Media Release


Villa Erba

  • RM Sotheby’s announces latest highlights for its boutique Villa Erba auction,  27 May on the shores of Lake Como, Italy
  • Headline attraction: highly prized 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680 S Torpedo-Sport Avant-Garde, the sole survivor of just three built, leads spectacular docket of 50 handpicked motor cars set for the exclusive Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este sale
  • Auction to also feature 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Cabriolet, which will be displayed at this week’s Techno Classica exhibition (5-9 April) in Essen, Germany
  • Further information and a frequently updated list of entries available at


LONDON (6 April, 2017) – RM Sotheby’s, the official auction house of the esteemed Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, is thrilled to announce the latest premier offerings for its exclusive Villa Erba sale, 27 May on the shores of Lake Como, Italy. From a highly prized, multi-million-euro Mercedes-Benz 680 S to a rare Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport, the latest entries shine the spotlight on pre-war glamour and are perfectly matched to the event’s setting, having been previously displayed at the celebrated Concorso.


A Concours Starlet: The 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680 S Torpedo-Sport Avant-Garde

A true design masterpiece, the 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680 S Torpedo-Sport Avant-Garde, chassis no. 35949, is the undisputed star attraction of RM’s upcoming Villa Erba sale. One of Saoutchik’s most incredible designs, the car is the sole survivor of just three examples constructed with a short-windshield design, and represents the perfect combination of German engineering and French Avant-Garde styling. From a visual perspective, it is simply breathtaking; devoid of any running boards, it combines swooping front fenders with highly polished German Silver trim, a low windshield, and a disappearing convertible top. Inside, reptile-skin seats and intricate wood accents, including a large wood-rimmed steering wheel, give a heightened sense of luxury.


Shown at the 1929 New York Auto Salon, 35949 was purchased new by Frederick Henry Bedford Jr., the director of Standard Oil, and went on to remain in his family’s loving ownership for over seven and a half decades. In 2008, the stunning Mercedes-Benz made its way into the collection of Paul and Chris Andrews, who commissioned esteemed restoration firm, Paul Russell & Company, to complete a meticulous, body-off restoration—the supreme quality of which saw it awarded 100 points at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and claim the event’s coveted Best of Show trophy. Following its triumph at Pebble Beach, 35949 went on to earn numerous other accolades around the globe, including ‘Restoration of the Year’ at the 2012 International Historic Motoring Awards, First in Class at the 2013 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, and the Mercedes-Benz Star of Excellence at the 2014 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Presented in spectacular condition and no stranger to the spotlight, it comes to Villa Erba offered from one of America’s foremost collections (Est. €6.500.000 - €8.000.000).


“It’s a distinct honor to present this very special Mercedes-Benz at our Lake Como sale,” comments Shelby Myers, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s. “A true show-stopper, not only is it one of the most stunning automobiles to ever wear the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star, but also one of the most memorable concours starlets of the 21st century, making it a perfect fit to the Concorso d’Eleganza weekend. It’s also a terrific candidate for long-distance touring. If you’re in the market for a car that offers a sensational blend of style and performance, it doesn’t get much better than this!”


Also recently confirmed to the RM sale and perfectly matched to the Concorso weekend is the 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Cabriolet, chassis no. 110121. Equally breathtaking, luxurious, and rare, it is one of just three examples clothed by Parisian coachbuilder, Franay; its sleek bodywork is complemented by a lavish interior by Hermès. Like the Mercedes-Benz, this T26 has also enjoyed a long, successful career on the show circuit, winning several industry and design awards. First displayed at the 1949 Paris Motor Show, it has since been exhibited at all the leading concours in Europe, the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este included, along with America’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Its provenance is further elevated by its brush with celebrity, including Marlene Dietrich who has been pictured with the car (Est. €1.200.000 - €1.500.000). For interested parties, the T26 will be available for advance preview on the RM stand (Hall 6.0, booth 416) at this week’s Techno Classica exhibition in Essen, Germany. The RM stand will also showcase the previously announced 1957 BMW 507 Roadster Series I, with RM specialists on hand to offer collectors a resource for auction and restoration services.


For further information on RM Sotheby’s upcoming Villa Erba sale, or to view a frequently updated list of entries, please visit or call RM Sotheby’s London office at +44 (0) 20 7851 7070.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
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

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
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

+1 203 912 7168
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

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

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

+1 617 513 0388
United States

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

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

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

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

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

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

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

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

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

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

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

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
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

+1 519 352 4575
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

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

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

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

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

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

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

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

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

+31 653 84 19 60
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