8-9 September 2013

Mercedes Collection

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Lot 105

1951 Mercedes-Benz 170 Da OTP

  • Chassis no. 136.174.12722/51
  • Engine no. 636.916.02213/52

Sold for £29,120

40 hp, 1,767 cc inline overhead-valve four-cylinder diesel engine, four-speed manual gearbox, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,845 mm

From 1946, Mercedes-Benz had a single model policy, out of necessity. Recovery from World War II was slow, and the pre-war 170 V was the only model for which usable tooling had survived. The standard model was a four-door saloon, but a number of commercial and special versions were derived. Amongst them was the OTP Police Special.

Furnished only to official organisations, the Police Special was more basic than the 170 Cabriolets of the 1930s. In the beginning, all were painted “Police Green”, but blue soon became the favoured colour. It was the first 170 with an outside boot lid, which was a feature that was so useful that it was soon adopted for the civilian market.

This example of the OTP Police Special has been decommissioned and restored as a civilian four-door cabriolet. It is red with black wings and mouldings, and it has black vinyl upholstery and black fabric floor mats. The paint shows only minor blemishes, and the brightwork is generally good, although the Bosch headlamps have a few pits.

Fitted with the diesel version of the 170 engine, it has mechanical fuel injection and a four-speed manual gearbox. The engine compartment shows use, but it is fully functional, and the undercarriage is in similar condition. There is a radio aerial, although the radio itself has been removed. The spare wheel on the rear is fitted with a vinyl cover.

This handsome 170 Da OTP is a very attractive automobile, and it may be regarded as the Cabriolet D of the 1950s. It is an example of the car that Mercedes could have built but never put into production. As one of only five hundred thirty Police Specials built, it is rare in its own right.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

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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

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Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more