8-9 September 2013

Mercedes Collection

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Lot 143

1909 Benz 35/60 HP Speedster

  • Chassis no. 1920
  • Engine no. 2911

Sold for £95,200

35/70 hp, 8,885 cc inline T-head four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual gearbox with double chain drive, solid front and rear axles with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and mechanical transmission brake with two-wheel parking brakes. Wheelbase: 3,350 mm

Although Carl Benz began his motorwagen endeavours with spidery tricycles, it didn’t take long for four-wheel models to follow. It was the two-cylinder Parsifal of 1903, however, that took on the image of a “modern” car, and a four-cylinder engine was introduced the same year. By 1907, the cars were racing, and three years later, engines of two to ten litres were offered. The 35/60 PS (the “P” referring to pferdestärke, which is German for its horsepower rating) helped the company double sales in 1909. A year later, Benz commanded 10 per cent of German production and soon overtook then-rival Mercedes in output.

As an older restoration that is wearing contemporary yet attractive racing style speedster coachwork with open-wheels, this car is very handsome in white with polished brass mouldings. The body exhibits excellent craftsmanship and is complemented by a brass fuel tank and tool box at the rear. A pair of portable brass fuel tanks nest inside the spare tyre. Other brass accoutrements include the radiator shell, a bulb horn, and hub caps, all of which show some scars of the ages and a gentle patina.

The leather seat shows age and some wear, but it is entirely presentable and serviceable. The dashboard is varnished wood and has original instruments, including gauges for oil pressure and fuel pressure and a 120 km/h speedometer. The engine compartment is clean and nicely detailed, and an electric starter has been fitted for convenience in firing up the large-displacement engine. As a period-appropriate re-creation of an early 20th century speedster, this car is sure to engender a rush of adrenaline on the road.


Please note this lot is offered without reserve.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more