With almost 50 cars, Bonhams inaugural Mercedes-Benz sale achieved almost €12 million (£9.4 million) to rapturous applause
A 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500 K special roadster featuring unique period coachwork, sold at €3.1 million (£2.5 million), with proceeds to benefit Cancer and Alzheimer's charities
A further sale highlight, the 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet A realised €2.2 million (£1.7 million)
Spanning a century: a 1901 Benz Ideal 7hp Twin Cylinder "Contra-Motor" Vis-à-vis sold at over four-times its estimate for €471,500 (£374,541)
The ex-Mika Hakkinen, 2005 AMG-Mercedes C-Class DTM Touring Car, set a new benchmark at €460,000
With almost 50 cars consigned from clients around the world, and models of the marque spanning over 100 years, the Bonhams Mercedes-Benz sale was a resounding success - with an incredible €11,855,925 (£9,417,870) total.
Malcolm Barber, Bonhams Co-Chairman and auctioneer on the day, said: "Today's sale demonstrated the fantastic diversity and engineering excellence available from the Mercedes-Benz classic motor car range. We're delighted to have placed a marker in the history books, as the first ever auction to be held in the new Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart, and Bonhams' largest Mercedes-Benz sale ever - achieving almost €12 million for some very happy bidders."
A highlight of the sale due to its charitable proceeds, the final hammer of the 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500 K special roadster was met with applause throughout the room, selling at €3.1 million (£2.5 million). A unique variation of Mercedes-Benz top of the line 1930s luxury sports car, it was generously donated to benefit the causes of both the Swedish Cancer Society and The Swedish Alzheimer's Foundation charities.
A further sale highlight and the earliest model in the Stuttgart sale, a 1901 Benz Ideal 7hp Twin Cylinder "Contra-Motor" Vis-à-vis. It was designed by German engineer and Mercedes-Benz founding father, Carl Benz. In today's historic Mercedes-Benz museum sale, a bidding battle played out to take home this piece of iconic automotive history – hammer falling at €471,500 (£374,541), some four-times higher than its pre-auction estimate.
Elsewhere in the sale, the 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet A realised €2.2 million (£1.7 million) to a telephone bidder; at almost double its estimate a 1976 Unimog 406 Doppelkabine 4x4 Utility sold for €82,800 (£65,700); and a 600 Pullman, once owned by the Chinese Government and used by General Chen Li, a military leader during the Chinese Communist Revolution and a close associate of Chairman Mao Zedong, sold to a telephone bid for €172,500 (£137,254).
James Knight, Bonhams Global Head of Motoring, said: "We conceived this auction with our friends and partners at Mercedes-Benz, and I'm thrilled with the result. Michael Bock, head of Mercedes-Benz Classic and Managing Director of the Mercedes-Benz Museum, along with his team were the perfect hosts. Finally, we were delighted that the push-through of cars which allowed clients to view the classics on offer throughout the sale created such a visual spectacle for all to enjoy."
Michael Bock, head of Mercedes-Benz Classic and Customer Centre, said, "We were delighted to welcome Bonhams to our home here at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. The auction was a great success and attracted a lot of exposure for the Mercedes-Benz brand. We are working with Bonhams to ensure even greater quality can be offered in the future. This partnership can definitely grow."
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