1961 Mercedes-Benz 300d “Adenauer”

From the onset, the 1951 Mercedes-Benz 300 was aimed at the American market. The car’s outstanding quality was matched only by its breathtaking price-it cost as much as three Cadillacs. But the price ensured exclusivity, and early customers ranged from renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright to actor Yul Brynner. The 300 was also the choice of royalty and heads of state, including the Shah of Iran and West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who used six of them and in whose Read More

1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Convertible

There comes a time when a desirable old car just jumps in value. That time may be now for the 3.5SE

The 111-series of Mercedes-Benz automobiles of the 1960s and early 1970s is much appreciated by collectors who also enjoy driving their cars. There is a solidness to the ride and handling that helped Mercedes seize a profitable share of the world market.

When introduced, these cars were powered by the company’s Read More

1958 Isetta 600-BMW’s “Eggsecutive” Limo

Germans in the 1950s weren’t concerned with having “the ultimate driving machine,” they were just happy not to be walking or pedaling. With a limited market for cars like the spectacular and expensive 507 roadster, BMW needed a volume model to survive. They understood the needs of the post-war European market and decided the best niche to exploit was the sub-VW Beetle class of microcars that had become popular with Germans who had not yet fully recovered from the ravages Read More

1959 Borgward Isabella TS Coupe

The Isabella sought to translate ’50s Detroit flash into a more compact Euro language, but it didn’t work; Americans wanted foreign cars that looked foreign

Carl Borgward entered the German auto industry as the charismatic proprietor of the Hansa Company in Bremen, Germany, in 1929, and produced individual and technically advanced vehicles between the wars.

From 1938, Hansa cars were marketed under the name of its proprietor, and in post-war years, when Read More

1963 Porsche 904 GTS Prototype

The fiberglass-to-metal body and chassis bonding worked fine for the
projected race life of a 904, then rust began to separate the two elements

With the proven 356 Carrera Abarth having served formidably for three seasons, the imminent arrival of the two-liter Simca Abarth meant that Porsche was going to have to raise the stakes for 1964.

Early in 1963 Ferry Porsche’s son, “Butzi,” finished a full size model of the new Read More

1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

The Mercedes Benz 300SL roadster was introduced in 1957 as a direct descendant of the famous Gullwing. It’s rare in automotive history that a convertible would bring about the demise of the coupe version on which it was based, however with the 300SL it was a case of succession—the roadster replaced the Gullwing.

As the roadster was based on the Gullwing, there were many similarities between the two, the former encompassing several enhancements that were to increase the car’s desirability. Read More

1972 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Prototype

This unusual 2.7 Carrera RS was created in 1972, based on the 2.4-liter 911S, and with which Porsche assaulted the 3-liter racing classes. Today, the RS is regarded by many as one of the top five sports cars to emerge from the 1970s. Its versatility is hardly surprising; the 911 was designed from the start to be equally suitable for competition and series production. It is highly usable, both trickling through traffic and competing on the race course or Read More

1973 BMW 3.0 CSL “Batmobile”

The BMW 3.0 CSL “Batmobile” was one of the most outrageously brutal road-going homologation specials ever conceived, designed to exploit several loopholes and bring to BMW a German Saloon Car Championship. In order to homologate a more competitive racing car, the monocoque was formed from thinner-gauge steel, and aluminum was employed to skin the hood and trunk. An array of luxuries were deleted, such as the front bumper (the rear bumper was now formed of polyester), power steering, electric windows, Read More

1987 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe

Porsche street cars had a very strong reputation for excellent durability-Turbos broke that rule

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In order to compete against bigger-engined rivals, Porsche homologated the type 934 race car in 1974 and embarked on an entirely new phase in race car development. As word spread about the incredible performance, the initial run of 500 cars disappeared like Houdini. They made another 800 that year, yet didn’t satisfy the demand.

Porsche transferred Read More

1911 Mercedes 37/90 Skiff

I had a customer interested in this car at $2m in the late ’90s before the full story emerged

In the early 1900s, Mercedes styling ran the gamut from conservative limousines and landaulets to dashing phaetons and open two-seaters. None, however, approached the style of this one-of-a-kind 1911 Mercedes 37/90 skiff, one of the most exotic Mercedes ever created.
The avenue des Champs-Elysées atelier of Henri Labourdette pioneered the exquisite wooden skiff Read More