Saturday, 17 March 2018

Denholm’s Wheels

THE late great British actor Denholm Elliott — known for many roles but perhaps best known for playing Dr Marcus

THE late great British actor Denholm Elliott — known for many roles but perhaps best known for playing Dr Marcus Brody in the Indiana Jones movie series — was the original owner of a beautiful Mercedes-Benz 190SL, bound for auction by Historics at Brooklands this weekend.

Elliott took delivery of the brand new sporting tourer in October 1960, with the spirit of adventure synonymous with some of his acting roles replicated in the 190SL’s rewarding drive, delivered through impeccable build quality and responsive steering and gearchange.

If its monocoque construction guaranteed a dependable drive, the twin-carb, four-cylinder engine was produced with efficiency in mind, and designed to run on low-quality post-war petrol — as such typically returning around 25mpg on current regular unleaded — making it an eminently attractive option for modern-day classic motoring.

Commenting on the increasingly popular convertible, Historics’ auction director Edward Bridger-Stille noted: “Prices for the 190SL have long remained robust, with little variation in values despite wider fluctuations in the world.

“But with the 300SL and SLR now fetching such substantial sums, the 190SL has inevitably seen recent price rises too, and with outstanding build quality guaranteeing long-term usability, it can only increase in value.”

Denholm Elliott — recipient of three consecutive BAFTA awards and an Academy Award nomination — was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1988, by which time the 190SL had undergone a full nut-and-bolt restoration, including a bare metal re-spray that took the car from white to the resplendent red it’s presented in today.

Despite the engine being prepared for rebuild, it was found to be in excellent condition and requiring only the installation of fresh bearing and rings.

Currently running on twin Weber carburettors, the original Solex 44PHH units are offered with the car, along with a hard top and new soft top, as well as a fitted tonneau cover. A comprehensive file of invoices for parts and work, a number of instruction manuals and a full 12-month MoT test certificate are also supplied, along with the original buff logbook still bearing Denholm Elliott’s name and signature.

Having sold two 190SLs at its last sale on June 1 for £56,000 and £55,000 respectively, Historics expect equally excited bidding on its latest model, with a pre-sale estimate set at £45,000 to £55,000.

The Mercedes-Benz 190SL and all 127 consigned vehicles and automobilia will be auctioned at Historics at Brooklands, near Weybridge, Surrey tomorrow (Saturday) from 10am, with viewing today (Friday).

By Nigel Wigmore

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