A rare and special ‘barnfind’ Mercedes-Benz – surely one of the last unrestored 300S Roadsters – will line up with a parade of concours-standard restorations at The Scottsdale Auction, Bonhams motor cars’ season-opener staged at the Westin Kierland Resort, on January 27 at 10am MST.
The sleeping beauty, a 1953 Mercedes Benz 300S, is one of only 141 roadster variants of the post-war flagship model produced. This coveted motorcar has spent many decades of its later life off the road and is offered as an exciting restoration project with an estimate of $375,000 – 475,000.
Testament to the quality of its hand-built production, this motorcar is largely original, from its engine to its coachwork and even retains its original burr walnut trim and factory-fitted Becker Nürburg radio.This 300S presents a rare opportunity to restore one of the finest post-war high performance luxury automobiles to its former glory.
If the 300S represents the ‘before’ subject of an automotive ‘makeover’, a bevy of beauties concours-standard restorations is led by a 1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 ‘Outside Bonnet Latch’ Roadster, estimate $380,000 – 480,000.
Described by Enzo Ferrari no less as the ‘most beautiful car’, the Jaguar XKE (E-Type) caused a storm at its launch in 1961, with its elegant, elongated lines and 150mph top speed – stunning performance for the era. This early example is one of the most coveted – and rarely available – ‘flat floor’ Series 1 with distinctive external bonnet latches.
In 2007, the car underwent a full bare-metal restoration, from headlights to tailpipes, by marque experts, during which a new tan leather interior was fitted, and the colour changed from cream to classic British Racing Green. Retaining its original, matching numbers 3.8-liter, triple-carbureted, ‘S’ engine, this left-hand drive, US-delivered example is a must have for any serious collector.
Joining the E-Type is another Brit restored to Concours standard, a 1958 AC Ace Roadster,estimate $325,000 – 375,000, offered from a prominent US-based collection of show winners. The Ace has itself won many trophies at major Concours since its debut at various Concours d’Elegance events.
This left-hand drive example was finished with special-order metallic bodywork over dark blue leather trim. It was delivered through AC’s French distributor, Chardonnet, for its first owner, a USAF pilot, Captain Glickstein, who later brought the car back to the US. The Ace retains its original aluminum bodywork and matching numbers engine, both recently and impeccably restored by noted AC marque expert Kevin Kay Restorations (KKR) of Redding, California, to the tune of $400,000.
Jakob Greisen, Bonhams Vice President – Head of US Motoring, said: “This is a very special gathering of the most beautifully-presented collectors’ cars. It’s always satisfying to see rare and desirable collectors’ cars being brought back to life and these cars truly represent the best of the best. We are also excited to present the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ 300S Roadster, which is offered to the open market for the first time ever and presents a once in a lifetime project.”
The eleventh edition of the Bonhams auction will present 90 collectors’ automobiles, spanning all eras, from a 1902 Darracq Single-cylinder Tonneau once part of the famed Harrah Collection to a 2012 McLaren MP4-12C.
At the later end of the automotive timeline is a trio of modern classic supercars offered from a prominent Reno, Nevada-based collection. An emblem of the 1980s is the 1989 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary, estimate $300,000 – 350,000, considered the most desirable variant of the Bertone-designed model. This well-preserved example, in highly original condition inside and out, has covered fewer than 11,000 kilometers.
Lining up with the Countach is a 1994 VT example of its successor, the Lamborghini Diablo. Penned by the same designer, Marcello Gandini, the later car offered increased power with a 200mph top speed and, with the VT, all-wheel drive. This black-on-black example has covered some 31,000 recorded kilometers and has an estimate of $200,000 – 250,000.
One of its contemporary rivals was the Ferrari 512 TR, which offered improved dynamics over the preceding Testarossa – and a faster top speed of 195mph. This 1992 car is the first of two pre-production US market Prototypes. Highly original and well-preserved, the TR has covered fewer than 20,700 miles from new and benefits from a recent major service by a Ferrari specialist. It is offered with fitted Schedoni leather luggage and has an estimate of $275,000 – 325,000.
Other highlights at Bonhams Scottsdale Auction include:
1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon, Coachwork by Touring, estimate $300,000 – 350,000. Another No Reserve car, this original left-hand drive example was delivered new to California where it remained for more than 40 years. The Series II remains one of the most desirable variants of the DB4, featuring its distinctive ‘cathedral style’ taillights, tall bonnet scoop and original front grill design.
1997 Porsche 911 ‘Type 993’ Turbo S Coupé, estimate $260,000 – 320,000 without reserve. One of the most powerful Porsches, with an output of 424bhp and an example of the desirable final air-cooled 911 variants, this 993 is one of only 183 Turbo S examples produced for the US market. The Porsche has covered just over 14,000 miles since new.
1961 Porsche 356B 1600 Super T5 Cabriolet, estimate $135,000 – 165,000. A highly collectible matching-numbers example of the classic 356 Cabriolet in the desirable Reutter T5 body style. Offered with a copy of the original factory Kardex and Porsche Certificate of Authenticity it has also been the subject of a Concours d’Elegance winning restoration.
The Scottsdale Auction 2022
Bonhams will conduct The Scottsdale Auction on Thursday, January 27 at 10am MST, as a traditional live sale with bids accepted from clients in the saleroom (respecting social distancing and all local COVID-related guidelines) at the Westin Kierland Resort.
The sale will also be available on the Bonhams App, which provides registered bidders the opportunity to bid in real time online via Bonhams.com while watching the auctioneer and images of cars on offer. Absentee and telephone bids are also encouraged.
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