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 Post subject: Mercedes, not by Saoutchik !
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:17 pm 
Craftsman

Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:53 pm
Posts: 108
I visit with a great interest the site coachbuild.com, because it contains many informations and great pictures of coachbuilt cars : this is a wonderful work to gather so many knowledges. I post this new topic about the red Mercedes whose pictures where found on Hemmings.com. I can assure this is not a work from Saoutchik. I remember very well that in the first half of 1999, a reader of french magazine La Vie de l'Auto (LVA) sent a picture of this car with some bits of history. Unfortunately, I have not kept the article, but I have kept the photograph enclosed : It is really a Mercedes K chassis, which was rebodied shortly after WW2 by a little coachbuilder located in the Auvergne area, in the centre of France.
We can suppose that the Mercedes was once part of the staff cars of the german occcupation army in France and that it was left there at the end of war, maybe with a damaged body, which explains why it was rebodied. I am happy to see that this car is still with us, and not rebodied as a "Spezial Roadster", like so many other K chassis. But this is no excuse to add chrome flames on the wings to pretend this is a work from Saoutchik !


Attachments:
File comment: A period photograph of the Mercedes after WW2, with its new body, not by Saoutchik.
540 K Auvergnebis NB531.jpg
540 K Auvergnebis NB531.jpg [ 297.39 KiB | Viewed 870 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Mercedes, not by Saoutchik !
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:17 pm 
Master coachbuilder
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Location: The Netherlands
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:45 am
Posts: 2121
Welcome at this forum, Phaeton!

Thank you very much for your info about this Mercedes! Very interesting!
Do you remember the name of the small coachbuilder?

The admin will correct the new info about this car in the gallery asap.

_________________
ATELIERVANDENBRINK.com


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 Post subject: Re: Mercedes, not by Saoutchik !
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:01 am 
Craftsman

Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:53 pm
Posts: 108
Unfortunately not ! I have not kept the article, just the photograph. Yesterday, I searched in my collection of magazines, but I have not kept the 1999 year … I will contact a friend who possesses the whole collection of LVA, but we have to wait, because he is on vacation ! As soon as I have more news, I will bring the info.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercedes, not by Saoutchik !
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:28 pm 
Craftsman

Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:53 pm
Posts: 108
As promised, here is further information about the 540 .K presented as a Saoutchik, and another photograph, unfortunately of poor quality, because it is a scan from a photocopy of the magazine page ! I wrote the article, which was published in the french weekly “La Vie de l’Auto” on May 20 1999, where I worked at the time.
The photographs were found in the archives of a coachbuilder called Fréjat. Fréjat began as a cartwright, assembling horse carriages and later, lorries and utilitarian vehicles, using the “Vulcabloc” pressing process; It was established in a little village called Pont-du-Château, near Clermont-Ferrand, a town internationnaly known, because it is the home town of the Michelin tyre manufacture ! The car bore the registration “9606 NH 63, delivered at the end of 1947.
Further information came two months later, published in “La Vie de l’Auto” of July 22. You will find the article enclosed, but I give you a short english translation :
A belgian reader, who unfortunately did not reveal his identity, answered the following :
“Very fond of Mercedes, and the former owner of a 1935 5000 K, I have found information about this car in the book “Mercedes-Benz 1930 - talets Kompressor vanar i Norden”, written by the swedish specialist Jan Melin”.
In this book, Jan Melin gives the history of this 540 K :
“This car, equipped with a very special body, is a big mystery. Chassis n° 408335 was originally delivered as a 540 K bodied as a coach, painted brown and beige. Today, the car has a 500 K engine (n° 113675). This engine was originally in a 500 K “cabriolet C”, delivered in Switzerland in 1935, painted two-tone gray.
The American William Patton tells about “408335” that in 1946, a French supposedly bought it in Germany, already wearing this body, which is not plausible, because of the french influence of Figoni & Falaschi found in its lines. In 1947, the car was sent in Venezuela., where an American bought it. In 1954,he brought the car in the US and in the sixties, a doctor from Florida bought it. Patton, bought the Mercedes from this doctor and sold it in 1989 to the Drottningholm collection, located in Switzerland. In february 1992, a financial company sold the car in Germany, where it received a new “Spezial Roadster” body.”
This anonymous reader sent a photograph of the car after restoration, with an important change : the front lights, integrated in the front fenders by Fréjat, have been replaced by traditional separate headlights.
My conclusion was that if this curious body was not the original one on chassis “408335”, it would have been more legitimate to give it back a coach body, as it left the factory in 1935, but the change for a “Spezial Roadster” body was purely made in the name of speculation. And finally, I hoped that the Frejat body had not been destroyed.
Ten years later, the question is still asked, because the photographs posted to the Hemmings blog come from the classifieds of Hemmings, issue November 1978, where it was presented as a Saoutchik body (surely, the chrome flames added the wings and the sills helped !), but the Atlanta-based seller announced that the body was on a… 770 K chassis ; crazy, isn’t it ?!


Attachments:
nov1978mercedes540K_04_resized.jpg
nov1978mercedes540K_04_resized.jpg [ 21.89 KiB | Viewed 926 times ]
Fréjat article LVA.jpg
Fréjat article LVA.jpg [ 349.38 KiB | Viewed 926 times ]
540 K Fréjat profil NB566-1.jpg
540 K Fréjat profil NB566-1.jpg [ 150.09 KiB | Viewed 926 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Mercedes, not by Saoutchik !
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:40 pm 
Coachbuilder

Location: Sweden
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:14 pm
Posts: 287
Drottningholm... Switzerland :?:


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 Post subject: Re: Mercedes, not by Saoutchik !
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:10 am 
Master coachbuilder
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Location: MAnnheim/GER-EU
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 5:31 pm
Posts: 1796
Drottningholm is in Sweden - I have the original Swedish text for all 1930s supercharged MB-cars, delivered to Scandinavia ...,

... with greetings, FrankWo.


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