8-9 September 2013

Mercedes Collection

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Lot 110

1931 Mercedes-Benz 15/75 HP Mannheim 370 K Cabriolet

  • Chassis no. 84084
  • Engine no. 84084
  • Body no. 223094

Sold for £162,400

74 bhp, 3,689 cc side-valve six-cylinder inline engine, four-speed manual transmission, front and rear leaf-spring suspension, and four-wheel vacuum-assisted drum brakes. Wheelbase: 3,048 mm

Prior to their 1926 merger, Mercedes and Benz were both known for sporting cars, so it was only natural that the post-merger hyphenated marque would continue in that idiom, building on the strength of their combined talents and experience. Of course, thoughts of these efforts can only bring to mind the legendary supercharged SS and SSK models and their eight-cylinder successors. Frequently forgotten though are the touring automobiles that continued to emanate from the Stuttgart factory through World War II.

In contrast to the sports cars, they had side-valve engines, flat radiators, and artillery wheels. They were named for German towns, with the smallest being the Stuttgart and the mid-range being the Mannheim, which is offered here. For 1930, the K variant of the Mannheim 370 was introduced. The 370K, with the “K” for kurt, noting a short wheelbase, was 175 millimetres less than the standard 370, and it was powered by a 3,689-cubic centimetre, side-valve, six-cylinder engine that could produce 74 brake horsepower. It was coupled to a three-speed transmission, which made available a claimed top speed of 105 km/h. For the 370K model, only cabriolet bodies were available from Mercedes’ in-house coach builder at Sindelfingen. As always, customers could purchase the chassis by itself and have another coachbuilder fit a bespoke body.

The attractive 370K example offered here is fitted with an attractive cabriolet body that offers four passengers comfort in stylish open-air flair. According to a supplied copy of its original build sheet, chassis 84084 was first delivered in August 1931 to its first client, Mrs Greti Flury, of Oschwand, Switzerland, through Mercedes’ branch in Zurich. The car is also accompanied by a Mercedes-Benz Classic Certificate issued to Gerd Kellers, presumably its owner in 2004, and, interestingly, a listing of cars shown at the 1931 Berlin Auto Show.

Treated to a cosmetic restoration some time ago, its dark blue paint exhibits some wear and minor chipping around the panel edges, and the blue cloth convertible top suits the car very well, with some slight wrinkling from storage in the down position. All of the chrome adornments, including the radiator shell, bumpers, dual wing-mounted parking lights, the driver’s side spotlight, headlight buckets, and the landau bars, all show minor patina that could be polished to a more lustrous shine, although there is some delamination of the chrome hubcaps. In addition to the chrome accessories, charming dual trafficators have been mounted to each side of the cowl and were finished in body colour blue.

A set of side-mounted spare tyres are each appointed with a pedestal mirror, which have been affixed by exquisite leather straps that have “Mercedes” beautifully embossed into them. This elegant Cabriolet glides on four Dunlop blackwall tyres that are mounted on blue steel artillery wheels that have yellow pinstripes, accenting each spoke. A look under the car reveals that it has been enjoyed; the chassis wears older black paint with moderate dirt and rust, which is indicative of touring usage, in addition to a set of modern tube-style shocks on the rear axle for added ride comfort. In keeping with the touring image, a rear trunk, finished in tan carpet, holds the convertible top boot for fair weather motoring.

The interior is fitted with gracious looking, lightly worn, biscuit tan leather upholstery and a tan headliner, and it is complemented by light tan carpeting covering the floor, with the mats on the front driver’s and passenger’s side containing dark blue inserts. The wood trim presents no obvious flaws and shows a rich, dark finish, which is contrasted by a tasteful, light coloured wood steering wheel that has central controls and shows marginal wear brought about by use. This attractive Cabriolet could benefit from a modest re-freshening or be enjoyed as a handsome recreational touring car at various events and rallies.

Alexander Weaver

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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