The center of the automotive auction universe shifts to Monterey, California this weekend, with some of the world's most significant cars crossing the block in the host of auctions that have sprung up around the Pebble Beach concours.

Certain to be among the stars of the Monterey auctions is this pristine 1928 Mercedes-Benz Typ S Torpedo Roadster. Claiming pride of place in the Christie's Exceptional Motor Cars auction catalog, the big roadster is one of only 124 built. Purchased in New York by Frederick Henry Bedford Jr. in 1929, it has stayed in the Bedford family ever since. Incredibly, the 78 year-old car has only 31,550 miles on the odometer.

The Typ S is one of the first models produced after the 1926 merger of Daimler and Benz brought the genius of Dr. Ferdinand Porsche to bear on the Mercedes road cars. The long, long hood shrouds a 6.8-liter straight-six, single overhead cam engine, supercharged, with dual carburetors. In an effort to stiffen the long, narrow, ladder-type frame, the engine and four-speed transmission were integrated into a single massive unit.

The Typ S was the ultimate supercar of the late '20s, driven by Barney Oldfield, Zeppo Marx, Al Jolson and Harold Vanderbilt, among others.

Interested? The purchase price of the Bedford family's Torpedo Roadster is estimated between $3 million to $4 million.

You can see the auction catalog entry for the car, with a full history, here, accompanied by a number of photos.

[Source: Christie's via BusinessWeek]

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