1927 Mercedes-Benz 630 Model K Short-Chassis Convertible  Chassis no. 32019 Engine no. 60434

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Lot 643
1927 Mercedes-Benz 630 Model K Short-Chassis Convertible
Chassis no. 32019 Engine no. 60434

US$ 450,000 - 550,000
£ 360,000 - 440,000
1927 Mercedes-Benz 630 Model K Short-Chassis Convertible
Coachwork by Thomas Harrington Ltd.

Chassis no. 32019
Engine no. 60434
During the summer of 1926, the two oldest and most prominent German automakers merged. The joining together of Daimler, maker of Mercedes cars, and direct competitor Benz would result in some of the world’s greatest automobiles. Mercedes-Benz cars were immediately embraced by a clientele including many of the world's most affluent and best-known individuals. Early owners included Crown Prince Frederick, King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud and the American singer Al Jolson.

The new firm’s emblem, an encircled three-pointed star, soon appeared atop the radiator of a new flagship chassis, the Mercedes-Benz Type 630—later called, “The Stradivarius of the road.” A derivative of a Mercedes design by Ferdinand Porsche, the 630 was powered by a supercharged 6.3 liter, overhead-camshaft, six-cylinder engine. The exhaust was routed through massive triple pipes, exiting through the right-side bonnet panel. A special shortened version, the 630–Model K (Kurz—Short) followed in 1927, with a wheelbase of 3400mm, compared to 3750mm for the standard 630.

The Model K was the direct predecessor of the legendary Mercedes-Benz “S” series sports-racing cars, the first of which appeared later in 1927—a year that saw Mercedes-Benz cars already victorious in more than 100 races.

In Mercedes engineering parlance, the Type 630 was known as the 24/100/140—24 referring to the engine’s displacement-based taxable horsepower, 100 being the brake horsepower generated during normal operation and 140 being the rating with supercharger engaged. The big engine was equipped with a dual ignition system and drove through a 4-speed manual gearbox. (Among 1927 American cars, only the Model X Duesenberg could match even the 630’s normal-operation horsepower rating.)

Factory records show that the Model K short-chassis number 32019, equipped with Type 630 engine number 60434, was consigned to British Mercedes-Benz, Ltd. on April 13, 1927. As was customary, the chassis was supplied complete with full running gear, including wire wheels, dual spare tires, fenders, headlamps and bonnet with exposed exhaust system. A well-regarded coachbuilder, Thomas Harrington Ltd., was commissioned to craft a four-seater drophead body, of the fabric-covered lightweight type just then in vogue on European sports-type cars.

The identity of the 630–Model K’s original owner is lost, but the car is believed to have later been held by several prominent UK collectors. Eventually it was exported to Thailand, where it was reportedly confiscated by Customs and held in storage for a lengthy period. Sometime in the late 1980s, a prominent Thai family learned of the vintage tourer’s existence and, through government connections, was able to acquire it. The car would remain in their collection for nearly two decades.

The vendor only recently imported the 630 Model K into the U.S. from Thailand. Upon arrival, the car was taken to the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center, where it received full service, a safety check and road test. The vendor states that, “... 32019 is [now] fit for road use, but will need further road miles and sorting prior to embarking on a long drive.”

The car has been refinished and its interior newly trimmed, as the more than 80-year-old original materials used for these purposes had deteriorated. The vendor notes that, in addition to its authenticated matching numbers powertrain, the rare Mercedes-Benz is remarkably complete throughout, down to original bits commonly lost on vehicles of such age. “The car shows a nice patina and exudes an overall honesty and correctness that is a result of years of careful storage,” the vendor states.

Certainly no more than a handful of 630–Model K kurz chassis were constructed, and 32019 is known to be the sole example bodied by Harrington’s. With its all-weather coachwork unobtrusively complementing the muscular chassis, this 630–K fully evidences that purposeful aura that marks all high performance Mercedes-Benz automobiles. Here is a superlative and important vintage machine that will be a joy to own—and a star on any show field.

The 630 Model K is offered with a California title.
1927 Mercedes-Benz 630 Model K Short-Chassis Convertible  Chassis no. 32019 Engine no. 60434
1927 Mercedes-Benz 630 Model K Short-Chassis Convertible  Chassis no. 32019 Engine no. 60434
1927 Mercedes-Benz 630 Model K Short-Chassis Convertible  Chassis no. 32019 Engine no. 60434
1927 Mercedes-Benz 630 Model K Short-Chassis Convertible  Chassis no. 32019 Engine no. 60434
1927 Mercedes-Benz 630 Model K Short-Chassis Convertible  Chassis no. 32019 Engine no. 60434
1927 Mercedes-Benz 630 Model K Short-Chassis Convertible  Chassis no. 32019 Engine no. 60434
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