RM Sotheby’s Scottsdale 2018
RM Sotheby’s Scottsdale 2018 sale is coming up in a couple of weeks and they will be offering just 5 Mercedes at this year’s sale, down from the 14 Mercedes offered at their 2017 Arizona sale. Don’t be put off by the number of cars, RM Sotheby’s has, historically, concentrated on quality rather than quantity at their sales. Still though, this year’s Mercedes offerings are rather light.
Mercedes in the Sale
The highlight of the Mercedes at the sale must be the 1957 300 SL, restored by my good friend Bruce Kelly at Lake Country Classics in Minneapolis more than 20 years ago, this car looks great in silver metallic with red leather interior. This car was last sold at RM Auctions’ 2012 Scottsdale sale, it has traveled just over 400 miles since it was last sold here. I wrote a complete article about this car and it’s sale history with RM Sotheby’s earlier this week, you can have a look at that car in detail by having a look at that article here. RM Sotheby’s also has a 190 SL in their catalog, along with two modern SLSs and a charming 1959 model 0 319 camper conversion. Each car is highlighted below with my comments in italics at the end of each profile. I’ve included my picks for what each car will actually sell for (or not sell for) at the auction as well. I might regret it, but it’s fun to guess and it’s what we all do while sitting in the crowd at the auction anyway! Full event information, schedule, admission, location, etc. is provided at the very bottom of this article.
Lot 158 – 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster
Estimate: $950,000 – $1,050,000
Chassis No.: 198.042.7500295
Engine No.: 198.980.7500347
Body No.: A198.042.7500208
- Silver Metallic w/ red leather, black soft top (no mention of hard top)
- Restored by Lake Country Classics, Minneapolis, MN late 1990s
- Baisch fitted luggage
- Two time Copperstate 1000 veteran, early 2000s and 2008
- Fuel injection system recently rebuilt by a marque expert
1957 was the first year for the 300 SL roadster and 554 were produced in 1957. Many enthusiasts prefer the roadsters over the Gullwing coupes for real driving as they are more comfortable, Gullwings get hot in the cabin during long tours due to poor ventilation. As mentioned above, this car last appeared for sale at RM’s 2012 Scottsdale sale where it sold for $737,000. Click here to see the complete article I wrote about this car, the state of the 300 SL market and a little information on my friend Bruce Kelly at Lake country Classics. My prediction for this car at the auction… it will sell for just over $1 Million.
Lot 165 – 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster
Estimate: $150,000 – $180,000
Chassis No.: WDDRK7HA3CA008783
- Obsidian Black metallic w/ Tonal Beige soft top
- Sand Beige / Black leather
- 2 Owner car
- 7,000 original miles and two owners from new
- Clean CARFAX
2,734 SLS cars, coupes and roadsters, were sold in the United States during their production years, 2011 – 2015, making them rare in terms of a modern production car. They have depreciated like all new Mercedes-Benz cars, but recently, say, the past year and a half, I think there is some renewed interest in these cars. Under their hoods does lie the last of the naturally aspirated AMG V8s, now that everything is getting twin turbo charged units. It’s successor, theoretically, the AMG GT isn’t in the same league. Like the 300 SLs for a long time, the coupes led the price pack and that is very true for the modern SLS cars as well. SLS coupe prices are always stronger than convertible prices, and the ‘they get too hot inside’ excuse that finally caught up with the old gullwings doesn’t exist with the SLS. I expect to see SLS roadster prices lag coupes, maybe, forever… as people love the gullwing doors on the coupes.
There is no shortage of near 10,000 mile SLS roadsters on the market today and this car isn’t equipped in any special way, in fact, it seems to be a fairly base model… no carbon fiber trim, no Bang & Olufsen sound system, two owners. Cars just like this can be had for under $140,000 all day long at various specialty car dealers around the country. This is a no reserve lot, so it will sell, and I would guess in the $135,000 range.
Lot 213 – 1958 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL
Estimate: $150,000 – $200,000
Chassis No.: 121.040.8502551
Engine No.: 121.921.9502376
Body No.: A121.040.8501194
- Strawberry Red Metallic (DB 543)
- Tan leather
- Ivory (DB 608) hard top
- Includes books and tools
- Sold previously at RM’s 2013 Scottsdale sale for $129,250
In the catalog description the car is described as having been stored in a Kansas barn for many years and eventually purchased by a Kansas based restorer, further it explains that the car has been “substantially restored to factory standards.” It doesn’t mention when, exactly, this work was done, its a list of things, including floor and body refinishing, that one would expect necessary on a car that had been stored away for many years. This car changed hands at RM’s Scottsdale sale back in 2013 for $129,250. At that time it was described as having less than 38,000 original miles, today the odometer reads 39,828. Driven just a coupl eof thousand miles in 5 years.
Upon inspecting the photos it appears to be a decent looking, largely correct car. The engine bay looks tidy and recently touched up. The interior looks good and it’s nice to see the correct rubber floor mat across the driver and passenger’s footwells. As I’ve said other places recently, the 190 SL market is currently pretty quiet. Only the very best cars bring big money. Strawberry red metallic is an interesting color, the cream hard top on this car makes for an even more interesting presentation. Not everyone has to like it, just two people in the audience to drive the price up. Unfortunately, given the market for these cars today and the fact that it’s not a barn find and not a complete, over the top restoration, it’s something in between, I think it’s going to be a tough sale. It is offered at no reserve, I think it will sell $50,000 below its low estimate at about $100,000, maybe $110,000.
Lot 220 – 1959 Mercedes-Benz O 319
Estimate: $175,000 – $200,000
Chassis No.: 319.070.9500100
- Fitted with a modern M-B engine and automatic transmission
- Air-ride suspension with factory dual rear-wheel setup
- Extensively, yet subtly modified into a camper
It’s always fun to see a Mercedes bus, camper or other commercial vehicle show up at a collector car auction. they’re often a labor of love for their owners, as they rarely bring anywhere near the amount their owners ‘have in them’ when sold. This is probably no exception. Described in the auction catalog as restored over a 15 year period and turned into a bit of a resto-mod camper by “an eccentric computer engineer”, this is a cool camper that would probably be a lot of fun to own.
It’s equipped with a modern Mercedes-Benz engine and leather seats. The back is tricked out with extensive interior lighting, a bed, kitchenette, even a solar panel set up for power when you don’t have any hooks ups. Sure I keep up with the collectible Mercedes market, but I am hardly a camper conversion expert. Similar kinds of vehicles have sold at recent collector car auctions, but I’m not sure if the ‘resto-mod’ nature of this one will help or hurt its price. You can get a modern Mercedes Sprinter Airstream camper on the used market in the $60,000 range today, I wonder how much someone is willing to pay for the ‘vintage charm’ of this labor of love. I’m sure the owner has $100,000+ in it… but I can’t imagine that it will even reach $100,000 on the block. I hope I’m wrong, but the market for this hipster camper is thin to be sure.
Lot 232 – 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series Coupe
Estimate: $425,000 – $475,000
Chassis No.: WDDRJ7HA6EA010498
- One owner, 611 miles from new
- Designo Mystic White
- Black leather
As far as the SLS AMG cars go the Black Series are at the top of the heap in terms of performance and, so far, values. Released in August 2013 as 2014 models, the SLS AMG Black Series was a step up in performance from the regular SLS. Black Series cars were tuned to 622 horsepower, up from the standard car’s 563 HP. Additional performance enhancements included adjustable Coil-Over Suspension, a quicker steering ratio and a wider front and rear track, wheels and fenders, among other improvements. They came with a lot of carbon fiber trim, fins and a rear wing as standard equipment.
Another cool piece of standard equipment on the Black Series cars was the AMG Performance Media Package which included all kinds of data telemetry options, a G force meter, track maps of racing tracks around the world and a lap timer and memory for your times on those tracks, etc. The Black Series is like the AMG version of an AMG car, so to speak… crazy performance, loud, raucous.
There are usually 10 or so of these cars on the market at any one time, mileage is usually low, a few thousand miles maybe and they are generally priced in the mid $400,000s. RM Sotheby’s estimate for this car is right on, if a bit light. I think there is sufficient interest in these modern super cars today, designo Mystic White (matte) is a fashionable color, so I think this car should sell at the high end of the estimate range, $450,000+, anything less is a bargain for an essentially new example.
That wraps up the collectible Mercedes appearing at RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2018 sale. While it isn’t a huge selection of cars from the three pointed star, these cars do represent the gamut of collector interest. From high end classics to modern super cars and a classic camper, something for everyone at RM Sotheby’s Arizona sale this year!
I will be on site during the auction preview on Wednesday the 17th in the late afternoon, drop me an email if you’re going to be there and maybe we can have a look t some cars together… email me: dave (at) daveknowscars.com – Complete auction info is below.
RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2018 Schedule and Admission Information*
Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa
2400 East Missouri Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85016
Schedule – Wednesday, January 17, 2018 – Friday, January 19, 2018
Preview: 10:00am – 8:00pm
Preview: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Auction: 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Preview: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Auction: 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Admission is open to the general public during preview hours only. Admission to the auctions on Thursday, 18 January, and Friday, 19 January, is for registered bidders, consignors, and qualified media only.
Bidder Registration – $200
Includes an official auction catalogue and admission for one bidder and one guest to the auction.
Sale Produced By:
RM Auctions Arizona, Inc.
21 S. Crismon Rd, Suite 1
Mesa, AZ 85208
Ph: 519 352 4575
For more information visit the RM Sotheby’s Scottsdale 2018 Website
(*Source: RM Sotheby’s)
Photos Courtesy RM Sotheby’s, Photographer Credits : 300SL Roadster: Karissa Hosek, SLS Roadster: Mark Bondarenko, 190SL: William Walker, 319 Camper: Gaybor Mayer, SLS Coupe: Erik Fuller