London

8-9 September 2013

Mercedes Collection

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Lot 118

1933 Mercedes-Benz 380 K Sport Roadster

  • Chassis no. 102202
  • Engine no. 105300

Sold for £520,800


120 hp, 3,820 cc inline overhead-valve eight-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, independent front and rear coil-spring suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 3,150 mm

Mercedes-Benz introduced the Type 380 at the Berlin Motor Show in February 1933. It was very limited in production and, therefore, withdrawn only one year later, with a scant 154 units finding owners. By some opinions, the model was a failure. In retrospect, it offered several technological advances in suspension, whilst the very special supercharged examples provided a thrilling boost in power.



The 380, or W22, is referred to as the 15/90 HP for naturally-aspirated versions and the 15/120 HP for the supercharged variant. The W22 engine began as the same 3,820-cubic centimetre inline eight seen in earlier models, but it now utilised overhead valves rather than side valves. At 120 horsepower in supercharged form, the 30 per cent jump in power was significant. This upgrade, along with its reported top speed of 130 km/h, immediately established the model’s credentials as technologically advanced.



Additionally, this was the first Mercedes-Benz to incorporate an independent suspension configuration with a double wishbone and ball joints in the front axle and a double-joint swing axle with coil springs at the rear. The combined advanced design in suspension, coupled with the kompressor, made for an exhilarating and smart ride in 1933. The sporting Mercedes-Benz 380 K could be considered a logical bridge between the six-cylinder engine 290 model and the massive 770 'Grosser' model. Further, it is arguably a successor to the famous Type S and a predecessor to the 500 K, which would be introduced just one year later.



This 1933 Mercedes-Benz 380 K Sport Roadster is the most exclusive of all 380 K body styles, and it is believed to be one of only approximately 15 built between 1933 and 1934. It is elegant, it is powerful, and it is exquisite. The body lines foreshadow those which would be seen on the 500 K and 540 K, with a flowing, Teutonic design. As expected, the panels are straight with very good paint, and the doors shut well, like the proverbial bank vault. Michelin Comfort Cord tyres have been fitted on the chrome wire wheels. The exterior chrome and brightwork is polished and show little wear, if any. A chrome Hella spotlight adorns the driver’s windshield pillar, and a single centred lamp is fitted between the headlamps.



The interior is wrapped in tan leather upholstery and has matching carpeting. The package compartment behind the seat gives access to the lower rumble seat area, for larger travel bags. Tan leather also envelops the compartment area of the rumble seat, and the driver is well informed by a proper assortment of gauges, including an 85-litre fuel gauge, a 4000 rpm tachometer, a 12-volt Kraftuhr clock, and temperature and oil pressure units. Only 5,806 kilometres are showing on the odometer, presumably since restoration, and all-weather driving should never been an issue, as a cloth top boot can be found within a storage pocket, the Plexiglas windscreens are mounted in heavy chromed frames, and a single smoked-glass visor is provided for the driver.



As with the passenger compartment, the engine bay is tidy and clean, with the aluminium supercharger proudly displayed, and all other components of the drivetrain and suspension have been cleaned and detailed, with minimal soiling from road or storage efforts. This offering, like other Mercedes-Benz models presented, is elegant and refined. However, few of these examples can offer the level of exclusivity from the limited production and technological advancement of the era.



It is to be noted that, based on the VIN submitted, no additional information could be found by the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center.

Addendum

Please note that since publication of the catalogue, RM has learned that this roadster modified into its current form by Franz Prahl.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+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

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+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

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+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

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+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

drose@rmsothebys.com

+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

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+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

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+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

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+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

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+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

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+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

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+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

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+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

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+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

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+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

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+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

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+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

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+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