As far as classic cars go, the accolades don’t get much higher than the Best in Show award at Pebble Beach. The prize is almost always won by a pre-war Europeans, like this 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680 S Torpedo Roadster.
One of only three made by celebrated coachbuilder Saoutchik – and the only known surviving example – this classic Benz took top honors at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. And now it’s going up for auction.
Evidently smitten by its signature low windshield, disappearing convertible roof, reptile-skin red leather interior, beautiful wood trim, and highly polished brightware, oil baron Frederick Henry Bedford, Jr. bought it virtually right off the show stand at the 1929 New York Auto Salon. It remained in his family’s possession for some 75 years until noted father-and-son collectors Paul and Chris Andrews bought the car from the Bedford estate in 2008, and two years later commissioned an exhaustive restoration process that took another two years.
The Saoutchik roadster achieved a perfect score of 100 points upon its debut at Pebble Beach that year and took the top prize. Among others, it also won First in Class the following year at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este – to whence it will return next month to be sold to the highest bidder by RM Sotheby’s.
The auction house expects it will sell for between €6.5 and 8 million, which would already make it one of the most valuable cars to sell at auction this year. We wouldn’t be surprised to see it far exceed that estimate, though. It’s not every day, after all, that such a prize-winning classic comes up for sale. (Photos courtesy of RM Sotheby’s, Mercedes-Benz, and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.)