Rare examples of classic cars can attract enormous interest from buyers, regularly breaking sales price records. Lauritz Lauritzen is the owner of one such car.
The Mercedes-Benz, cabriolet type B, model 320 from 1938 is said to be the only one in the world produced at Mannheim Mercedes-Benz, and Lauritzen is excited about what price the car might fetch when it goes under the hammer in Denmark on June 26.
The Mercedes represents the pinnacle of the German marque and only 34 cars were ever built.
The 1938c car is even more special as it is a top-of-the-range “Mannheim”-car further-equipped with everything Mercedes could think of. In its time, it was probably one of the world’s best cars.
Today it presents itself accordingly-but only because the enthusiastic owner has put thousands of hours into it. Lauritzen found the car in a barn in 1980 as a complete wreck, and the skilled Mercedes mechanic took on the challenge of restoring it to its former glory. Eleven years later the car was running again.
Since then the owner has used it extensively all over Europe, and even at Mercedes-Benz it attracted admiration. For the factory’s 125th anniversary, the car and owner were invited to Berlin and featured in the special exhibition of the 10 most beautiful Mercedes ever.
Elsewhere the car elicited horror: In all likelihood Nazi Reinhard Heydrich was bombed in Prague in 1942 in this Mercedes. When Lauritzen investigated further it transpired that Heydrich drove a special edition from Mannheim, exactly like Lauritzen’s car. This fact was consistent with the severe damage his car showed before restoration at the rear right where the bomb exploded.
This led Lauritzen to conclude that his car was the one owned by the infamous Nazi.
As the owner says, “this is no fault of the car,” and he has given the car 36 years of loving care despite its troubling history.
The car has been involved in some more positive stories such as when it starred in the 1996 movie “Hamsun,” starring Max von Sydow. Upon seeing the car, the character actor exclaimed, “here I am the extra.”
Lauritzen has only pleasurable memories of the one-of-a-kind Mercedes, which is still in top form; however, he feels the time is right for the car to begin the next chapter in its story.
The striking car appears at auction on June 26 at Campen Auktioner. Auctioneer Finn Campen already reports great international interest in the distinctive Mercedes. More information is available at: www.multivu.com/players/uk/7861151-mercedes-resurrected-after-bomb-attack/