1928 Mercedes-Benz 680 S Torpedo-Sport Avant-Garde

1928 Mercedes-Benz 680 S Torpedo-Sport Avant-Garde by Saoutchik

Originally commissioned by Charles Levine, this is one of around a dozen Torpedo Roadsters built by Saoutchik on the 680 S. Although similar in style, each differed in detail to suit the individual customer's needs. Following the stock market crash, Levine could no longer afford the car, leaving Mercedes-Benz to look for a new customer for a car that was built to order. With an eye on increasing the machine's appeal, it was repainted bright yellow before it was displayed at the New York Auto Salon in 1929. It was spotted here by director of Standard Oil, Frederick Bedford. He used the opportunity to acquire the originally very expensive Saoutchik Torpedo Roadster at quite a discount.

The spectacular Mercedes-Benz would prove to be one of the best acquisitions of his life; Bedford soon after managed to convince what would become his future wife to ditch her date at a party for a ride home in the Saoutchik Torpedo Roadster. For this reason, the formidable machine remained in the Bedford family even though Frederick Bedford sadly passed away at an early age in 1952. During the 1980s, the car was restored and subsequently shown in the Owls Head Transportation Museum. In 2006, the family finally decided to let go of the car and offered it at Christie's Monterey Jet Center auction. The Mercedes-Benz was soon after sold again and eventually acquired by the current owner in recent years.

The new owner entrusted the car to noted marque expert Paul Russell for a ground-up restoration. It was decided to return the 680 S to its original configuration and colour-scheme of grey with red accents. Having inspected the car prior to its first restoration, Russell was also able to recreate the lost lizard-skin upholstery that was added to the specific request of Mrs Levine. The extensive project was ready in time for the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance where Saoutchik was one of the honoured marques. The spectacular result received universal praise and perhaps even more importantly was awarded with the coveted 'Best of Show' award.

Descriptions and pictures by conceptcarz & classicdriver

Production Start 1928
Country of origin Germany