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Clark Gable's 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing doesn't sell, then does sell for $1.85 million [UPDATE: w/video]Sat, 19 Jan 2013 20:10:00 EST
How much extra value does previous celebrity ownership add to of a car? Really, there's no way to know until the car in question hits the auction block and bidders start raising their hands. In the case of the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing you see above, the celebrity owner is none other than Clark Gable, who purchased it new. After Gable's death in 1960, the car changed hands a few times before settling with Charles Wood in 1975.
A high-dollar restoration was performed in 1989, and period accessories added by Gable himself were kept in place, including the Rudge knock-off wheels and Nardi steering wheel. Any Mercedes-Benz 300SL is worth a big chunk of money. In the case of Clark Gable's old Gullwing, the bidding stalled at $1.9 million here at the 2013 Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale. As one of the 5000-series cars, this 300SL carried a reserve, and a bit of after-the-fact dealmaking saw the car change hands for $1.85 million.
You can see our high-res image gallery above, and the car's official auction description below.
Mercedes-Benz Titan. Mercedes-Benz Frontier. Mercedes-Benz pickup truck. None of these things roll off the tongue particularly well. We'd like to think that's the reason Daimler opted to kill the idea of rebadged Titan and Frontier pickups from corporate ally Nissan. In reality, the execution before the Frankfurt Motor Show was due to more complicated issues.
Yes, Mercedes, byword for German luxury, style and quality, would have slapped a three-pointed star on a pair of Japanese pickup trucks that have failed to resonate with consumers in the world's largest truck market. That slapping of badges isn't much of an exaggeration, at least on the outside. According to the report from Road & Track, the truck's front clip would have been tweaked, but beyond that, the sheetmetal would have been unchanged. The interior would have received a more thorough going-over by the team at Mercedes, while the suspension and noise, vibration and harshness tuning would have also received significant attention.
The trucks would have ended up being sold through the light-commercial branch of Mercedes-Benz - the same folks that will happily sell you a Sprinter van - had the deal gone through. Issues arose, though, first with the engines. Mercedes wanted a wider range of powertrains to allow it to tune models for specific markets, while Nissan said it couldn't engineer the wide variety of engines that MB wanted to drop under the hood. For the smaller truck, meanwhile, MB was interested in a hybrid or plug-in variant, according to R&T, although this was also shot down by Nissan.
We may not have an official starting price for the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but as of right now, we can tell you about all the options for the eagerly anticipated new luxury sedan.
Benz Report has the entire order guide for the C-Class, with breakdowns from package pricing to how many different colors, wheel designs and lighting configurations will be available when the new model hits dealers later this year. As we mentioned in our initial review of the C-Class, there will be a pair of engine options, with the now familiar 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder available in both rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations and a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V6, which can be had in all-wheel drive, only.
From there, though, the available options are impressive. Much like it does on the current car, Mercedes is offering a pair of packages that sort of define the entire car. With the C300, buyers will have the choice of either a Sport or Luxury package in addition to the base trim, while C400 buyers are limited to the Sport model.