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Mercedes, Record GT40 Head $220 Million Classic-Car Auction

By Scott Reyburn - 2012-08-20T17:11:27Z

Photograph by Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding & Co. via Bloomberg

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Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster

The most highly valued lot of the week was a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster offered on the second day of Gooding's Aug. 17-18 sale at Pebble Beach. One of only 30 built, and featuring the desirable "high-door, long-tail" styling, the car had been tipped by dealers to rival the auction record of $16.4 million set by a Ferrari Testa Rossa at the same venue last year.

The Mercedes sold for $11.8 million with fees, underlining the more selective market for high-value prewar cars. The price was nonetheless the highest of the week and a record for the marque at auction. A 1935 Duesenberg Model JN Convertible Coupe, formerly owned by the Hollywood star Clark Gable, was estimated at more than $9 million and failed to sell.