Last week I checked out probably one my favorite R129s, a 2000 SL500 Designo that everyone else seemed to enjoy too with its unique paint and interior color combination. Well, turns out we weren’t the only one who fawned over this unique SL. Recently decrowned richest person in the world, Bill Gates, seemed to have an eye for this R129 too. According to this seller, this 2000 SL500 up for sale in Silicon Valley no less, was originally owned by the Gates for the first two years of its life. This is wonderful and all, but unlike the car I checked out last week, I’m not totally in love with this specific example. Let me explain why.
Most people know him as ‘Mr. Bean’, car enthusiasts know him as the guy to crash his McLaren twice but only the most hardcore Mercedes aficionados will know him as a mutiple Mercedes-Benz W124 500E owner. This man is of course the legendary actor, comedian and screenwriter, Rowan Atkinson. Atkinson has always been known as a ”car guy” with classics like the Acura NSX, Renault 5 GT Turbo, Aston Martin DBS V8, 1939 BMW 328 and the list goes on and on. Surprisingly, he has chosen to give up two of his classic sport saloons at auction next month in England. One being the super rare Lancia Thema 8.32, the car famous for being powered by the Tipo 105L 3.0-liter V8 shared with the Ferrari 308 and Mondial Quattrovalvo and the other being this handsome 1993 500E. The W124.036 has been blue chip vehicle from the 1990s for years now, but one that has the ultra-rare cloth interior and owned by Mr. Bean? This super sedan could end up being pretty pricey once the hammer falls.
Michael Jordan is one of the most popular athletes and brand in the world. He’s worth over a billion dollars and with that usually comes some expensive cars. Normally, wealthy celebrities go out grab the latest and greatest vehicle, drive it for a few years, then rinse and repeat. But even before Jordan was worth 10 figures, he always had some really enthusiast-minded cars. He had a Ferrari 512 TR, W140 S600, Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, C4 Corvettes, SL55 AMG, 930 Slantnose and my personal favorite, a 993 Turbo S. Today’s car for sale in Texas might be one of the rarest cars he’s ever owned. This 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 Edition owned by M.J. is just one of 150 ever built. And judging by its original price tag of just under $500,000, it was probably one of the most expensive cars he has even bought.
Last week I checked out a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL in Hellgrün which is a lovely, as well as much cheaper, alternative to the big brother 300SL. Well, today we have the big brother and believe it or not, it also is a 1957 in Hellgrün. Just to top it all off, it was owned by “The King of Hollywood” Clark Gable and has just 1,368 miles. But, as you might have guessed, this 300SL comes with a much higher price tag than the 190SL. Much, much higher.
Last week I checked out at a 1972 Mercedes-Benz 600 that looked to be cared for by a wealthy stable owner in north Alabama. Today, we have another W100 to examine, but this one has quite a bit more history to sort through. This 1970 600 for sale in Portland, Oregon isn’t the normal standard wheelbase sedan you are used to seeing but rather it’s the rare Pullman version, which is one of 423 ever produced. Of course, those who ordered these cars usually weren’t your normal private citizens. So who was the original owner of this rolling symbol of power?
Model: 600 Pullman
Engine: 6.3 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 35,000 km (21,747 mi)
1970 Mercedes 600 Pullman
Ordered new by King Idris of Libya the same year he was overthrown by Muammar Gaddafi
Award winning restoration (fully documented)
All mechanicals are new or rebuilt
35,000 km’s (300 km since restoration)
Factory 040G black with bamboo leather
Complete set of factory spares kits and tool pouch
Price: $395,000 firm
The owner of this awesome 600 was King Idris of Libya who according to the build sheet, didn’t have possession of the car for too long. This Pullman was built in July of 1969 but unfortunately Idris was deposed a few months later in a coup d’etat by army officers led by a guy you might have heard of named Muammar Gaddafi. I’ve tracked down a photo of Idris getting out of the car attached below and even more amazingly, the Associated Press actually has video footage of Idris in Turkey on September 2nd, 1969 with the car that can be viewed here. That same day is when Libyan Army officers took control of the country.…
New Jersey: Strip malls, used car lots and Bon Jovi.
Somehow these things lead me down a convoluted path to talk about a 1994 Mercedes-Benz S500. What’s the connection?
From the title, you’ll know of course this is not just any W140. It is a W140 once owned by Jon Bon Jovi, and now it is for sale in New Jersey. At a secondhand used car lot, across from a strip mall. Bingo!
The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned from Crete had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their places, in so much that this ship became a standing example among the philosophers, for the logical question of things that grow; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same.
The best part of 2,000 years ago, the Greek philosopher Plutarch questioned at what point an object began to lose its “originality”. You’ve heard the story many times, probably as the hyperbolic ‘Washington’s Axe’ parable. But though it’s been two millennia since Athenian thought led the world, the question remains applicable today.
Take this Porsche 911S, for example.
Elvis Presley loved his cars. Or maybe he just liked being seen in cars. Either way, he had his far share of flashy automobiles in his life. Cadillac, Lincoln, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes-Benz highlighted a list which included other not-so-glorious makes that just looked flashy. Often when we see ”Elvis cars” come up for sale, they aren’t actually his cars. Usually they were bought by him and given as gifts to family or friends. Today’s featured 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SEL isn’t that case.
As the final of my dream car posts we’ll settle in to the Amelia Island auctions for a group of exquisite Porsches and some of the most expensive available. Rather than stunning and rare color combinations these Porsches attract our notice through their historical relevance and, for many of them, their longevity. By now most are aware of Jerry Seinfeld’s love of Porsches; it’s been a long documented affair ever since the comedian became known across the world. He has decided to sell quite a few of them – 18 cars in all, 16 of those being Porsches – at Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island Auctions on March 11. None of the cars are inexpensive – the lowest priced likely being his 1960 Volkswagen Beetle – and many of them will stretch well into seven figures. For fans of Porsches it’s a very interesting time as many of Seinfeld’s cars are near impossible to find in this condition, with some of them near impossible to find at all. I have chosen a few examples to show here that particularly caught my eye. I won’t go through the details of each car since those details are extensive and well chronicled on the auction listing for each. Click through to read about each car’s history and also to view the rest of the Seinfeld lineup at Amelia Island:
Motorsports seems to undergo a giant leap every decade or so, where rules changes or massive shifts in technological innovation immediately render the existing designs antiquated. I was thinking of this while watching Le Mans a few nights ago; only a decade after the swoopy 917s ruled the tracks of Europe, the ground effects era of the 956/962 would be ushered in. Fast forward another 10 years and they’d be effectively completely gone because of rule changes as prototypes moved towards open cockpit designs once again. Innovation was not limited to prototypes, though; everything from touring cars to Formula 1 goes through similar cycles of design and innovation, and for fans of each series there are favorite periods. For many in Formula 1, there are the evocative memories of the wingless Cosworth-DFV powered V8 missiles sliding around Spa’s course – or perhaps the flame-spitting Turbo Era and the birth of the Senna legend. For Touring Car fans, it comes down to preference, but I love watching those early to mid-1990s BTCC races, personally. And in World Rally, for many it’s the era that defined the spectacle of the WRC; the roaring Quattro and it’s complete revision of the rules of how to go off-road racing. Big budgets, legendary designers and drivers, an unconventional layout and one absolutely roaring 5-cylinder soundtrack was a recipe worthy of the notoriety the Quattro has gained: