At RM’s London classic car auction this was the “standard” fare of painstakingly restored Aston Martins, Ferraris and Mercedes Gullwings . The hall glistened and gleamed with well polished beauties. The star of the show, however, turned out to be a rusted, dilapidated and altogether disheveled former statesman. A 1969 Mercedes–Benz 600 Pullman Landaulet, chariot of popes and princes, had been transported from a surrey barn and shoved into the far corner of the auction hall. With withered red leather interior and an engine that could barely stay in the chassis, much less start, the Pullman could hardly compete for the interest of the crowds with 250 GTOs and DB5 convertibles. That is, until bidding got underway.
With an estimate at £40,000 – 60,000, the bidding began at £40,000. The crowed paid little attention until bids hit £100,000 mark, at which point Rob Myers (the RM behind RM Auctions) got rather jumpy. At £150,000, the lead bidder decided enough was enough and dropped out, provoking Rob launch one of the more impassioned sales pitches in auction memory, at one point raising the bidders paddle for him. When the dust settled, the new owner parted with £308,000 for what is arguably the last unrestored Pullman, and a very serious restoration it will be. We’re looking forward to the end result, and tip our hats to the ambitious soul willing to undertake (and underwrite) this ambitious effort.