London

8-9 September 2013

Mercedes Collection

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Lot 120

1939 Mercedes-Benz 230 Saloon

  • Chassis no. 427444
  • Engine no. 427444

Sold for £38,080


55 hp, 2,289 cc side-valve six-cylinder engine with one Solex downdraft carburettor, four-speed manual synchromesh transmission, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 3,048 mm

Hans Gustav Rohr headed up the Mercedes-Benz Passenger Car Development Department for two years prior to his death in August 1937, and he was responsible for the evolution of the W153 series of automobiles. Presented to the public in early 1939, the W153, more often referred to as the Type 230, was a direct descendent of the W143 of 1937, but it utilised a much more modern body and a redesigned chassis. The former had a pressed steel sub-frame, whilst the W153 had an X-shaped oval tube design. Bodies were offered in three different cabriolet versions and one saloon. As a result of them being produced for everyday use, it is very unusual to find one in such fine condition over 70 years later.



The example presented here was delivered new through Zurich in June 1939, and it is an exceptional specimen. It is finished in black and grey and has received a restoration befitting an everyman’s car. The paint is commensurate with factory standards, with proper panel fit and flatness. It is showing only a light patina, and it has aged very well. All chrome and polished surfaces have been maintained. External trafficators have been added. Perhaps even more refined, the interior exhibits all restored surfaces, with fresh-appearing upholstery and beautiful wood. The dark grey headliner is also in fine shape, as is the dash and related hardware. With little soiling since restoration, the engine compartment and chassis are also worthy of exhibition.



The 230 series was on the assembly line from 1938 to 1943, with 19,324 total units produced. Ironically, whilst so many were made, very few survive in museum-quality condition. Thus, the offering of this saloon is a rare opportunity.

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