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.