Lot 30

2013   |   Pebble Beach Auctions 2013

1938 Mercedes-Benz 230 Cabriolet B

SOLD $220,000


$125,000 - $150,000| Without Reserve





Car Highlights

Single-Family Ownership and Care from New
Fascinating History and Unbroken Provenance
Complete Show-Quality Restoration Finished in 2008
Original Documents Including Bill of Sale
A CCCA-Recognized Full Classic
Stylish, Highly Desirable, and Rare Prewar Mercedes-Benz

Technical Specs

2,229 CC L-Head Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Single Downdraft Carburetor
55 BHP
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes
Independent Front Suspension with Transverse Leaf Springs
Independent Swing-Axle Rear Suspension

Saleroom Addendum

*Please note that this car is titled by its engine number.

Register to Bid

While this handsome two-door, four-seat 230 Cabriolet B from 1938 is highly collectible and enjoyable on its own merits, it also carries an exceptionally fascinating history and single-family stewardship from new. It was purchased new in 1938 by Mr. Gregor Ziemer, who operated and taught at the American School in Berlin. Throughout 1938, the Mercedes-Benz provided an abundance of motoring pleasure for the Ziemer family, including drives in Germany, a trip to Holland – with the Cabriolet beautifully adorned by flowers and American flags – in spring 1938, and a trip to Croatia that summer. During autumn 1938, Mr. Ziemer was sent to report for an American newspaper on the imminent German annexation of Czechoslovakia, crossing the border with the Mercedes-Benz just before the German Army arrived.

With the true intentions of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi government becoming clear and war quickly approaching in 1939, the Ziemers and their daughter Patricia left Germany for the US, settling in Lake City, Minnesota, where Mrs. Edna Ziemer’s family lived. The beloved Cabriolet was sent to the US on one of the last cargo ships to leave Germany before the war. Given the Ziemer family’s first-hand experiences living under Nazi rule, Mr. Ziemer served as a journalist and commentator on European affairs before being commissioned as an officer in the US Army and embedded as a war correspondent with the 4th Armored Division of the legendary General George S. Patton’s 3rd Army.

Postwar, the Ziemers continued to enjoy their venerable Cabriolet as originally intended – primarily with the top down, with festive jaunts to the nearby lake and river, and the car often packed with local kids and family pets. Eventually, the vehicle was used less frequently, but the “Old Gal” still appeared in summer parades until Mr. Ziemer passed away in 1982. The car was stored until 1993, when it was shipped by the Ziemer’s daughter Pat to her home in Palos Verdes, California. She later gave the car to her daughter and son-in-law, then living in Malibu. Having been used only during summers, the Cabriolet remained solid and sound throughout, albeit in need of restoration.

Under the consignors’ stewardship, the Cabriolet was completely restored over an approximate 10-year period, with the work completed by Kenton Lotz and then Mosier Restorations. The leather interior was fitted by Scott Jester in 2004, and the luggage was restored by Kim Dawson in 2008. Finished in bone and tan with burgundy upholstery, the colors were chosen from the factory-available color palette from 1937. While primarily intended for occasional driving enjoyment, the Cabriolet was shown following completion at the 2008 Los Angeles Concours d’Elegance, earning a commendable third place in the hotly contested Pre-War European Class.

Treasured by the same family and blessed with unbroken provenance from new, the Old Gal is now offered for a new collector or family to enjoy and love. It is accompanied by incredible documentation, including the original Bill of Sale and cover letter bearing period German markings, an original license plate, a Der Deutsche Automobil-Club (D.D.A.C.) radiator badge, a Loibl Pass radiator badge from when the car travelled the Alps between Austria and Slovenia, original custom-fitted luggage, an original repair manual, a mostly complete tool kit (without pouch), original purchase literature and tags, original wheel rims, and a radiator cover. Additional items include photographs from the car’s first year to the present, including the restoration, 1938-vintage California license plates, touch-up paint, and a custom car cover. A wonderful touchstone to one family’s escape from Nazi Germany and their incredible life story, this 1938 Mercedes-Benz 230 Cabriolet B carries an incredible provenance and history transcending time itself.