An unrestored 1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Coupe and two 300 SLs – a Gullwing and Roadster – were announced for the RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2020 sale during Scottsdale week.
RM Sotheby’s announced a trio of iconic classic Mercedes Benz models for the Arizona classic car auction during Scottsdale Week 2020. An unrestored 1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Coupe emerged from private garage where it was in storage for 50 years (Est. $1,000,000 – $1,500,000). This large prewar coupe with unique bodywork is joined by two 1950s classics: a restored 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing (Est. $1,150,000 – $1,300,000) and a highly original 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (Est. $950,000 – $1,150,000). The relatively low estimates reflect how the market has weakened and fell out of love with garage finds that are expensive to restore.
RM Sotheby’s Arizona Sale 2020
RM Sotheby’s Arizona classic car auction: 16 & 17 January 2020 at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix during the Scottsdale collector car auction series in Arizona, USA.
In 2020, RM Sotheby’s earned $30.4 million at Arizona with a 90% sell-through rate. According to Hagerty, the average sale price was down to $238,507.
In 2019, RM Sotheby’s earned $37 million with a sell-through rate of 85% of 154 lots on offer. According to Hagerty, the average sale price was $273,710 per car.
In 2018, RM Sotheby’s grossed $35.8 million by selling 109 cars of 127 offered for a sell-through rate of 86% and an average $328,404 per car. (Hagerty calculations)
In 2017, RM Sotheby’s earned $54 million from 141 cars offered with a sell-through rate of 89%. RM Sotheby’s sold 15 cars for more than a million dollars.
The Arizona / Scottsdale auction record is $9,900,000 paid for a 1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster by Sindelfingen at the RM Sothebys Arizona 2016 sale.
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Coupe
RM Sotheby’s announced a fascinating 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Coupe, chassis no. 154143, (Est. $1,000,000 – $1,500,000), for the Arizona 2020 classic ar auction. This Mercedes Benz has remained in the same family’s care since 1969 and been garaged since loosing Best of Show to a freshly restored John Deere tractor.
This 540 K Coupe was ordered new in 1937 by Brabender GmbH in Duisburg, Germany – a company that still exists today. The 540 K was delivered as a Cabriolet A with the striking coupe roof added in period by coachbuilder Hebmüller. It is believed to be the only such 540 K converted by the German coachbuilder. Evident from a first look at the car, it wears desirable and unique coachwork, with a set-back radiator that adds to its sleek design.
The 540 K remained in Europe for several decades, eventually appearing at auction in Denver in 1969, from which the current owner’s father purchased the Mercedes-Benz and drove it home to Nebraska, where it has remained ever since. The car’s long-term owner enjoyed taking it out for dinner and to the local lake in the summertime over the next few years.
The Mercedes Benz 540 K Coupe last left the garage in the early 1970s to compete in a local car show, where it shockingly lost Best of Show to a freshly restored John Deere tractor. Distraught by the upset, the owner vowed never to show the car again and parked it in his two-car garage for the next forty-some years. With its whereabouts having been largely unknown, the 540 K is now available for the first time since 1969 and is offered in Arizona retaining its original chassis and drivetrain, complete with covered rear spare, and chrome wire wheels.
The car has been recommissioned by RM Auto Restoration and is in running and driving order. One of the most exciting and interesting garage-finds in recent memory, the 540 K is the ideal candidate for a full restoration and modern concours debut.
“It’s always exciting when we can bring a car with such a great story and family ownership fresh to the market,” comments Gord Duff, Global Head of Auctions, RM Sotheby’s. “We’ve had the opportunity to sell several significant examples of the 540 K at auction over the years, including at Arizona, but this car must be the most interesting. The 540 K Coupe is amazing to look at, and the fact that it is a highly significant model that has been hiding in a family garage for the last 50 years makes it that much more intriguing. Given it hasn’t been shown in decades, it presents a vast amount of collector car event opportunities for its new owner.”
Classic 300 SL Mercedes Benz Cars at RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2020
Additional significant Mercedes-Benz icons set for RM Sotheby’s Arizona stage include a pair of 300 SLs:
A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, chassis no. 198.040.5500594, a spectacular example in Silver Grey over deep blue leather, beautifully restored by marque specialists in 2013 and retaining its original matching-numbers engine. The car is equipped with highly desirable Rudge wheels and belly pans, and is offered with both leather and plaid cloth interiors, alongside fitted luggage. The relatively low estimate of $1,150,000 – $1,300,000 reflects the weak state of the market even for cars that don’t need any work done.
A highly original 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, chassis no. 198.042.7500555, offered from just private two owners from new, including an incredible 50 years with the original family. Presented in its gorgeous original Strawberry Red Metallic color over a tan leather interior, the roadster is complete with its original hard top, books, tool kit, jack, and shows just 25,600 original miles. The estimate of $950,000 – $1,150,000 is well below prices paid a couple of years ago for cars needing far more work.
Scottsdale and Arizona Car Auctions 2020
Scottsdale & Arizona Auctions 2020
Many auction houses have sales during the annual Scottsdale week in mid-November, including amongst others:
- Barett-Jackson: 11 – 19 January 2020 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
- Bonhams: 16 January 2020 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
- Gooding & Company: 17 & 18 January 2020 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
- RM Sotheby’s: 16 & 17 January 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona.
- Worldwide Auctioneers: 15 January 2020 at Singh Meadows, Tempe, Arizona.
Scottsdale & Arizona Sales 2020 – Auction Results
- 2020 Gooding Scottsdale Sale (Auction Results)
- 2020 RM Sotheby’s Arizona Sale (Auction Results)
- 2020 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Sale (Charity Lots Auction Results)
- 2020 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Sale (Auction Results Announcement)
Scottsdale & Arizona Sales 2020 – Auction Previews
- 2020 Bonhams Scottsdale Sale (Auction Preview)
- 2020 Gooding Scottsdale Sale (Auction Preview)
- 2020 RM Sotheby’s Arizona Sale (Auction Preview)
Scottsdale & Arizona Press Announcements 2020
- Barrett-Jackson: Charity Lots Results ($7.625 million!)
- Barrett-Jackson: Charity Lots
- Gooding: Ferraris (including F50 and Daytona Spider)
- Gooding: Prewar 1930s Open-Top Classics
- Gooding: Ferrari 500 Superfast & 330 GTS
- Gooding: 1948 Tucker 48
- RM Sotheby’s: Prewar Cadillac V-16s
- RM Sotheby’s: Mercedes Benz 540 K and 300 SLs
- RM Sotheby’s: Top Ferraris, (including 250 GT Cabriolet Series I)
Scottsdale, Arizona, 2019 Auctions Sale Results
- Scottsdale Arizona 2019 Classic Car Sales – Auctions Results Overview
- Bonhams – 2019 Scottsdale Auction Results
- Gooding – 2019 Scottsdale Auction Results
- RM Sotheby’s – 2019 Arizona Auction Results
- Barrett-Jackson – 2019 Scottsdale Auction Results
- Barrett-Jackson – 2019 Scottsdale Auction Charity Lots Results