Idle Torque: Ultra-rare Merc
After sitting in an English garage for 60 years, this 1928 Mercedes 'S' Type Sports Tourer will be auctioned in September for an estimated $2.3 million. Supplied picture

A supercharged 1928 Mercedes-Benz, which until recently had sat in a garage for 60 years, is set to be auctioned on September 15 for up to an estimated $2.3 million.

The ultra-rare Merc, a 26/120/180 "S" Type Sports Tourer, has been in the same family since it was new and even has its original logbook and leather interior.

The auction house which has been assigned to sell the car, Bonhams, confidently stated that this discovery was "one of the greatest and most important motor car finds of the last decade". That's debatable but it is a special find.

Making this car so desirable is the fact that its 6.8-litre engine has a little air pump on the side. When that supercharger starts shovelling compressed air into those massive cylinders, it announces that it's doing so with a demonic wail worthy of a Stephen King movie. The engine itself was designed by the famous German engineer Ferdinand Porsche and, according to Bonhams, the supercharged versions of the powerplant were first seen at the Nurburgring in 1927.

It was here in racing form that a supercharged Mercedes-Benz won the 5.0-litre class and recorded the fastest time of the day at the hands of ace driver Rudy Carraciola.

Bonhams said this particular car had never been restored and was a "time warp" find that had been using the same garage since the 1930s. The auctioneer said it was permanently laid up in the 1950s.


The Australian equivalent of the Mercedes-Benz discovery popped up a couple of weeks ago.

The unrestored 1968 Holden Monaro HK GTS 327 pictured here has been pulled out of storage after 16 years and is set to be auctioned in Sydney on July 22.

According to auctioneer Shannons, its engine was rebuilt in the early 1990s but the vehicle hasn't been registered since 1996.

Shannons said the motor turned over but had yet to be started, while the interior was complete but grubby. There was also some minor surface rust on the body.

How refreshingly different it would be to simply get the running gear sorted and drive the car in its existing cosmetic condition.

Drive this to Leederville for a coffee and your drink would be cold by the time you unpeeled all the people off it.

Shannons reckons it'll bring in around $60,000. To get it for less would be good buying indeed.


American Independence Day Run, Success to Whiteman Park.

York Motor Show, from 10am. Email

Super Model Car Sunday, Cusack Road, Malaga, 9am to 4pm. Phone 9448 0110.

Father’s Day Hot Rod Show, St Patrick’s Primary School, Fremantle, 10am to 4pm. Phone 0417 767 566.

Shannons One-Day Classic Rally, Perth and surrounds.

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