Auction Preview and Price Predictions: Mercedes Collector Cars at Gooding and Company Amelia Island 2018
After a successful Scottsdale sale, just about a month and a half ago, Gooding and Company is on the road again, this time, at their annual Amelia Island sale in Florida. Gooding and Co. will be offering 87 automobile lots at their Amelia Island sale on Friday, March 9, 2018. There are 8 collectible Mercedes crossing the block.
Gooding and Co.’s Mercedes offerings are listed below with basic details about each car, then Mercedes-Market commentary in italics. It was so much fun to track my price predictions during Arizona Auction Week, I’ve decided to go out on that same limb and try to predict the sale prices (or high bids if I predict a no sale) for each car at Amelia Island, also in italics. What do you think some of these cars will sell (or not sell) for? Write a comment below the post with your thoughts or predictions.
View Gooding and Company’s complete online auction catalog for Amelia Island 2018 here. Complete event details, hours schedule, etc. are listed at the very bottom of this article.
Lot 005 – 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL
Estimate: $90,000 – $110,000
- Dark Red (542 G) w/ Cognac MB tex, tan soft top
- Manual transmission
- Both tops
- Becker Mexico Radio/Cassette
- Copy of Factory Data Card
- 55,840 miles appear on odometer
This is one of two cars (the other is the 1955 300 Sb Coupe) at Gooding and Company’s Amelia Island sale that I created separate, in depth analysis articles for. You can see the full article I put together on this 280 SL here. This looks like a nice enough car, but again, it’s the details any prospective buyer should pay attention to when deciding how much to bid. There doesn’t appear to be a body tag affixed to the driver’s side inner fender, that’s a problem for an owner who is trying to get six figures for their car. The other unfortunate bit of information is the note in the online auction catalog that the VIN on the title seems to be missing a “1”, that does appear on the actual VIN tag of the car. This is a potential headache for anyone trying to export the car or any buyer living in a state that requires physical inspection of a new purchase brought in from another state or for general licensing purposes. There are just too many other nice examples to choose from elsewhere for this car to bring big money. My sale prediction: $72,000.
Lot 009 – 1982 Mercedes-Benz 380 SL
Estimate: $45,000 – $55,000
- Orient Red w/ Palomino interior
- 21,897 miles
- Single Owner Until October 2017
- Hardtop, Original Becker Radio, and Owner’s Manuals
A one owner car until the consignor’s acquisition late last year, I’m guessing it’s a dealer judging from the front license plate. Orient Red is a great color, sort of dark red, sort of brown, it screams early 80s. While the 380 SL is the slowest of the R107 V8s with just 155 HP (the 560 SL packed 227 HP just a few years later) it does have a 4 speed transmission, an upgrade from the 450 SL’s 3 speed unit. There have been a couple of sub-10,000 mile 380 SLs at high profile auctions over the past couple of years. I’ve never seen one reach $40k, and this car has 20,000+ miles. It looks like a great example of a 380 SL, but it’s still a 380 SL. Sale prediction for this no reserve lot: $35,000.
Lot 018 – 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
Estimate: $300,000 – $350,000
- Green metallic w/ Cognac leather, brown soft top (originally Tobacco Brown 423)
- Formerly Owned by Frank Spain, Renowned Broadcasting Pioneer
- Featured in The Star Magazine (March / April 2016)
- Factory Build Card, Original Insurance Papers, Restoration Invoices, and Awards Certificates
- Manuals, Tool Roll, and Original, Unopened First Aid Kit
I know the owner of this car, I met him at an MBCA leadership conference a couple of years ago. He’s one of the nicest guys on the planet, a true Mercedes-Benz enthusiast and I’m sure he’s taken great care of this car with little regard to cost since he got it 10+ years ago. The auction catalog describes this car as ‘metallic green’. The Star magazine article in which this car appeared in 2016 described it as Moss Green. All the photos I’ve looked at lead me to believe this is not Moss Green, but some other color. According to the build card, this car was originally Tobacco Brown. The color it wears today is nice looking, and maybe it is Moss Green, but it looks like a blue green of some kind to me, not correct for a W111 convertible of the period. Maybe it’s just the color correction of the photos? If I was going to raise my paddle at Amelia Island I’d want to see a receipt from the shop that performed the color change to verify the paint and the paint code used, as a repaint in an incorrect color can really hurt value. I’d never heard of ‘renowned broadcasting pioneer Frank Spain’ until I read the catalog description of this car. Apparently, he founded the NBC affiliate TV station in Tupelo, Mississippi in the mid 50s. He’s not exactly Steve McQueen, so beyond his mention as a previous, documented owner of the car, I’m not sure how it’s relevant and I don’t think his ownership will lend any celebrity dollars to the bidding. My price prediction: A high bid of $285,000… if that meets the reserve, it will mean $313,500 all in for the buyer, if not, it will be a ‘no sale.’
Lot 026 – 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster
Estimate: $1,000,000 – $1,250,000
- Anthracite Gray Metallic w/ grey leather (originally Light Blue 334 w/ red leather)
- 2015 Restoration by Marque Expert Rudi Koniczek
- Fitted Luggage, Tool Kit, and Jack
- No hard top
Appearing in its original Light Blue color, this car was sold at Russo and Steele’s Scottsdale sale in 2013 for $721,100. Little history is known prior to the car’s arrival in the U.S. from England in 1981, so there is no great story to go with this car, something that everyone really WANTS with a 300 SL. The 300 SL market has cooled off since 2015, when the owner took it to Rudi Koniczek to be restored, however, restoration prices from an expert like Koniczek haven’t. A color change example from 1958 without a hard top? I think this one will end up being a real value for its new owner when it sells for $1,100,000 in Amelia Island.
Lot 42 – 2002 Mercedes-Benz SL500 Silver Arrow Edition
Estimate: $40,000 – $50,000
- Silver w/ two tone black / grey leather
- One of Only 1,450 Silver Arrow Editions Produced
- 12,217 Miles from New
- Recent Dealer Service
- Books, Tools, Keys, Jack, Spare, Wind Deflector, and Hardtop (No mention of the Silver Arrow aluminum brief case)
The R129 series SL (1990 – 2002) made huge waves when it was released, replacing the R107 that had been in production for almost 20 years. Most R129s are just used cars today, but they have a very devoted following among enthusiasts as they’re an easy entry point to the brand and they’re nice cars to drive. Clean examples under 50,000 miles are readily available in the mid teens. A handful of these cars are rising to the top as ‘future collectibles’ led by various special edition models like the 1997 40th Anniversary SL 320 and SL 500, the rare SL 500 La Costa Edition, also from 1997 (see the Mercedes-Market profile article on the La Costa Edition here) and the 2002 Silver Arrow Edition. The Silver Arrow Edition boasted special Silver paint, a two tone black and grey leather interior, special wheels, badging, floor mats, etc. There was also an accessory aluminum briefcase included with the package, an accessory that is often missing from these cars today. Condition and low mileage are the most important factors that determine price on these modern SLs. Approximately 1450 SL 500 Silver Arrow Editions came to the United States, while about 100 SL 600 V12 versions were imported. With just over 12,000 miles, this future collectible R129 should sell for $34,000. Here is an article I wrote about the 2002 SL 500 Silver Arrow Edition in response to a reader’s question regarding future collectibility at my Dave Knows Cars website if you’re interested in more on the Silver Arrow Edition R129 cars.
Lot 43 – 1968 Mercedes-Benz 600 SWB
Estimate: $120,000 – $150,000
- Black (040) w/ tan leather
- 63,384 Miles Indicated on Odometer
- Formerly the Property of Star NBC Orchestra Conductor Don Ricardo
- Books, Tools, Jack, and Emergency and Hydraulic Service Kits
- Recent Service at Mercedes-Benz of Jacksonville
“The choice of 3rd world dictators and captains of industry around the world” there are few cars more imposing, physically or mechanically, than a Mercedes 600. These are stately machines that defy scale. They are so big, everything on them is bigger than a regular Mercedes. The hood star is bigger, the Mercedes badge on the rear trunk is probably 5″ in diameter, the size of the service bills are just as big. We all know about the air suspension on these cars, but the windows are hydraulically actuated, so is the sunroof, trunk closing mechanism and even the vents in the fresh air / A/C system. According to the price card inside the 1968 Mercedes-Benz brochure in my collection of automobile literature, a new 600 SWB delivered to a West Coast port of the United States cost $22,472 when new (a 280 SL delivered to that same port cost just $6,731). I’m amazed that these cars don’t bring more money today. They’re complicated systems scare a lot of people away and at their core, they’re 4 door sedans. Sedans almost always have a smaller following than any coupe or convertible in the collector car world. Recent service is mentioned, but the key to this car will be its service history over the longer term. The interior appears original and nicely kept, mileage is believed to be original and it has past celebrity ownership (which many 600s had). Sale price prediction: $126,500.
Lot 045 – 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 D Adenauer
Estimate: $75,000 – $100,000
- Medium Red (516) w/ beige leather
- Automatic Transmission and Power Steering
- Fuel-Injected Model
- Books and Tools
- Extensive Documentation including original owner paperwork
- Acquired by the Brumos Collection in the 1990s.
- Shown at the inaugural Amelia Island Concours in 1996
Another Mercedes sedan, in person, just as big and imposing as the 600 that will cross the block just a few lots before. This Adenauer sedan looks really nice in Medium Red. It’s really tough to try to predict the sale price of this car without being able to see it in person, without getting on the ground and looking underneath. In the Brumos Collection since the 1990s, I’m going to assume that it hasn’t seen much regular use over the past 25 years. These cars are insanely expensive to fix if maintenance has been deferred. They’re as expensive to work on and buy parts for as a 300 SL, and you have to take them to the same expert shops to have them fixed, yet they’re worth 10% as much as a 300 SL. That’s why so many Adenauers have been neglected over the years, so often, their owners can’t afford to keep them at the level at which they deserve to be kept. The engine bay of this car appears very clean, the interior looks to be an older replacement and the paint looks nice in digital photos (doesn’t it always). Still, it’s very difficult to reach even $75,000 with one of these cars. Sale price prediction: $71,000.
Lot 057 – 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 Sb Coupe
Estimate: $475,000 – $550,000
- Dark Grey (DB 164) w/ light grey leather
- Numbers matching
- Floor shift manual transmission
- Fitted luggage
- Tool kit and manuals
- 2010 service and ‘cosmetic freshening’ at Paul Russell and Co.
This was the other car I wrote up a detailed analysis for here at Mercedes-Market. Have a look at that in depth article here. I think these are great looking cars. The later fuel injection cars are the most desirable of the body style, but the earlier carbureted cars are arguably easier to maintain with just as much eyeball. The early history of this car isn’t totally complete however the online auction catalog mentions a history folder dating back to the 1960s that isn’t mentioned in the printed catalog. It is described as being ““the beneficiary of an older, comprehensive high-level restoration” although few specifics are mentioned. A visit to Paul Russell and Co. back in 2010 is the most recent service mentioned. It’s tough to predict a sale s number on one of these without seeing it in the flesh, but I’m going to say it will bring $445,000 on auction day. I might be a bit low, but collectors value history when considering a big Mercedes coupe of this era and this one just doesn’t have much of a story to tell.
Gooding and Company – Amelia Island Auction 2018 – Event Information
March 9, 2018
Racquet Park, Omni Amelia Island Plantation
6800 First Coast Hwy
Amelia Island, FL 32034
(1 mile south of Amelia Island Parkway)
Thursday, March 8 – 9:00am – 6:00pm
Friday, March 9 – 9:00am – 4:00pm
Friday, March 9 – 11:00am
Admittance – $30, admits one to all events
Catalogue – $75, admits two to all events
Cash or credit card only.
Children under 12 free.
$200 includes a catalogue, admission for two to the viewing and auction with two reserved seats, subject to availability.
On-Site Contact Information:
Shuttles will run round-trip from the Gooding & Company auction site to the Ritz-Carlton resort entrance on Amelia Island Parkway, 8:30am to 6:30pm on Thursday, March 8th and Friday, March 9th.
All photos courtesy of Gooding and Company.