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Rare Mercedes-Benz Prototype Brings US$275,000

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March 12, 2007

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March 13, 2007 The 1948 Mercedes-Benz A320 two-door cabriolet we wrote up in detail back in January has fetched AUD$350,000 (US$275,000) at auction. The imposing two-tone blue totally-restored vehicle, which was discovered in derelict state in Indonesia in the 1980s, was designed to revive Mercedes-Benz’s image as a luxury carmaker following the devastation of its German factories in World War II.

The car never went into production, as it was overtaken by the development of the more technically advanced 300-series models and never went into production.

One of the interesting aspects of the Shannons 11th annual Melbourne Motor Show Auction was the exceptional prices fetched by number plates.

With total sales of more than AUD$2.7 million, the Melbourne Motor Show auction saw AUD$600,000 spent on vehicle number plates, with five of the new local Victorian Registration (VicRoads) Signature Plates selling for a combined total of AUD$154,000 ahead of their public launch this week.

Number plate investors were out in force at the auction, with feverish floor and phone bidding driving most lots well above their pre-auction estimates.

Top price of AUD$75,000 went to the three-digit Victorian vitreous enamel plate ‘765’, followed by AUD$70,000 for the big-block plate ‘429’and $63,000 for ‘353’.

Amongst the four and five-digit plates, ‘2123’ made AUD$34,000, just ahead of ‘8168’ (AUD$32,000) and ‘9.444’ (AUD$31,000), while ’30.000’ and ’66.111’ were the best of the five digit plates, each selling for AUD$27,000.

The new VicRoads ‘Signature series’ personalised numberplates did exceptionally well on the eve of their public release, with ‘GT’ selling for nearly three times its high estimate for $53,000, ‘RR’ and ‘SS’ each brought AUD$36,000, ‘GT.0’ sold for AUD$17,000 and ‘RT’ went for AUD$12,000.

Emphasising the strong interest in vintage vehicles at the auction, a superb 1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I saloon once owned by an Austrian aristocrat who served as a spy for Adolf Hitler in the early 1930s sold for AUD$100,000. The vehicle had been driven to Melbourne from the Hunter Valley by its vendor to substantiate its running condition.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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