At its inaugural Mercedes-Benz Sale on 12th July at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, Bonhams is to offer almost 50 prized motor cars, dating back over a century.
The Bonhams sale will create history as the only auction house to have held a sale in the new Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart, opened in May 2006. Several Bonhams auctions were held in the previous Mercedes-Benz Museum in the 1990s.
Philip Kantor, Head of European Motoring, said: "With almost 50 motor cars, and a history spanning more than one hundred years, this is an exciting sale for Bonhams and our biggest Mercedes-Benz auction yet. With a huge variety on offer, there's something for all admirers of the marque, from pre-war touring, to post war sports cars.
"The classic car market continues to grow, with Bonhams providing a wealth of interesting cars to its clients and last year breaking world records with the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R Formula 1 racing car selling at €22,701,864 (£19.6 million) - further cementing our relationship with the brand.
"It was Benz engineering that built the world's first car, and we're delighted to bring these fantastic cars back to their home country where excellence and ingenuity in motoring first began."
Bonhams Mercedes-Benz sale - What you need to know:
1. With the 2013 sale of a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R Formula 1 racing car, Bonhams dominates the world records for the marque sold at auction with the following accolades: the most valuable motor car ever sold at auction; the most valuable Formula 1 racing car ever sold; the most valuable Mercedes-Benz ever sold.
2. Two people in the Bonhams team pioneered the single-marque auctions that we see today.
Back in 1985 - to celebrate the centenary of the motor car invented by Benz and Daimler - Robert Brooks, Bonhams Co-Chairman, and James Knight, Bonhams Global Head of Motoring, created such an auction, the first of its type ever seen.
Since then, the Bonhams team has pioneered other such single-marque auctions such as Ferrari in Gstaad, Switzerland, the BMW sale in Munich, Germany, and the present UK Aston Martin sale that is now in its 15th year.
3. A century of success: The earliest model available at the Stuttgart sale is a 1901 Benz Ideal 7hp Twin Cylinder "Contra-Motor" Vis-à-vis, estimated at €110,000 - 150,000 (£87,300 - £119,100). As the first internal combustion-engined car, it was designed by German engineer and Mercedes-Benz founding father, Carl Benz.
4. Going, going, gone – from all around the world: The marque's classics come with an international flair, with cars from the United States, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Sweden, the Netherlands - and of course Germany.
5. The sale of the Mercedes-Benz 500 K special roadster will see sale proceeds going to Swedish Cancer and Alzheimer's charities. The largest charitable consignment at a Bonhams sale, the 500K is entered at no reserve, with an estimate of €3.6 – €5.8 million (£2.9 - £4.6 million).
The Mercedes-Benz Museum maps the entire history of the world's oldest car manufacturer with a unique variety of exhibits. A total of 1500 exhibits, including 160 vehicles, can be seen on an area of 16,500 square metres.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com