1930 Mercedes-Benz SS TourerSOLD

RM Auctions - Automobiles of London - October 31, 2007

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Estimate: 700,000£-900,000£
Estimate: €1,017,000 - €1,307,000
Estimate: $1,400,000 - $1,800,000

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of £581.100

Engine No. 68668 (Original Type S)
Commission No. 47157
UK Registration No. GF7429

From the Collection of Mr. Bernie Ecclestone

Specifications:
180-bhp, 6,740cc overhead camshaft six-cylinder engine with alloy block and cylinder head, Roots type supercharger, four-speed gearbox, semi-elliptical springs and beam axle front suspension, semi-elliptical springs and torque tube live axle rear suspension, four-wheel drum brakes with centre lock Rudge wire wheels.
Wheelbase: 134in. (3,400mm).

Cadogan Motors Ltd

Founded by S. R. Moss-Vernon, Cadogan began building elaborate formal bodies on large chassis. Although these paid the bills, it was the company’s sporting coachwork that quickly attracted attention. Their work on Invicta,
Bentley, and OM chassis was light and stylish.

The Ecclestone SS is one of the few Mercedes-Benz commissions executed by the firm, but many consider it to be among their best work. The company mounted exhibitions at Olympia from 1924 through 1927, and it is therefore quite likely that the 1927 exhibition resulted in the commission for the Ecclestone SS.

Provenance

The lovely original tourer offered here began life as a chassis sale, delivered by British Mercedes Ltd of London on 5 July 1929, with engine number 78724 and chassis 36271 on commission number 47157.

Further consigned to Gordon Watney & Co. on 27 February 1930, the chassis was purchased by Gilmour Smith, who commissioned Cadogan Motors Ltd of Fulham, London, to build the lovely sports tourer coachwork the car carries to this day. Smith retained the car, storing it during the war, until 1952, when he sold it to Charles Stitch of New York City.

Stitch sold the car in 1953 to Carter Schaub of Apex, North Carolina, who became the car’s second long-term owner, retaining it for 14 years before selling it to Michigan-based Mercedes-Benz enthusiast and dealer Raymond Jones in 1967.

In 1968 Jones removed the Cadogan coachworks from 36271/78724 and installed it on an original Type ‘SS’ un-numbered chassis with engine number 68668. It should be noted that this is not unusual, as many original chassis frames were not numbered by the factory, although for no apparent reason.

Later that year, Jones sold the Cadogan SS, which remained in largely unrestored condition – and now mounted on an un-numbered original SS chassis and carrying engine number 68668 – to James Hall, a noted collector in Detroit, Michigan. Several other owners followed, all in the US, before the car was shipped to London where it was offered and sold by Coys of Kensington in 1976. Denis Kay of Dalton, England, purchased the ‘SS’ at the Coys auction, passing it on to the highly regarded Hayashi Collection in Japan in November 1977.

Ultimately, in April 1996, Bernie Ecclestone succeeded in purchasing three important Mercedes-Benz automobiles from the Hayashi Collection – the Cadogan Sports Tourer, the SSK, and an SSKL.

Condition

The paintwork is an older refinish in the proper Mercedes-Benz white, and shows signs of age but remains presentable overall. Chrome and exterior brightwork is a mixture of original and restored and is generally in good to very good condition. The interior is original and unrestored, and has been carefully preserved, resulting in a lovely patina of age.

The car is equipped with correct Marchal headlamps, and a single rear-mounted spare. The wheels are correct original 20 inch Mercedes lock ring wheels, and it should be noted that the centres are in exceptional unrestored condition. The instrumentation is mostly English Jaeger units and although they are not original Mercedes-Benz, they are probably original to the Cadogan coachwork. It is also fitted with the anti-shimmy front suspension dampers. The shock absorbers are the friction Andre-Telecontrol type, and the braking system has been upgraded to a later hydraulic braking system with Dewandre Servo boost giving power brakes.

Upon inspection, the chassis appears to be a complete and correct S Type Mercedes, including engine, gearbox, chassis, drivetrain, suspension, and steering components. The correct Bosch ZR6 Magnetos are fitted, as is the correct generator and water pump, and of course, the correct S Type 15 fin blower. There is evidence of a connecting rod failure at one point, although this has been repaired and the car runs well.

During the car’s tenure in the Ecclestone Collection, the dynamo was rebuilt, the magneto checked, and several small leaks in the radiator repaired. In addition, the brakes and the telecontrol shock absorber system have been completely rebuilt.

Summary

Surely there is nothing so magnificent as an SS Mercedes at full throttle, carving through country roads to the accompaniment of the glorious mechanical wail of its supercharger. While SSKs were the racing weapon of choice, it was tourers like this one that were bought by real world enthusiasts for daily use. The combination of astonishing mechanical performance with comfortable grand touring coachwork resulted in the ultimate Mercedes-Benz.

The Cadogan Tourer offered here is all of that, and more. The car exhibits a wonderful patina of age, due in part to the unrestored originality of its leather, chrome, and other parts, but also the result of old maintenance and restoration work that has aged gracefully and blended delightfully with the original.

The result is a car with an undeniable and rich character, born of originality, and impossible to recreate at any price.

Reference Number 11535

as of 7/22/2007

Overview
Car 1930 Mercedes-Benz SS Tourer
VIN 36271 
Exterior / Interior Color      White /      Black 
Configuration Right Hand Drive (RHD) 
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