8-9 September 2013

Mercedes Collection

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Lot 144

1932 Mercedes-Benz Nürburg 500 Pullman Limousine

  • Chassis no. 84834
  • Engine no. 108065132
  • Body no. 606033

Sold for £131,600

18/80 hp, 4,918 cc L-head inline eight-cylinder engine, four-speed manual gearbox with Maybach overdrive, solid front axle and underslung live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 3,670 mm

The Mercedes-Benz W08 Nürburg acquired a more powerful companion model, the 500, in 1931. With the engine bored out to 4,918 cubic centimetres, it was rated at the same 18/80 PS as the 460 model, which continued in production until 1933. Both touring saloons and Pullman limousines were offered, and the bodies remained much the same as the 460, but there was no short-wheelbase model.

The term “Pullman” has several connotations: In North America it is most recognisable as a luxury railroad parlour car or sleeping car, after George Mortimer Pullman, a U.S. inventor and designer. In the European motoring world, it is known as a large and luxurious automobile, and particularly in Germany, it denotes vast length. The name has been used by Mercedes-Benz over the years to describe their longest models, often in conjunction with a body style, as in the Pullman limousine, as seen here, or the Pullman kabriolett.

Such prestige limousines were often bodied by outside coachbuilders. Daimler-Benz, however, had their own coachworks, which was equal to any of the other European constructors. In 1915, Daimler Motoren-Gesellschaft had established an aero engine plant at Sindelfingen, near Stuttgart. After the Great War, however, it was underutilised, as the Treaty of Versailles proscribed German aero production. However, the expanding automobile market, especially after the 1926 merger with Benz, demanded more space, so body production was moved to Sindelfingen, where coach building was also undertaken for outside firms like BMW, Hanomag, and Maybach. From 1933, only 1930s sports model Mercedes-Benz cars were bodied, and they proudly displayed Sindefingen body plates.

The 500 Nürburg, later simply called the Type 500 N, would succeed its sibling after 1932, when a vee-type radiator shell and slightly raked windscreen were adopted. The final iteration of the W08 style, with higher compression and more streamlining of the body, was built from 1936 to 1939.

This Type 500 Pullman Limousine presents well in gloss black. As the recipient of an older restoration, it displays a bit to checking to the front wings, bonnet, and scuttle, but the overall effect is striking, with it being highlighted by recent re-plating of all the brightwork. The chauffeur’s compartment is upholstered in black vinyl, and it is in very good condition. The rear compartment has seating for five passengers, with two of them sitting on folding jump seats. The compartment is finished in striped cloth with tan carpet. There are smoking sets, an ashtray and cigarette lighter, on each side, door pockets, courtesy lights with etched lenses, and a folding fabric sunroof that extends the entire length of the body.

Exterior lighting is comprised of large Carl Zeiss headlamps and Bosch side lamps, as well as trafficators that are fitted to the windscreen pillars. A capacious trunk is carried on a folding rack at the rear. The engine compartment is clean and serviceable, although not excessively detailed, and the massive side-valve eight consumes all available space. Interestingly, it is fitted with its factory overdrive unit, which was actually manufactured by Maybach, and it has a final drive ratio of 1:141. Ideal for Continental touring, this stately Pullman Limousine is also well suited for parade work or wedding hire.

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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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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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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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