Buying an old, documented car, is like buying a piece of history. That’s one of the best things about car auctions.
An indisputable paper trail is what every collector wants. Getting a piece of art without a background story dilutes its authenticity and the story remains the same when it comes to automobiles. Bonhams is known for auctioning the who’s who examples of motoring, and the famous auction house has something magnificent for the Goodwood Festival of Speed (GFOS) sale: A Citroen SM and a Mercedes 250 S owned by founding member and former Rolling Stones bassist, Bill Wyman.
Hold on to your seat, it gets better. According to Bonhams, Wyman actively drove the cars to studios, during the recording of several famous Rolling Stones albums. Maybe driving that gorgeous Citroen when experiencing “writer’s block” gave him inspiration. I know I’d be cured instantly.
Furthermore, the 250 S was the very first Mercedes that featured blacked-out windows. You see, back in those days, customization was not in full bloom and owners usually collaborated with car manufacturers in order to add a little personal touch to their cars.
Wyman stated that the German car manufacturer had never done tinted windows before, that’s why he had to help with the research and development. The finish product cost him £350, which is about £4,900 ($7,537) in today’s money.
The reason Mr. Wyman wanted the glass tinted, was because all his colleagues were doing it too – Mick Jagger and Brian Jones did a similar job to their Minis. Funny how blacked-out windows were available for the Mini marque but Mercedes had trouble developing them. Lucky Bill Wyman came along and showed them how it’s done.
Anyway, when it comes to the Maserati developed Citroen SM, Wyman admits it was love at first sight:
“The minute I saw the Maserati, I thought, this is it! It looked so beautiful. They showed me that incredible engine and the double headlights, and I thought, incredible! I fell in love with it”.
And who could blame him, this high performance French coupe with its V6, designed by Giulio Alfieri, was a peach. We just hope it is the 2.7-litre Bosch injection model, which developed 178-horses.
Wyman stated that he frequently drove the SM in Europe; from Vence to Paris and from Marseille to Portofino. Needless to say, the man used the car for what it was: a grand tourer.
Photos: Bonhams, via Autoevolution