A 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500K has sold for a whopping £2.5m at Bonhams' inaugural Mercedes-Benz Museum sale, in which nearly a half century of classics crossed the block for a total of £9.4m.
The car was discovered in the 1970s by a Scandinavian enthusiast who restored it to near-concours condition. He held on to the roadster for 40 years before consigning it for auction, with the instruction that all the proceeds should benefit The Swedish Alzheimers Foundation and Swedish Cancer Society.
Also causing a stir was a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A, which fetched £1.7m, while a 1976 Unimog 406 Doppelkabine almost doubled its pre-sale upper estimate to achieve £65,700.
A 600 Pullman that was once used by General Chen Li during the Chinese Communist Revolution reached £137,254 before bidding halted, but the sale also included a number of more affordable classics.
A handsome 1959 180D Saloon sold for just £5,935, while a 1972 350SLC Coupe achieved £15,068.
Meanwhile, a 1989 190E 2.5-16 Evolution fetched £20,090, cementing its status as a bargain alternative to the BMW E30 M3.
Bonhams co-chairman and auctioneer Malcolm Barber said: “Today’s sale demonstrated the fantastic diversity and engineering excellence available from the Mercedes-Benz classic motor car range. We’re delighted to have placed a marker in the history books, as the first ever auction to be held in the new Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart, and Bonhams’ largest Mercedes-Benz sale ever – achieving almost €12m for some very happy bidders.”