<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 26
1929 Mercedes-Benz MODEL 630 K TOWN CAR
Coachwork by Castagna

US$ 1,000,000 - 1,400,000
£ 760,000 - 1,100,000

Quail Motorcar Auction

14 Aug 2020, 11:00 PDT

Los Angeles

1929 Mercedes-Benz MODEL 630 K TOWN CAR
Coachwork by Castagna

Chassis no. 36278
Engine no. 78662

6,240cc SOHC Supercharged Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
100bhp at 3,100rpm - 140bhp with Compressor Engaged
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Leaf Spring Suspension
4-Wheel Mechanical Drum Brakes

* Originally delivered new to America
* Exquisite formal Castagna design
* In the present ownership since 2009
* Former 'The Star' Cover Car


Previewing at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California by appointment. Please contact [email protected] for scheduling.


The Mercedes-Benz 'K'

At the end of The Great War, both Daimler and Benz went back to producing cars. Trading conditions in the early 1920s though, were extremely difficult: the War had left Germany's economy in ruins and there was rampant inflation. Of the 86 German car factories operating in 1924, only 19 were in existence three years later. If the two great rivals were to survive, it would have to be in partnership. On 1st July 1926, Daimler and Benz completed their merger, the two companies having paved the way with a technical co-operation agreement in 1924. By this time, Paul Daimler, founder Gottlieb's son and the company's Chief Engineer, had moved to Horch, his place being taken by Professor Ferdinand Porsche. Like his predecessor, Porsche was an advocate of forced induction and although he would leave Daimler-Benz in 1928, his legacy was a range of supercharged Mercedes cars that are the stuff of legend.
Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft had introduced the world's first supercharged production cars, the 6/25/40hp and 10/40/65hp four-cylinder models, at the 1921 Berlin Automobile Show. (The three figures refer to nominal rated horsepower, horsepower un-blown and horsepower with blower engaged respectively). On his arrival early in 1923, Porsche busied himself further developing the blown four and eight-cylinder racers designed by Paul Daimler, and the 15/70/100hp and 24/100/140hp supercharged, six-cylinder production models that would debut at the Berlin Automobile Show in 1924. After the 1926 merger these were reclassified as types 400 and 630. That same year a 'K' (Kurz = Short) version became available for the first time, on a wheelbase reduced from 12' 4" to 11' 2" (3,750 to 3,400mm). Displacing 6.3 litres, the 630 K's single-overhead-camshaft six-cylinder engine produced a mighty 160bhp with the Roots supercharger engaged (by pressing the throttle pedal to the floor) and in this specification the 630 K could justifiably claim to be the world's fastest production touring car, with a top speed of over 90mph (145km/h).

Affordable by only the wealthiest of connoisseurs, the Model K was produced in strictly limited numbers, only 267 of all types being completed between 1926 and 1932. In Germany these would have been bodied by the likes of Erdmann & Rossi, Reuter, Papler, Zschau and Balzer while others were fitted with 'factory' coachwork by Sindelfingen. Some chassis found owners in the USA and were bodied there, but the rarest Model Ks are those few completed in Italy with coachwork by Stabilimenti Farina or Castagna. Only a relative handful of Model Ks was bodied by Carrozzeria Castagna, including the beautiful Town Car offered here, chassis number '36278'.

Milan-based Carrozzeria Castagna had been founded in the mid-19th Century when Carlo Castagna took over the carriage-making business of his erstwhile employer, a Mr Ferrari. With the coming of motorised transport, Castagna turned to making motor bodies, specialising in the chassis of prestigious makes including Isotta Fraschini, Mercedes-Benz, Hispano Suiza, Daimler, Lancia, Duesenberg and Alfa Romeo. By 1920 Castagna was Italy's biggest coachbuilder, with approximately 400 employees. However, the collapse of the American economy in the early 1930s and resulting closure of Isotta Fraschini was a serious blow to Castagna, which lost its biggest market and best customer at the same time. The firm went into decline, bodying its last cars in the early 1950s, but was revived in the mid-1990s and continues today.

On file are copies of the original factory build information for this car, which confirms that Mercedes K with Kommission Number 47578, equated to car number 36278, with engine number 78662. This car was sold on November 5, 1929 and destined for the Mercedes-Benz Company of New York, for their client, Mr. Robert Crawford of 745 7th Avenue, New York City. Its coachwork had spent the summer being built in Italy at Castagna, in the form that it remains to this day, with the final order being satisfied on January 7th, 1930. It is possible that Crawford was inspired by 'Roxy' Rothafel, of the Roxy Theater, who also had his 'SS' Mercedes penned by Castagna.
For many years, it was understood that this car's original owner was Charles Murray of Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, a wealthy oil man and land developer, but this contradicts the factory records, and so unless Mr. Crawford ordered on behalf of Murray, it is likely that he was the next owner in this car's journal. During the late 1920s/early 1930s, Charles Murray and his wife, Marion lived at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, occupying a penthouse suite with their daughter. They employed a German chauffeur to drive the Model K, which no doubt caused quite a stir whenever it ventured downtown. When the Murrays moved back to Tulsa the Mercedes went with them, remaining in the family's possession until their daughter Marion's death in 1964. The following year the Model K was sold to Dr Charles Eads of Tulsa, who together with his mechanic spent the greater part of a year restoring it, a process that included repainting the body in its original livery of dark brown with olive green wings and re-trimming the interior in less flamboyant style. Dr Eads owned the Model K for the next three years, during which period it was a regular concours winner.

In 1969, '36278' was purchased by Harry Rinker of Newport Beach, California, the car's departure from Tulsa after more than 40 years prompting a farewell reception that was reported in the local newspaper. While in Mr Rinker's ownership, the Model K Town Car won countless awards at Southern California and M-BCA events. In 1989, the Castagna was featured in The Star, the Mercedes-Benz Club of America's house magazine, with an extensive article written by renowned automotive historian Dennis Adler, its contributing editor. It was acquired by the immediate preceding owners 'The Marbella Collection' in approximately 2000.

In 2009 Bonhams offered this magnificent Mercedes at our Paris Retromobile Auction from that longer-term Spanish ownership. It was acquired then by the current owner, who has maintained the car alongside others of its brethren to his exacting standards.

Footnotes

  • Special formalities are required to bid on this lot. Contact Client Services at +1 (212) 644 9001 or [email protected] at least 48 hours in advance of the auction. Please also note Online Bidding is not available for this lot.
Contacts
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
<b>1929 Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 36278 <br />Engine no. 78662
Auction information

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

Please Note the Buyer's Premium for this auction is as follows:

The final bid (hammer) price of each lot will be subject to a buyer's premium. For MOTOR VEHICLE property the premium is 12% on the first $250,000 of the bid price and 10% on any amount of the bid price exceeding $250,000.

CHARITY LOTS 1 through 7 will not be subject to a buyer's premium.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international transport as well as export licenses please contact the Motorcar Department at [email protected]

Lot symbols
Uplift and storage charges

£25 + VAT uplift and storage at £5 + VAT per lot per day