Au Revoir, Rétromobile!

As Charlie’s Parisian travels have now come to an inevitable close, enjoy a final serving of the many wonderful sights and experiences through his eyes from Rétromobile. While Charlie is traveling home soon, you can still catch up with him and find out much more about his trip and the many opportunities and new friendships he has gained during this whirlwind trip via email at

Crowds growing as the weekend approaches.

C’est cheese! No journey to Paris can possibly be considered complete without a taste of French cheeses. My mouth is watering with just the mere sight of this wonderful selection!

The highly unusual pair of voiturettes shown below are extremely rare surviving examples of the short-lived Bédelia marque. Produced by Henri Devaux and Robert Bourbeau from 1907 to 1914, the Bédelia was an innovative car for the masses with unusually narrow dimensions and tandem seating. Displayed courtesy of Les Amis de Bédelia, they are just one of so many fascinating displays at Rétromobile!

Sporting the flowing curves and flamboyant colors so emblematic of the prewar era in France, this 1939 Panhard X81 Type 140 Parisienne features equally advanced engineering. Available with either 2.5, 2.9, and 3.8-liter 6-cylinder powerplants and 7 body styles, it featured the sure handling of torsion-bar suspension and the safety of dual-circuit hydraulic brakes, which were only in widespread use by the latter part of the 1960s.

Any mention of the greatest elite Grand Touring cars of the postwar era must include the mighty Facel Vega. Featuring Chrysler V-8 power and purpose-built for effortless long-distance, high-speed touring, they are highly sought-after whenever they come to market. This example is especially attractive in this sophisticated color combination.

This bare display chassis is yet another fascinating exhibit at Rétromobile.

Artists in attendance, creating new works in this highly creative environment.

A closer look!



Milestones, Racers, and Record-Setters at Rétromobile

With so much to see and so little time, we present to you another fascinating selection of Charlie’s images and observations as his journey to Rétromobile in Paris continues to unfold. Catch him while you still can by email at today!

Oooh La La!

Shown au naturel, just as it was first displayed some 50 years ago, the Lamborghini Miura display chassis pictured above is just as stunning as the car is when fully clothed.

One of the final masterworks from Turin, Italy’s Carrozzeria Touring, the stunning Lamborghini 4000 GT Flying Star marks yet another rare and thrilling discovery at Rétromobile.

Representing the record setters is one of the very first – “La Jamais Contente,” French for “Never Satisfied” Based on an electric-powered Jentaud chassis, young Belgian Camille Jenatzy applied quite possibly the first aerodynamically streamlined body to a motorized vehicle in his quest for speed during 1899. Resembling a one-man submarine, the car reached a then-stunning mark of 65.79 mph over the flying kilometre.

Grand Prix fans were electrified by this comparison of McLaren F1 cars – one from the high-wing days of 1970 and in the foreground, a 2016 McLaren, looking as though it came off the set of a science fiction movie.






It Just Gets Better and Better Every Day at Rétromobile!

We are happy to have received Charlie’s latest images and observations from Rétromobile, and while the automobiles on display are the main attractions there, this event is an amazing experience with so much to offer. Join us for today’s latest post, and we hope you will engage with Charlie there and with Worldwide Auctioneers on his journey.  Meet up with him via email at and join in the fun!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In Paris, crèpes are mandatory and yummy, especially when filled with Nutella and served with Grand Marnier!

Fashion is also a Parisian staple, and Charlie eyed some elegant jackets, gentlemen’s accoutrements, and even some driving shoes at the show.

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of France’s Gnome & Rhone company, which was normally asssociated with powerful aircraft engine design and production, is this dashing 750 X motorcycle, complete with sidecar. The holder of 20 world records in 1937, the 750 X was capable of hitting nearly 90 mph and about 70 mph with sidecar attached, making for a thrilling and very stylish ride by any standard.

Here’s Charlie with more friends – Don and Mary Swanson and Jerry Watson.

So many wonderful collectibles – something for everyone and every budget. Decisions, decisions…

Oh, what do you think of this comical display piece below – that’s one way to get a classic car for sure!

A Celebration of Automotive Icons at Rétromobile

If you want to feast your eyes on many of the world’s greatest automobiles ever conceived, Rétromobile is the place to be! Enjoy this guided tour of some of the show’s highlights with Charlie, our irrepressible lead specialist at Worldwide Auctioneers. We are sure you will enjoy the ride!

Quite likely, Citroën’s DS is one of France’s definitive motorcars of the postwar era. An almost complete departure from anything preceding it, the DS remains instantly recognizable for its avant-garde styling, not to mention its advanced engineering. Quite surprisingly, the DS proved particularly adaptable to the design interpretations of France’s remaining custom coachbuilders as well. This 1960 Citroën DS Décapotable is just one example of these stellar vehicles, fit for cruising along the Riviera with the top down. This image is just a partial depiction of the landmark Citroëns on display at Stand 1F018, in honor of the marque’s landmark centennial era.  For more details, see the official Rétromobile website at

Designed by Sir Alex Issigonis, the Austin Mini and Morris Mini-Minor and their many variations rank among the greatest automobiles from either side of the Atlantic and regardless of the era. Compact and affordable, yet offering startling performance, handling, and the benefits of front-wheel drive, the Mini also stands as one of the world’s greatest rally and circuit-racing cars of all time, with a multitude of epic victories to its credit. The cutaway display Mini below forms a wonderful study of the greatness built into this enduring charmer.

Fascinating Mini display cutaway, showing designer Alec Issigonis’ design brilliance to full advantage.

Speaking of design brilliance, the Pininfarina-designed Lancia Aurelia, in all its many forms, deserves mention. A breathtaking design, its leading-edge features included a wraparound windscreen, potent V-6 power, and a chassis purpose-built for fast touring with comfort and control in one beautiful package. At the other end of the spectrum, Lancia’s raucous and rowdy Stratos marks the automotive equivalent of a high-school delinquent in serious need of anger management. However, the Stratos redeemed itself by taking the 1970s rallying world by storm with its prodigious victory tally, until it was eventually succeeded by increasingly potent versions of Lancia’s 037 and blindingly quick Delta rally cars.

In between all the automotive indulgence at Rétromobile, one can never guess who you might see there. Today, Charlie bumped into some of the folks from Sports Car Market magazine and his friend, Stephen Murphy. It’s moments like this that remind us all of how wonderful the classic-car hobby truly is!

Following a well-deserved rest, Charlie will be back at the Place de Versailles tomorrow, wearing out shoe leather and bringing his perspective on this wonderful event to us. Email him at and join in the fun!

What a Show! Dispatches from Charlie at Rétromobile

It’s rightly been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, so we hope you will enjoy Charlie’s ongoing photographic and video essay from the famed Rétromobile show in Paris. He is well underway meeting his many colleagues and friends there, but the week is still young. Connect with Charlie via email at to join in the excitement and become a part of his journey today!

Let us begin the latest post with Charlie getting up close and personal with the original monster truck, the Berliet T100, better known as “The Desert Giant.” It is one of the featured attractions of this year’s edition of Retromobile. See the official link at for full details of these immense wonders and of the intricate effort to get them there.

Hmm…I’ll take 4 of these tires for my pickup truck! Wonder if I can get them to fit…

Thought lost for decades, this beautiful, wood-hulled speedboat was built in the late 1950s with BMW 507 V-8 power! Just the ticket for Lake Como, the shores of which host the BMW-sponsored Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este in Italy.

Check out the wonderful details, including the steering wheel, intake ports, and iconic side vents borrowed from the BMW 507 sports roadster. Rediscovered in 2014, it was restored to its current beauty by the original builder! See more about this stunning BMW-powered speedboat at 

Not your old uncle’s Citroën!

Modern designs are celebrated at Rétromobile too, including this visually stunning Citroën concept supercar.

Whew! Time for lunch. Check out this wonderful charcuterie board! It pairs nicely with a good glass of wine or European beer. Elegant and delicious!

Stay tuned and follow us on the Worldwide Auctioneers blog and social media for more photos and fun from Charlie’s excellent Parisian adventures. If you want to meet up with him, he’s always never more than an email away at

Charlie’s Arrival at Rétromobile

When Worldwide Auctioneers’ Charlie Kühn arrived at Rétromobile on the evening of Monday, February 4th, the large crowd of spectators there gained an early preview of the event and the many exhibits there. Here are a few snapshots from Charlie, which embody the spirit of this time-honored gathering, and we hope you will enjoy them.

Charlie with the sizable crowd of classic-car enthusiasts waiting for doors to open at 7:00 PM.


Christmas in February and it’s just the beginning of this automotive fantasyland! Overhead view of the collectibles and models section.

Rétromobile draws visitors from Europe and around the world. Soon after arriving inside the event hall, Charlie met his good friend from Holland, Mr. Tony Paalman.

You say you need a repair manual? Well, step right up…you’ve come to the right place!

Stand by for the next day’s festivities at Rétromobile. Again, be sure to email our man in Paris at and be sure to meet up with him this week at Rétromobile!

Hello, Paris!

After an exciting start to our auction year at Scottsdale in January, we’re now Paris-bound! Charlie Kuhn, our intrepid Senior Car Specialist, is making his way to France for the next of the season’s world-renowned classic events, Rétromobile, held at the Paris Expo at the Porte de Versailles from February 6-10.

If you plan to be there yourself, Charlie is ready and looking forward to meeting you there in person. If not, you can kick back and enjoy the highlights, heritage and history of this great show with him virtually as he blogs his way around the salon.

Email Charlie at or keep up with his Rétromobile adventures online at by clicking the “Charlie’s Adventure” tab at the top right of the page.

À bientôt!

The Personal Ride of Famed Prewar BMW Works Racer, Ernst J. Henne – Offered at Scottsdale on January 16, 2019 Without Reserve

One of the most beautiful and desirable prewar European sports cars, the BMW 327/28 Cabriolet was also the choice of the era’s most demanding drivers. A top-specification car powered by BMW’s renowned “triple-carb,” inline six-cylinder engine from the 328, the 327/28 delivered high performance with Art Deco styling and uncommon panache.

Priced at a premium of 630 to 650 Deutschmarks over the basic 327 depending upon the body style selected, the 328-powered BMW 327/28 was introduced in October 1938 and available for purchase to 1940. Available as a coupe or cabriolet, just 569 of these beautiful performers were built in all. Rare at auction today, every surviving example is a featured attraction wherever one is spotted.

Offered from the Tom Gaughen Collection at No Reserve, this wonderful 1939 BMW 327/28 Cabriolet is of particular significance to BMW collectors and marque enthusiasts, with an early connection to one of BMW’s most successful racers. During the cataloging process, Worldwide Auctioneers’ Car Specialist Charlie Kühn discovered through his network of contacts that this very car, Chassis 74208, is not only a factory-original 327/28 and documented as such by its accompanying Zertifikat issued by the BMW Group Archiv,  it was delivered new in Munich, Germany to Ernst J. Henne, whose legendary racing career and 101-year lifetime could easily fill several volumes.

Of further interest, this 1939 BMW 327/28 Cabriolet was produced and delivered during July 1938 to Mr. Henne, before the model was even publicly introduced. Among his many exploits, Mr. Henne scored a podium finish in the first motorcycle race he entered in 1923. In 1925, he competed at Monza, his first international race, and he was Germany’s champion in 1926  and 1927 in the 500cc and 750cc classes, respectively. In 1928, he won the legendary and lethal Targa Florio in Sicily. Henne went on to achieve 76 world speed records in total, including a 134.6-mph mark atop a supercharged BMW 750cc with a chassis and streamlined body of his own design and creation. His last motorcycle speed record was set on November 28, 1937, at a speed of 173.7 mph on a supercharged 500cc BMW streamliner – a mark that stood for 14 years!

The above photo was supplied by Germany’s Bundesarchiv. As their caption reads, “Ernst Henne, world record man in motorcycling! The famous motorcyclist Ernst Henne presented with a 750 cc BMW supercharged engine an hourly speed of 221.539 km/h (137.658 mph).” He is pictured third from the left in this wonderful image dated September 1930.

The famous motorcyclist also proved his skill with sports cars; perhaps his finest achievement in this arena was the two-litre class victory he scored at the 1936 Eifelrennen – the first appearance of the BMW 328 in competition. Little wonder, then, that this 1939 BMW 327/28 – offered from the Tom Gaughen Collection at Scottsdale on January 16, 2019 – was his road car of choice when new.

Rightly recognized today as a CCCA Full Classic® with eligibility for a veritable multitude of excellent classic-car events and tours, it stands as yet another exceptional offering by Worldwide Auctioneers at Scottsdale, Arizona on Wednesday, January 16, 2019. For more details, see and register to bid on it by calling 1-800-990-6789 or visiting us online at .#WorldwideScottsdale2019 #WABMW #WorldwideAuctioneers #WeCareMoreAboutYourandYourCars  #ScottsdaleAuction



Selling Collections – The Worldwide Auctioneers Way

While anyone can draft a new marketing tagline, we back up our “We Care More About You & Your Cars” maxim at Worldwide Auctioneers with results on the auction block and customer loyalty. A look back over the past dozen years confirms that Worldwide Auctioneers is the industry leader in the marketing and execution of collection auctions, both in terms of stand-alone collections, and of collection auctions as part of our regularly scheduled auction calendar. In fact, collections are what we specialize and excel in – at No Reserve, providing the utmost in efficiency, personal service, and strong sale results for families and estates when the time comes to sell. Here is a quick rundown:

Stand-Alone No Reserve Collection Auctions:

December 2005 – 175 cars – The Michael Leith Collection at The Raleigh Classic

June 2007 – 70 Cars – The Sterling McCall Old Car Museum Auction

April 2009 – 111 cars – The Jay Weinberg Collection Auction

June 2009 – 172 cars – The Old Car Heaven Museum Auction

May 2010 – 82 cars – The Monical Collection Auction

October 2013 – 125 cars – The Paul Burt Collection Auction

October 2015 – 101 cars – The Ron Brown Estate Collection Auction

April 2017 – 44 cars – The Bobby Monical Collection Auction

No Reserve Collection Auctions as Part of Our Annual Auctions:

May 2006 – The Chris Minnick Collection Auction

November 2007 – The Walt Satterthwaite Estate Collection Auction

May 2010 – The Fred Buess Collection

August 2011 – The Verlan Herberer Collection

August 2011 – The DeSimone Collection

August 2011 – The Jeff Bernard

May 2012 – The Paul J. Meyer Estate Collection

August 2012 – The Burr Joslin Estate Collection

April 2013 – The Bob Solberg Collection

August 2017 – The Allen Smith Collection

September 2017 – The Jimmie Taylor Collection

September 2017 – The Chuck Runyon Estate Collection

April 2018 – The Pamela & Eugene Knies Collection

In keeping with our expertise in this market, we are honored to present our 17th Annual Texas Classic Auction, slated for Saturday, April 21st and featuring The Collection of Pamela and Eugene Knies, offered entirely Without Reserve. Expertly assembled over many years by well-known Texas collector and franchised auto dealer, Eugene Knies, The Collection of Pamela and Eugene Knies comprises nearly 80 cars, featuring high line exotics and a myriad of interesting low-mileage motorcars, spanning the decades. As announced by Worldwide Auctioneers’ Principal & Auctioneer John Kruse, “It is unusual to come across such a striking collection of low mileage and largely original vintage American cars and modern exotics, distinctive for their condition and the obvious care that has been expended on them. Mr. Knies was a knowledgeable and passionate collector and we are happy to be in position to offer this outstanding collection in Texas next month, entirely without reserve.”

Highlights from this fascinating and diverse collection are many, with the vast majority being pampered, low-mileage examples that were carefully selected by Mr. Knies. Virtually every American marque is represented, and the collection provides a wonderful tour through postwar automotive history.

The Texas Classic Auction is scheduled for Saturday, April 21st at the Arlington Convention Center in the Dallas metroplex, close to the Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Park, home of the Texas Rangers. The sale will once again run in conjunction with the Concours d’Elegance of Texas, now in its sixth year. The Texas Classic Auction starts at 11am on Saturday, April 21st, with preview days on April 19th and 20th from 9am – 6pm. The sale is open to the public, with admission by catalogue at $75, or $30 for general admission with limited seating. Children of 12 and under are admitted free if accompanied by an adult. Further information on bidder registration, admission, and all the weekend schedules are available online at or by calling us at 800.990.6789 or 1.260.925.6789. Full details on the Concours d’Elegance of Texas are available at

The Ex-Adolf Hitler 1939 Mercedes-Benz 770K Grosser Offener Tourenwagen – An Editorial on Historically Significant and Culturally Sensitive Motorcars

Mercedes-Benz 770K Offener Tourenwagen #189744. To be offered at the Scottsdale Auction presented by Worldwide Auctioneers on Wednesday, January 17, 2018.

For much of recorded history, wheeled vehicles have played an indispensable and inseparable role in the world’s most important events. Indeed, by their very use, whether in the service of good or evil, many vehicles correctly stand today as cultural and technological icons. Often, due to the deep emotions and stirring memories they invoke, many historic vehicles are recognized as truly significant historical artifacts, worthy of continued preservation in the impartial hands of conservators and of exhibition and interpretation by selective curators, for the education and enrichment of present and future generations.

Concrete examples are virtually countless in support of this hypothesis. Many surviving historic vehicles are inextricably linked to the world’s richest and most demanding owners, usually featuring advanced, world-beating engineering and prodigious capabilities that continue to amaze. Of course, they are also the dominion of political leaders ranging from the benevolent to the most fearsome and dangerous tyrants to ever walk the earth. Above all, a psychological, as well as a vehicular, purpose, is served by many great automobiles as grand projections of authority, and yes, even scientifically formulated mass control.

Nowhere in the automotive world is this type of political influence and social effect truer than in the case of this majestic, yet infamous 1939 Mercedes-Benz 770K Offener Tourenwagen (Open Touring Car), first used by Adolf Hitler, German Chancellor and Führer (leader) of the Third Reich from 1933 to 1945. That Hitler and his associates created their awful ideology and then organized and orchestrated The Holocaust is an indisputable matter of historical fact. That an estimated six million Jewish people were systematically identified, collected, transported, abused, and then horribly murdered in Nazi death camps is undeniable.

Why is this motorcar important and why are we offering it? Because it stands, and most importantly, continues to serve, as a singular piece of irreplaceable and priceless living history.

It did not choose its user or its use. People – with the fallibility and prejudices that are all too often part of human nature – were responsible for that. If the original Hitlerian provenance of this Mercedes-Benz 770K can be set aside, if only momentarily, the Mercedes-Benz 770 “Grosser,” or “Super Mercedes,” remains quite likely the world’s greatest achievement in terms of automotive design, engineering, and construction. These intrinsic virtues must, by necessity, be considered in any discussion of the vehicle, as well as the negatives.

Above all, the very survival and continued existence of this motorcar simply and eloquently serves to remind humankind today of the final and inevitable Allied victory and humankind’s triumph over the innumerable evils that Hitler and his Nazi party represented in their most virulent and destructive forms. In keeping with that vital message and mission, this singular Mercedes-Benz 770K remains in silent service, helping to ensure that the best qualities of human endeavor will forever overshadow the darkness of Hitler and the Nazis.

Already recognized for its immense and unmatched technical and historical significance, this Mercedes-Benz 770K continues to captivate and incite emotion in all who see and read about it. It can be reasonably stated that no other automobile is as widely recognized around the world. It has been viewed in the media, both in still photos and video, and in historical reference books virtually everywhere. Its life has been chronicled through its service during the war, and some 70 years beyond, where it has been in several displays and museums across the United States and more recently part of some very significant and very private collections. It is only proper that this incredibly important historical artifact should now be offered so that it may be used in a setting such as a public museum or collection, where it can be shown and used to continually educate present and future generations.

While much has been written of Hitler’s Mercedes-Benz limousines over many years, perhaps no other historian has followed this rare breed more closely than the late Mr. Ludwig Kosche, a German resident of Canada and a noted historian and librarian who spent much of his career at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, where an ex-Hermann Göring Mercedes-Benz 770K has resided since 1971. In correspondence with the vehicle on offer, Mr. Kosche’s description of these parade cars concludes with quite likely the most accurate summation of their place in history. “The purpose of this display is absolutely not to glorify Hitler and his destructive policies, no. It is to show you one of the outstanding cars of the century, built by gifted people, and representing the highest in craftsmanship. But it is also as a memorial to the fighting prowess of American soldiers that we take pride in displaying this showpiece of a fallen dictator. And above all, as a reminder that the evil which this car symbolizes, must never again be allowed to happen.”

*It should be noted that 10% of the sale price of this vehicle will be donated and used to educate how and why the Holocaust happened and how to effectively prevent such atrocities in the future.

Onsite and in-person viewings of this 1939 Mercedes-Benz 770K Grosser Offener Tourenwagen will be for accredited media representatives and registered bidders only, by appointment

All media inquiries should be directed to

All confidential buyer inquiries should be directed to and

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