A Mercedes-Benz, once owned by ‘the King of Rock and Roll’ Elvis Presley, was sold by Bonhams yesterday (December 6, 2010) at Mercedes-Benz World in Surrey for $126,500. Restored to a very high standard, this rare piece of Elvis Presley history attracted a great deal of interest and in the end it went to Germany.
Two other notable cars at this sale were a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘Gullwing’ Coupe which sold for $692,058, and a magnificent 1913 Rolls-Royce 45/59hp Silver Ghost Open Drive Limousine that went for £419,500. Motorcars spanning all periods, types and marques went under the hammer, including a Ferrari 550 GTZ, which was one of only five examples of the car bodied by the famous Italian carrozzeria Zagato, and the only right hand drive. This car sold for $554,117.
Elvis’s 1970 Mercedes-Benz 600 Saloon Limousine in powder blue was one of only a handful of cars that the singer registered himself, and one of two 600 Mercedes that he owned.
Presley owned the car for two years before he gave it to one of his friends, James Leroy Robertson. It was purchased by the current vendor in 2005 from Robertson Motors Memphis, although the Elvis Presley fan club attempted to get the car quarantined as they considered it a national treasure that should not leave the USA.
At the time that he took delivery of this car he was in the process of rebuilding his career which had been in the doldrums for some years. This process started with his ‘Comeback Special TV show in December 1968, NBC’s highest rated show of the season. Keen to resume live performing he began a series of engagements at the newly opened International Hotel in Las Vegas which continued until his tragic death in August 1977.
Elvis Presley had a life-long love affair with motorcars, most famously his pink Cadillac. Lesser known was his penchant for Mercedes-Benz 600s, two of which he added to his collection in the 1970s. Over thirty years later, one of these Mercedes-Benz 600s found itself in the UK, where it was offered as part of Bonhams’ sale of Important Motor Cars and Automobilia.
The location for the sale of Elvis Presley’s Mercedes 600 was apt -Mercedes-Benz World, near Weybridge in Surrey, situated within the banking of Britain’s first ever purpose built racing circuit, the famous Brooklands Motor Course. Mercedes-Benz World offered an exciting setting for Bonhams final motorcar sale of the year.