Magical Mercedes memorabilia being sold at auction

Paul Hudson
The Mercedes-Benz artefacts date from the 1920s to the 1990s

A fascinating collection of Mercedes-related automobilia, much of it used for set dressing at the period-perfect Goodwood Revival, is being sold at auction on Saturday.

East Anglia-based auctioneer Cheffins will be selling more than 160 lots from the renowned automobilia collection belonging to Stewart Imber as part of its Cambridge Vintage Sale on April 27, which is claimed to be the largest sale of its type in Europe.

The collection has previously been seen on the Salvage Hunters TV series and has been used at the Goodwood Revival since 2005. The 160 lots include more than 40 classic Mercedes-Benz items dating from 1920 to the 1990s.

Included within the Mercedes-Benz items are rare illuminated signs, enamel dealers’ signs, posters, flags, service tools and advertisements.  There is also a large consignment of original tinplate Mercedes-Benz toys, some of which date from the 1950s.

According to the auction house, the highlight is a 1960s double-sided illuminated Mercedes-Benz garage forecourt sign with blue neon rim lighting. It is said to be in full working order and is expected to sell for between £5,000 and £6,000.

Mercedes-Benz's three-pointed star was trademarked in 1925, ahead of the 1926 merger between DMG (Daimler) and Benz & Cie to create Daimler-Benz Credit: Sergei Karpukhin/TASS

There is also a Mercedes-Benz showroom sign in Perspex from the 1970s and an original pre-Second World War German dealer’s enamel sign, both of which have been estimated to sell for £2,500-£3,000.

In total, the Mercedes-related artefacts are expected to achieve between £18,000 and £20,000.

The remainder of the lots include original enamel and illuminated signs, forecourt maps, spares, tools, parts, promotional clothing, flags, posters and so on. A number of these items are either original 1950s and 1960s examples or reproductions created for TV and film sets.

One of the highlights is a Morris-Commercial hanging illuminated sign from the 1920s, which is still working; this extremely rare item has an estimate of £4,000-£5,000. Similarly, a Morris Distributor illuminated sign from the 1930s is expected to achieve £2,000-£2,500.

A Mercedes-themed display at a Swiss classic car show

Stewart Imber, who is selling the items, said: “The collection has been amassed over 43 years and is now so vast that I need to pass these wonderful pieces over to new custodians. As a Mercedes-Benz enthusiast and previous owner, there is a large M-B contingent in the collection which is bound to be of interest for fans of the brand.

“A number of items within the collection were especially created for the Goodwood Revival, where I have been dressing sets for the past 13 years, whereas others are extremely rare original examples.”

Jeremy Curzon, director of Cheffins, added: “We are pleased to be offering the next section of Stewart Imber’s collection for sale following the first consignment’s previous success under the hammer last year. Stewart is renowned as having one of the greatest collections of motoring-related items in the UK.

“With some incredibly rare automobilia lots on offer, this sale will give fans and enthusiasts a one-off opportunity to buy pieces never previously seen on the open market.”

Full details at www.cheffins.co.uk

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