19-20 January 2017

Offered from the Jules Barsotti Collection

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Lot 208

1938 Mercedes-Benz 200 V Sport Roadster

  • Chassis no. 189478
  • Engine no. 189478
  • Body no. 836203
  • Commission no. 246145

Sold for $176,000

64 hp, 2,007 cc L-head inline four-cylinder engine with two Solex 35 I FP carburetors, four-speed manual transmission with reverse, transverse leaf-spring front suspension, swing axle rear suspension with coil springs, and four-wheel hydraulically assisted drum brakes. Wheelbase: 112 in.

  • Offered from the Jules Barsotti Collection
  • Special Roadster-like styling on the small 200 V chassis
  • Believed to be the only known survivor of 31 built
  • Commissioned by Daimler-Benz for company use
  • Owned by a prominent Mercedes-Benz dealer for four decades

Most of Mercedes-Benz’s special coachbuilding expertise in the late 1930s was put to use on the largest and most expensive models of the range, the supercharged 540 K and the vast 770. The company, however, was also capable of producing some special bodies on its smaller “family car” platforms, as evidenced by the existence of this charming Sport Roadster, a dashing two-passenger convertible with a rumble seat, built on the 200 V chassis.

The 200 V unto itself was not a particularly common car in any form, but in letters to a former owner of this car, Louis Robbins of El Paso, Texas, Mercedes-Benz of North America indicated that it was something very unique indeed. Writing to Mr. Robbins, Count Marcus Clary noted that 27 Sport Roadsters were produced in 1938, and only four the following year. Further, this particular Sport Roadster “was commissioned early in 1938 and apparently originally used as a company car because it was only sold to a customer in late 1939.”

After longtime Northern California Mercedes-Benz dealer Jules Barsotti acquired the Robbins car in 1979, he was able to satisfy himself that no other examples survived, noting “only one left” in paperwork in the car’s file. Restoration of the rare Sport Roadster commenced thereafter, with the goal of competition at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Finished in two shades of silver with red striping and a red leather interior, the charming little car made a big impression in its display at Pebble Beach in 1984, winning 3rd in Class.

The car retains its original serial number and body number tags, with certain bespoke panels, such as the hood hinge, still bearing stamped factory body numbers. While the thorough restoration is now 40 years old, it still holds up well, with the paint and interior still being attractive enough for driving enjoyment and local display. However, the car has been in storage for several years, and therefore mechanical rejuvenation will be necessary before taking it on the road. The odometer recorded 80,749 kilometers at the time of cataloguing.

If the ultimate Mercedes-Benz of this era was the Special Roadster, then this, indeed, must be a very special little roadster.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more