UK.

Billed as the "ultimate six-cylinder derivative of Mercedes-Benz's renowned R107-series," by H&H, the 300SL was introduced at the September 1985 Frankfurt Motor Show. It still manages to turn heads decades later and sold in Warrington, Cheshire, for £20,900 in 2010.

4. Silver Mercedes-Benz 190SL 

The 190SL was introduced in 1955, the same year of Mercedes' dominance at the Mille Miglia with the 300SLR. The graceful, two-door, convertible grand tourer was a smaller sibling to the 300SL, with a shortened version of the 'Ponton' saloon (W121) platform of monocoque construction.

The 190SL also boasted an all-new engine: an over-square SOHC straight-four unit of 1897cc which produced around 120bhp.

Collectors had a rare chance to own a 1961 right-hand-drive version of the 190SL at H&H's Buxton, Derbyshire, auction on October 1. In Silver with a blue leather interior, it brought £40,150.

3. Elvis's powder blue Mercedes-Benz Limousine

A Mercedes-Benz once owned by "the King of Rock and Roll" Elvis Presley was sold by Bonhams in a UK auction on December 2010 for £80,700.

Restored to a very high standard, the rare piece of Elvis's history attracted a great deal of interest and in the end went to a German buyer. It was one of two 600 Mercedes owned by the King.

Presley owned the car for two years before he gave it to one of his friends, James Leroy Robertson. Presley's fan club later attempted to get the car quarantined as they considered it a national treasure that should not leave the USA.

2. 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Alloy Gullwing 

One of just 29 examples of its kind built, this Mercedes-Benz Gullwing also bears the distinction of being one of the most coveted and iconic cars ever produced. 

Boasting a 215hp 2996cc overhead cam inline six-cylinder engine with four-speed transmission, four-wheel independent suspension and four-wheel drum brakes, the legendary 300SL was conceived as a high performance street machine back when Mercedes-Benz was involved in motor sports for the technological benefits.

The Gullwing was fast, solid, and handled well, and it quickly developed an enviable reputation both on the track and in the streets. This continues today, evident in its perennial appeal among collectors and a $770,000 sales result at RM's Monterey sale in 2004. 

1. 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster

Built in an area when Mercedes-Benz commanded a place as the premier supplier of fine motor cars to the political, artistic, and commercial aristocracy, this Roadster brought a distance air of majesty to RM Auction's London auction of October 31, 2007.

One of the most striking variations on the Special Roadster theme, this high-door, long-tail version with exposed spare wheels and tyres built into the rear deck was fortunately safely stored away for the entirety of World War II, and survived to sell for an incredible £3,905,000.


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