ONE of the oldest Mercedes-Benz cars in the world, a 1905 Simplex 28/32 HPs Phaeton, is to be auctioned by Coys at their True Greats sale on December 3.
It is one of the oldest surviving examples of the marque in the world that is still complete and roadworthy, and was for many years in the famous Mercedes-Benz collection of Arturo Keller in Napa, California.
Chris Routledge, managing partner of Coys, said: “It is amazing to have a car that is nearly 110 years old that is so big, magnificent and powerful. It has the most imposing presence and is such an important piece of early motoring history.
“Many cars of this period were glorified motorised tricycles, but this represents the ultimate in Edwardian super-technology. It is fascinating to have one of the oldest surviving Mercedes in the world.”
Also going under the hammer is a 1951 Cooper 500 MK V once owned by Ken Wharton, who was the only driver to have won four successive British Hill Climb Championship titles in 1951, 1952, 1953 and 1954.
The car has its original aluminium panels, seat, fuel tanks, steering wheel, period chronometric tachometer and even the diamond pattern Dunlop R1 racing tyres are supplied, all showing a wonderful patina. The period correct ‘garden gate’ Norton competition gearbox and JAP engine have reputedly had little use since an extensive rebuild.
Supplied with the car are several parts as well as a comprehensive history file containing RAC Competition Log book, VSCC Eligibility document, 2001 Goodwood scrutineer pass, various photographs, magazine articles and correspondence. This Cooper 500 MK V is estimated at £35,000 to £50,000.
Chris Routledge said: “The car truly is in wonderful original condition, which is very rarely seen nowadays. It boasts a fantastic period competition history at the hands of one of Britain’s best post war drivers and is eligible for a whole host of historic events including the Goodwood Revival.”
The sale will also feature the 71st Jaguar E-Type to roll off the production line in 1961, estimated at £90,000 to £110,000; a 1929 Bentley Supercharged 4½-litre estimated at £580,000 to £700,000; and the only Victor High Wheel Electric Runabout ever built, estimated at £38,000 to £55,000.
Coys’ True Greats auction will be held at the Royal Horticultural Society, Lindley Hall, Vincent Square, Westminster, London, SW1P 2PE on Tuesday December 3 at 1pm.