Posts Tagged ‘mercedes’

August 16, 2012 @ 6:03 am
posted by mego

Interested in owning a piece of Mercedes-Benz and European history in car form? This 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster has a plethora of stories to tell, and it’s going up for auction at the annual Gooding & Co. auction at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance car show. It was originally owned by German Baroness Gisela von Krieger.

Von Krieger’s brother Henning originally paid about $7,000 for the Mercedes. This Sunday, it’s likely to fetch at least $10 million and could break the $16.4-million record for any auto sold at auction when it’s put up for bid at the splashy Gooding & Co. auction that follows the Pebble BeachConcours d’Elegancecar show. The vehicle is owned by New Hampshire businessman Lee Herrington, who made his money through catalog sales of preppy clothing, shoes and gadgets.

How it got to the auction is the story of a German aristocrat who defied the Nazis and saved a glossy black Mercedes-Benz two-seater that today is rarer than a Stradivarius violin. Experts have dubbed it the automotive equivalent of a coveted Picasso.

“It is one of those cars that exemplify everything that is desirable about a classic automobile,” said Leslie Kendall, curator of the Petersen Automotive Museum. “It is gorgeous, it is powerful, it is rare and it was expensive.”

Known as the Von Krieger Special Roadster, it was the favorite ride of Baroness Gisela von Krieger, a member of the Prussian nobility. She had a prewar romantic dalliance with a mysterious Jewish Englishman and, when the war started, refused orders from the Third Reich to return home from France.

Instead, Von Krieger and her mother fled to Switzerland. But the prized Mercedes was stuck at the Daimler-Benz plant in Germany where it was undergoing repairs after an accident. The baroness settled the bill and had the automaker ship the car by rail to Switzerland. Los Angeles Times, 15 August 2012. 

Read the full history of the car on the LA Times website. It’s well worth it.


July 5, 2012 @ 8:38 am
posted by mego

Image via Matt Davis for AOL.

Good news for luxury car lovers! Mercedes-Benz is reported to start offering an EV option for their B-class vehicles in 2014. The car will use Tesla Motors created batteries, motor, and other various parts. Mercedes-Benz owns a small percentage of the Silicone Valley based company, as does Toyota.

Information and image via AutoBlog, click here for full article.


November 8, 2011 @ 12:08 pm
posted by mego

Photo via Car and Driver

Into road trips and vintage cars? Up for the excitement and fear of not knowing when a hose will blow or air will give out? Crave the risk of a cross-country road trip in a sketchily repaired car? If so, this article written by Davey Johnson is for you.

“So, it looks like the Lagonda isn’t the newest four-door in my collection anymore.” The message came from Houston oncologist Dr. Sanjay Mehta, a man who owns a McManse almost wholly devoid of furniture. His six-car garage, however, is packed to the rafters with what has to be a million bucks’ worth of high-performance machinery, including a turbocharged Lamborghini Gallardo. He has at least a dozen other cars stashed elsewhere. Three weeks prior, he’d purchased one of the William Towns–designed Aston Martin Lagondas, a car most notable for its extreme folded-paper design language and an ahead-of-its-time digital dash that proved to be as fragile as it was futuristic. I clicked the link Mehta included in his message. A 1977 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 popped up. A brown 450SEL 6.9. It was so physically and metaphorically brown that there is a strong argument to be made for its being the brownest car in history. Mehta had purchased this W116 on eBay for the meager sum of $6006. On a whim. In case there were any doubt, Mehta is single.

The car was in Los Angeles. I was asked to deliver it to Houston. But nobody knew if the car would survive the trip. We had it sent over to the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Irvine, where factory-trained technicians presented Mehta with a $17,000 quote to bring the Benz up to snuff. He politely declined the offer, seeing as how decent 6.9-liter 450SELs usually sell for about $15,000. Instead, the car went to Westwood Mercedes, an independent shop in West L.A. Technicians there got the turn signals working, replaced a gear-stripped flywheel, and generally made sure the car was mechanically sound. A day before I was scheduled to depart, they informed us that they hadn’t really test-driven the car, as it had arrived sans plates. A mad shuffle ensued, and Mehta was able to procure temporary Texas proof of registration and have it overnighted to L.A. Despite six grand in repairs, I was headed off on a 2000-mile journey in a car whose roadworthiness was still in question.

And so begins a four day trip from Los Angeles to Houston. Enjoy reading the saga of four days in a golden brown Mercendes 450.