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300SLs make £3 million at Bonham’s Mercedes-Benz auction

Four pristine examples of the first real supercar were on offer among the 43 lots at Bonhams’ second Mercedes-Benz Museum sale on 28 March: one Gullwing and three Roadsters.

First up was 1960 300SL Roadster first owned by German industrialist Alfried Krupp. It had only had three owners in all, the most recent for 35 years, and had never been restored or resprayed. It sold for just under £800,000.

The other two Roadsters were a partly restored 1957 model that was estimated at £740,000-£960,000, and a 1961 car, owned by one family for 48 years, that was expected to make at least £740,000. The 1957 car sold for £750,000 and the slightly newer car £775,000.

The only Gullwing on offer was a beautifully restored 1955 matching numbers car with a fully-documented history. Its odometer showed 81,700 miles and it had spent much of its life in large private collections. It sold for just over £740,000.

Other highly desirable Mercedes models on offer included a 1938 540K Cabriolet A. The flagship model retained its original supercharged straight-eight engine and had a sporty looking rear end with an enclosed spare wheel. Still considered a car for the connoisseur, as it was when new, this Mercedes sold for £2 million - £175,000 above estimate.

Another icon of its era, a 1931 770K Cabriolet D, also made a six figure sum. The cabriolet had spent many years in the American Blackhawk collection, and had been restored twice. One of only 18 Cabriolet D models produced, it sold for £1.6 million.

Perhaps the most unusual vehicles on offer were a pair of 1970s Unimogs. A just-restored single cab model went for just under £40,000, and an ex-Luftwaffe double cab made slightly less – they certainly both offered a lot of metal for the money.

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By Claire Evans

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