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The ex-Ben Moser, Bill Evans and Richard Paine1914 MERCEDES 28/95 PHAETON
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The ex-Ben Moser, Bill Evans and Richard Paine\n1914 MERCEDES 28/95 PHAETON\nCoachwork made for C.L. Charley\n\nChassis no. 15979\nEngine no. 22781\nKommissionsnummer 16835\n7,280 cc SOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine\nTwo Zenith Updraft Carburetors\n95 bhp at 1,800 rpm\n4-Speed Manual Transmission\n4-Wheel Leaf Spring Suspension\nRear Wheel Mechanical Drum Brakes\n\n*FIVA preservation-award winner\n*A well-known and historically important Mercedes\n*Powerful and advanced aircraft-derived engine\n*Offered with copies of Mercedes factory records\n*Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance award winner\n\nTHE MERCEDES 28/95\n\nReadied in 1914 to replace the four-cylinder 37/90, for all intents and purposes, the Mercedes 28/95 did not reach production until after World War I. By the time it did reach its customers, the big 7,280 cc 90 bhp overhead-camshaft six-cylinder engine had been fitted with a cover to enclose the previously-exposed shaft-and-bevel gear driven valve-gear.\n\nTwo Zenith updraft carburettors and individual intake passages to each cylinder ensured exceptional breathing for the period. The large six was closely related to the Daimler DF80 aircraft engine and mounted in a chassis which was quite stiff for the period. Six forged steel cylinders, set inline in pairs and wrapped with pressed steel water jackets, provided substantially more strength than conventional cast cylinders. The water pump was driven by a bevel gear connected to the vertical gear drive for the valve train.\n\nThe 28/95 was the first model to feature the soon-to-become-classic vee-shaped grille on a Mercedes, as well as the exhaust pipes wrapped in flexible metal hoses. The beefy frame consisted of two U-shaped beams connected by cross members. A forged steel front axle and steering knuckle are testament to the engineering excellence relentlessly pursued by Paul Daimler, Technical Director of the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft and eldest child of Gottlieb Daimler who had founded the company. Solid axles were fitted fore and aft, with shaft drive to the rear wheels. Springing was by semi-elliptic leaf springs, with rear brakes only on early chassis.\n\nLater, a short wheelbase version became available, as did a supercharged engine. In this way, the 28/95 was the first of Mercedes' sporting six-cylinder cars and pointed the way down the path that eventually resulted in the much vaunted S, SS, SSK and SSKL models. That this was indeed a sporting car was left in no doubt when company engineer Max Sailer drove a short-chassis 28/95 to overall victory in the Coppa Florio and a second place finish in the concurrently run Targa Florio in Sicily. With skimpy bodywork, the Sailer car looked much like the SSK and SSKL models that would follow in years to come.\n\nTHE MOTOR CAR OFFERED\n\nThe archives of Mercedes-Benz Classic state that the file for Kommissionsnummer 16835 indicates that Mercedes 28/95 chassis number 15979 was correctly fitted with engine 22781. The destination for the chassis was New York, and the date of delivery was 30 September 1920. The archive further lists that in 1921, a Sindelfingen-built bodyshell of a four-seater open tourer was delivered to New York for this chassis. According to a 2004 article by David Newhardt, the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaf built a total of 5,985 cars in 1914, which made the company one of the world's largest carmakers. The article goes on to state that commission number 16835 was ordered in July 1914, that the car was intended for shipping to Paris and that the factory fitted the chassis with a handsome wood-planked body.\n\nIt should be noted that the wooden body now mounted on 15979 carries an extremely rare plaque indicating "C.L. Charley, 70 Champs Élyseés, Sole Agent". The sales network in France of the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft had been in turmoil from 1904 to late 1910. During that time, a certain Charley Lehman, using the moniker C.L. Charley, had been the general agent for France, Belgium and America for the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft. He operated a rather stupendous showroom at number 70 Champs-Élysées called the Mercedes Palace with architecture like something out of one of Sheherazade's tales in the One Thousand and One Nights. The famous coachbuilder Jacques Saoutchik worked closely with Charley Lehman. Early orders for Mercedes bodies were placed with Saoutchik by Lehman in the 1904 - 1906 period before the Carrosserie de Luxe, J. Saoutchik was incorporated and continued until about 1910. Chassis with these carrosseries were sold from the Mercedes Palace without a coachbuilder plaque as having been bodied by Mercedes. Saoutchik styles were very advanced. The C.L. Charley plaque dates the original body to the 1907 - 1910 period, and it could possibly have been constructed to a C.L. Charley order by Jacques Saoutchik, who was a carpenter by trade.\n\nAccording to the auction description for 15979 when it was sold in 1993 as part of the Estate of Ben Paul Moser, the car was ordered in 1914 by Mercedes Paris, but the order was cancelled due to the outbreak of World War I. Then in 1917, a Berlin banker ordered the car but cancelled it for reasons unknown. On 15 December 1919, Mr. Alfred Bourne of the Mercedes Repair Company, 218 East 54th Street, New York City ordered the car and it was shipped as a chassis one year later. In essence, there is some difficulty in determining an exact date of manufacture for this car.\n\nPerhaps the discrepancy or confusion in dates of manufacture can be explained by the repeated order cancellations or interruptions at the works because of the war. Commodore Moore of the New York Yacht Club bought the car from Alfred Bourne, after which the car was then owned by a succession of sportsmen, and in 1932 was bought by Kirk Gibson who drove it for a year as a commuter car between Cape Cod and his classes at Harvard University.\n\nIn the 1940s, the car became part of the George Waterman collection in Rhode Island. Waterman kept 15979 until the 1960s, when it went to Richard Paine of Seal Harbor, Maine. Sometime later the car was acquired by Tom Barrett of Barrett-Jackson auction fame, who sold it to Santa Barbara antique car sleuth and sometime dealer Ben Paul Moser. Moser kept 15979 until his death, whereupon it was purchased by Richie Clyne at the 1993 auction. Clyne in turn sold the Mercedes to antique car collector and hotelier Bill Evans of San Diego.\n\nEvans recognized that the chassis, engine and body of 15979 remained original and unrestored. Over the long years, the car had often been just another car in large collections and had therefore luckily managed to escape a ground up restoration. When Evans first got the car, he soaked the wooden body in linseed oil for three years, while cleaning up the rest. It received a new set of tires, while the original top and upholstery were covered by protective canvas. A close examination of the wood at the rear reveals that the body was likely a French boat-tail type skiff originally, and that the pointed rear has been abbreviated at some point in order to create space for the antique luggage set. It is believed that at some point the original D.F. 80 engine, or parts of it, was replaced with a similar unit, and the original carburettors replaced with Zenith Detroits. This information stems from a note in the 1993 auction catalogue; however, the engine tag carrying number 22781 affixed to the engine today appears to be the original one.\n\nBill Evans used his powerful Mercedes, driving it about 1,000 miles a year and he likened the brutish car to being something of an E63 AMG of its day. In August of 2003, Evans showed 15979 in the preservation class at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. He drove the car much of the way to and from his San Diego home. At Pebble, it won the FIVA Award for most original car, which underlines that the value of originality and preservation is becoming more and more appreciated. Henrik Frederiksen subsequently acquired 15979 and it was refurbished for EUR 28.000 by the noted Mercedes specialist Reifen-Wagner, which included a rebuild of the magneto. The engine originally required hand-cranking, but an electric starter has now been fitted. A folder comes with the car with numerous photographs of the engine renovation work that has been carried out. In addition, a photocopy of the extremely scarce 28/95 instruction manual is included in the files.\n\nThe 28/95 stands as one of the most powerful and sporting of all post-WWI automobiles. Irrespective of where in the world it was put to use, the Mercedes 28/95 was a sophisticated, fast, robust and powerful automobile of the finest quality. It was very expensive, and its merit and the elite clientele who bought the model ensured that the 28/95 more than any other, cemented Mercedes as a maker of quality cars. While it has not been possible to precisely determine when the chassis and the lovely wooden body were united, both are highly original, and today this 28/95 provides a unique look backward at how the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft built luxury cars close to 100 years ago. Chassis 15979 is an automobile of the utmost rarity, and when the amazing aircraft-derived engine is thunderously fired up, birds in the surrounding trees take flight.\n\nBILEN DER TILBYDES\n\nDenne bil har Mercedes Kommissionsnummer 16835. Ifølge arkiverne hos Mercedes-Benz Classic i Stuttgart, hørte Kommissionsnummer 16835 til Mercedes 28/95 chassis nummer 15979, som fik motor nummer 22781. Destinationen for dette chassis var New York, og leveringsdatoen var den 30. september 1920. Der står endvidere i arkiverne, at et 4-personers åbent Sindelfingen tourer karosseri til dette chassis blev afskibet til New York i 1921. I dag står bilen med et trækarosseri af typen phaeton. Dette karosseri er formodentligt fra et chassis fra før 1914, som var blevet sendt til Paris, idet plaketten på karosseriet henviser til C.L. Charley som var generalagent i Frankrig for Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft indtil 1907.\n\nSelv om det ikke har været muligt at konstatere, hvornår chassiset og den nuværende karosse blev forenede, er begge dele i høj grad originale og forsynet med en smuk patina. Bilen har tilhørt en række kendte samlere i løbet af de sidste 90 år.\n\nDenne 28/95 repræsenterer et unikt kig tilbage i tiden, og viser hvordan Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft byggede luksusbiler for cirka 100 år siden. Den næste ejer bliver kustode for denne bil, og det vil tilkomme ham at udføre den ærefulde opgave det er at passe på chassis 15979 i en periode i dens lange levetid.\n\nEU Taxes paid\nWith Danish Registreringsattest
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The 28/95 was the first model to feature the soon-to-become-classic vee-shaped grille on a Mercedes, as well as the exhaust pipes wrapped in flexible metal hoses. The beefy frame consisted of two U-shaped beams connected by cross members. A forged steel front axle and steering knuckle are testament to the engineering excellence relentlessly pursued by Paul Daimler, Technical Director of the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft and eldest child of Gottlieb Daimler who had founded the company. Solid axles were fitted fore and aft, with shaft drive to the rear wheels. Springing was by semi-elliptic leaf springs, with rear brakes only on early chassis.

dimensions

Bill Evans used his powerful Mercedes, driving it about 1,000 miles a year and he likened the brutish car to being something of an E63 AMG of its day. In August of 2003, Evans showed 15979 in the preservation class at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. He drove the car much of the way to and from his San Diego home. At Pebble, it won the FIVA Award for most original car, which underlines that the value of originality and preservation is becoming more and more appreciated. Henrik Frederiksen subsequently acquired 15979 and it was refurbished for EUR 28.000 by the noted Mercedes specialist Reifen-Wagner, which included a rebuild of the magneto. The engine originally required hand-cranking, but an electric starter has now been fitted. A folder comes with the car with numerous photographs of the engine renovation work that has been carried out. In addition, a photocopy of the extremely scarce 28/95 instruction manual is included in the files.


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