Elton John Sells Luxury Mercedes at Auction
A no-reserve auction means that there’s not a starting price point for an item auctioned. Some would say this strategy places the seller at risk of potentially making less than the item’s current value. However, if circumstances are right, said auction could attract more potential buyers and be really exciting. The seller understands the item’s potential to be highly covetable and thus, able to raise a large amount of money.
This is what drove Elton John to decide he would sell a Mercedes-Benz limousine he had used for 15 years.
The English singer and composer had purchased the 12-cylinder S 600L model back in 2001, and considered it was time to sell it. This used Mercedes limousine took him to most official celebrity events he attended throughout the years.
Sir Elton John is one of the best-selling music artists in the world, and he is no stranger to car auctions. In 2001 he put a score of luxury cars from his personal car collection, ranging from Ferraris to Bentleys, up for auctioning. The place was the emblematic auction house Christie’s in the UK, and the vehicles were sold at up four times the price they were originally bought for. He explained he was selling the automobiles because he didn’t drive them enough anymore. “I’d rather they went to people who can get pleasure out of them every day.” John also shared that he was glad the effort and money in keeping the vehicles in mint condition had been worth it.
The Item Collector
Elton John is also known for having surges of shopping sprees. He has earned a lot money throughout his very successful career, and he has also bought many things.
Back in 1988, he realized he had too many possessions when he crowded his four-story mansion, so he decided to sell 2,000 items in a massive four-day auction in Sotheby’s in London. His iconic and very colorful eyeglasses went for at least $1,500 each, and all sorts of items like artwork pieces, jewelry, costumes, a jukebox, a pair of Doc Martens, and tour itineraries were auctioned off. The collective auction was expected to bring up to $5 million, and it surprisingly collected more than $8 million.
He has been known to spend excessive amounts of money on surges of shopping sprees. One day he spent $850,000 in a single day, and another time, allegedly spent about $400,000 in flowers within two years. Although he is a spender, he also seems to like collecting items, and some of those are parked in his garage.
With a car as emblematic as the once-new Mercedes-Benz limo which took the star to all his performances in the early 2000’s, dozens of people were interested in bidding.
The music icon drove and was chauffeured in the Mercedes-Benz for a little over 50,000 miles, and was solely owned by him. This made for a very interesting item to be auctioned off on July 26, 2015. The price point for a similar used Mercedes-Benz S 600L model is around £5,000, and it was sold for almost three times its price, at £14,625.
The auction took place in Silverstone Auction house. This auction house describes itself as a specialist on the sale of a wide range of vehicles. From classic to modern competition cars, modern and historic motorcycles, as well as automotive memorabilia, this seemed like the right place for Elton John to place his limo up for sale.
Another aspect of why Silverstone Auction house was chosen is their ability to verify the authenticity of all the vehicles they auction. Specially with high priced vehicles, forgery and falsification are very real threats to the sale. The verification team at Silverstone goes to great lengths and has an excellent record on providing authentic items.
Donna Fairweather and Jan Rust, 55-year-old friends, were at the Silverstone Auction house on July 26th. The pair of Elton John fans confessed that they went to the auction for the opportunity to see something that had once belonged to their hero. They had gone to see the car at the auction and had no intention of bidding.
However, they also shared that when the car was brought out just before the auction started, they felt irresistibly compelled to buy it. They gave in to temptation and bid successfully, bringing the car back to Norwich, their hometown.
Top of the Line
The limousine was referred to as a “collector’s dream” by expert auctioneers and connoisseurs, because Elton John had been its only owner prior to the auction. All sorts of luxurious perks are included in the car: a rear fridge to keep the passenger’s drinks cool, heated or cooled leather seats depending on the weather and passenger needs, tinted windows, air-conditioning, and TV screens to be used in the rear seats. A pampered star such as Elton John must have been able to really relax and enjoy himself in once-new Mercedes-Benz when the limousine was the top of the line in every sense.
The S 600L possesses all the new Mercedes-Benz features the luxury automobile brand was offering at the time the model was purchased. The flagship model has always been used to showcase the latest in performance and design. The 2000 S 600L has 5.8-liter v-12 engine that can propel the vehicle to a top speed of 150 mph. It can go from 0-60 mph 5.4 seconds and cover the quarter mile in just under 14 seconds. Add the fact that the car weighs close to 4500 pounds and you can see why this is such a special car. The Mercedes-Benz engineers managed to achieve performance figures that were comparable with sports cars of the day.
The S series has always been a platform for innovation. It was no different in the year 2000. Sir Elton John’s former car had groundbreaking (for the time) connectivity features. It had internet access! Remember, this was before the first iPhone had even come out. An impressive car 16 years ago that still remains just as impressive, this used Mercedes-Benz is indeed a true collector’s item.