8-9 September 2013

Mercedes Collection

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Lot 108

1930 Mercedes-Benz Nürburg 460 K Limousine

  • Chassis no. 52669
  • Engine no. 52669

Sold for £85,120

18/80 hp, 4,622 cc L-head inline eight-cylinder engine, four-speed manual gearbox, solid front axle and underslung live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 3,430 mm

Prior to their 1926 merger, Mercedes and Benz were both known for sporting cars, so it was only natural that the post-nuptial hyphenated marque would continue in that tradition. And so it is that the SS and SSK cars and their 500 K and 540 K brethren come first to mind. Whilst the touring automobiles that continued to emanate from the Stuttgart stable through World War II were frequently forgotten.

In contrast to the sports cars, they had side-valve engines, flat radiators, and wood-spoke artillery wheels. They were named for German towns, with the smallest being Stuttgart and the mid-range being Mannheim, and they both had six-cylinder engines. Further up the line was the straight-eight W08 Nürburg, with either a 4,622- or 4,918-cubic centimetre engine on a 3,670-millimetre wheelbase, and at the top was the Type 770 Grosser Mercedes. From 1931, the Nürburg was re-named “500”, and built through until 1939. A 3,430-millimetre wheelbase version of the Nürnburg was also available; it was known as the 460 K (with the “K” meaning kurz, or short).

The first of the Nürburgs was designed by Ferdinand Porsche, in one of his last acts before leaving Daimler-Benz. Owing much to the earlier Horch 8, it had a high chassis and solid axles, giving it a rather old-fashioned look. Introduced in 1928, it was only mildly popular; therefore, it was replaced by a more modern low-chassis design by Hans Nibel the following year. Besides the saloon and cabriolet, limousines and Pullman limousines, which offered additional seating, were also available. The first formal “Popemobile”, a 460 presented by the company to Pius XI, was equipped with a central rear-compartment throne and a custom interior. His Holiness called it “a masterpiece of modern engineering”.

This handsome limousine is the shorter 460 K version. It is nicely set out in royal blue with black wings and belt moulding and straw coach lining that complements the varnished wood wheels. The chauffeur’s compartment is upholstered in brown vinyl, whilst the rear compartment is covered with tan broadcloth. A storage net is handily attached to the forward section of the rear headliner. The division partition has a crank-up glass window, and all windows, including the division, have privacy shades. The doors all shut well, and although the interior wood mouldings are not of mirror finish, they are pleasing to the eye.

Bosch headlamps display the star-and-laurel hallmark, and the car has dual external Bosch horns. These are aided by a French Cicca “Tenor” horn in the engine compartment. Dual side-mounted spares are fitted, as well as a rear-mounted trunk by Waldbauer, of Stuttgart.

Total production of the low-chassis 460 and 460 K came to 1,508 cars. This one is stately and solid and presents very nicely. The engine compartment and undercarriage, whilst not highly detailed, are clean and serviceable. This 460 K is deal for touring, and it is the perfect car to broaden a collection of Mercedes-Benz sports models.

Alexander Weaver

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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