HomeThe MarketMercedes bring top sales at both Bonhams auctions

Mercedes bring top sales at both Bonhams auctions


The 'Stirling Moss' edition 2009 Mercedes SLR McLaren | Bonhams photos
The ‘Stirling Moss’ edition 2009 Mercedes SLR McLaren | Bonhams photos

Bonhams did its annual back-to-back auctions in different European countries last weekend with its sale at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Germany on Saturday and at the Goodwood Members’ Meeting at the British racing circuit on Sunday.

“Popularity continues for rare and desirable collectors’ motor cars,” James Knight, Bonhams International Group Motoring director, said in a news release.

“We witnessed demand for the more formal coach-built motor cars of the 1920s, with the rare 1928 Mercedes-Benz Model K 6,240cc Supercharged Torpedo Transformable, featuring superb Saoutchik transformable coachwork, selling for €758,403 in Stuttgart, and the ex-Lord Mountbatten 1924 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Cabriolet selling for £264,700 at Goodwood. Sporting cars of the 1920s/30s are also still very much in demand, such as the 1929 Bentley 4½-Litre Tourer achieving £320,700.”

The high sale of the weekend was the $2.59 million paid in Germany for a 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren “Stirling Moss.” Only 75 of the specially built vehicles were produced. The cars were designed as a modern interpretation of the 1955 SLR coupe driven by Moss and carried modern Formula 1-based technologies.

F1 technology for the public roadways
F1 technology for the public roadways

The highest price paid in England was $1.2 million for a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “gullwing” coupe.

Celebrity cars sold included a 1924 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost formerly owned by Lord Mountbatten, a 1973 Mercedes-Benz 350 SL convertible formerly owned by Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, and a 1951 Cadillac 75 limousine formerly in service to Eva “Evita” Duarte de Peron of Argentina.

But perhaps most amazing to American observers was the $391,588 paid in England for the rights to one of Scotland’s earliest vehicle registration numbers (license plate), “S5.” The buyer gets the rights to use what is believed to be the fifth-oldest license plate issued by the Edinburgh Borough Council in 1903, and believed to have been used on a Rolls-Royce, a series of Porsche 911s, and most recently on an Audi A6 station wagon.

Top 10 sales, Bonhams Mercedes-Benz Museum auction, 2016

  1. 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren ‘Stirling Moss,’ $2,594,170
  2. 1926 Mercedes-Benz 24/100/140 PSModel K La Baule Transformable, $982,813
  3. 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SC cabriolet, $894,988
  4. Mercedes-Benz 300 D ‘Adenauer’ cabriolet, $259,416
  5. 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL roadster, $166,026
  6. 1990 Mercedes-Benz E190 2.5-16 Evolution 2 sports sedan, $162,135
  7. 1952 Mercedes-Benz 220 cabriolet A, $133,599
  8. 1953 Mercedes-Benz 220 cabriolet A, $116,737
  9. 1958 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL roadster, $116,737
  10. 1960 Mercedes-Benz 220 SE ‘pontoon’ cabriolet, $116,737

(Prices include buyer’s premium.)

Lord Mountbatten's Silver Ghost
Lord Mountbatten’s Silver Ghost

Top 10 sales, Bonhams Goodwood Members’ Meeting auction, 2016

  1. 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘gullwing’ coupe, $1,219,096
  2. 1929 Bentley 4 1/2-liter Tourer, $464,604
  3. Scottish vehicle registration No. S5, $391,588
  4. 1924 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost cabriolet, $383,475
  5. 2005 Ford GT coupe, $326,686
  6. 1929 Bentley 6 1/2-liter Speed Six tourer project, $297,479
  7. 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series coupe, $294,234
  8. 1958 Austin-Healey 100/6 rally car, $229,332
  9. 1987 Ford RS200 coupe, $213,106
  10. 1933 Talbot AV105 Alpine Speed model, $204,993

(Prices include buyer’s premium.)


Bonhams has its Monaco sale May 13, its auction at the Aston Martin works May 21 and will be in the U.S. for a sale June 5 in conjunction with the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance in Connecticut.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. Did anyone else notice the resemblance of this car’s features to that of the Saturn Sky which is no longer produced. I just bought a 2008 Sky and from the rear there is a strong resemblance and I even noticed the interior door handles seem similar. I am of course speaking of the Mercedes that sold for 2.9 million.

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