The 1903 Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP “Roi des Belges” is the most expensive pre-1930 car sold at auction

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The 14th Gooding & Company auction, held at Amelia Island, Florida, has concluded. Mercedes set a new record, with the Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP Roi des Belges becoming the most expensive pre-1930 car ever sold at auction, with a price of $12,105,000.

After the Mercedes 300 SLR became the most expensive car ever sold at auction, with a selling price of 135 million euros, Mercedes set a new record.
At the Gooding & Company auction in early March 2024, at Amelia Island, Florida, a Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP “Roi des Belges” I wrote about here, was sold for a record price for a pre-1930 car of $12,105,100 (hammer price of $11 million). The car, owned by a single family for 121 years, has been kept in incredibly good condition and became the first antique car to sell for over $10,000,000. It was bought as new in 1903 by Alfred Harmsworth, founder of the Daily Mail.

Over the two days of the auction, Gooding & Company sold 111 of the 127 cars, which represent 87% of the total, with a total value of $67,342.270. The average price per car sold was $606,687, and 14 cars sold over $1,000,000.

The Amelia Island auction also saw several cars sell for over $3,500,000. The 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series I Spider sold for $3,995,000, and the 1961 Porsche RS61 became the most valuable RS61 at auction when it sold for $3,100,000.

The stunning 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider finished in vibrant Verde Bahram over an unrestored tan leather interior also set a new record for the 365 GTB/4 model when it achieved $3,635,000, significantly exceeding pre-auction estimates. The 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach finished in specially ordered, factory-applied Gulf Oil livery also sped past all estimated values, selling for an astonishing $3,525,000 after a spirited in-room bidding war.

In addition to the Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach, the Porsche brand was well represented at the Amelia Island auction, where several other models sold for over $1,000,00: the 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Homologation was purchased for $1,985,000, the 1990 Porsche 964 Carrera 4 Reimagined by Singer ‘Classic Study,’ brought in $1,160,000, and the 2019 Porsche 935 was purchased for $1,517,500.

In addition to the Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP “Roi des Belges”, a rare factory-Rudge wheel 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster sold for $2,012,500. Another 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing sold for $1,765,000. A Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT Final Edition Roadster found a new owner for $329,500, and a Mercedes-Benz 500E sold for $72,800.

Highlights of the Amelia Island auction included some elegant prewar offerings, such as the 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante, which sold for $2,260,000, in addition to the recently unearthed 1931 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing-Top Convertible Coupe that garnered $2,645,000.