Lot 406: Mercedes-Benz 260 Stuttgart Cabriolet C
From the time of the merger of Daimler and Benz in 1926 until the advent of Hans Nibel's advanced 170 in 1931, it was the Stuttgart that comprised the bulk of Mercedes-Benz production. Although the firm's large supercharged models attracted the headlines, the 'bread-and-butter' Stuttgart was of far greater commercial importance, and it was Dr Ferdinand Porsche's perceived failure to get it right that contributed to his resignation in 1928. Revised by Nibel after Porsche's departure, the Stuttgart in its many forms would go on to become the backbone of Mercedes-Benz production and a huge success. Built in 2.0-litre (200) and 2.6-litre (260) versions, the Stuttgart was a well-engineered car that represented the last of the old technology rather than the first of the new. A six-cylinder, seven-bearing sidevalve engine provided the power while the channel-section chassis featured live axles, semi-elliptical springs and mechanical brakes. The gearbox was a three-speed unit with floor change; the radiator was flat-fronted and the steel wheels were of the artillery type. Featuring coachwork by Sindelfingen, the Stuttgart was manufactured in a wide variety of forms: saloon, cabriolet, roadster, Pullman limousine, taxicab, various commercials and even a military version. Manufactured in April 1930, this Mercedes-Benz 260 two-door cabriolet remains exceptionally original, retaining all its factory features including the paintwork and trim items. The body is finished in blue, the edges of the wings, running boards and wheels being highlighted in white, a feature adopted during WW2 to increase vehicles' visibility at night when lighting was kept to an absolute minimum. Another wartime relic is the original DDAC (German Automobile Club) sticker in the rear window. The DDAC had been founded in 1933, early in the days of Hitler's Third Reich, and the badge originally had a swastika below the eagle but this has, understandably, been removed. Other noteworthy features include the original black leather interior, original convertible hood, and a separate luggage trunk carried between the bumper-mounted spare wheel and the body. Since acquisition by the current vendor the car has been kept in museum storage. Almost certainly unique, this 'time warp' Mercedes-Benz 260 is outstandingly original, its unusual period features serving as a poignant reminder of a time within living memory that was one of the most violent in human history. The fact that it survived at all is remarkable. A 'must have' for the serious Mercedes-Benz connoisseur.
The Beaulieu Sale|
Bonhams, Hampshire, UK
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||£34500|
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