Recently, we took a look at a Spyker C8 former factory demonstrator which is due to be auctioned off in Paris next month. The estimate is €200,000-€250,000 - about what you pay for a lot of modern supercars, for something arguably far more interesting, not to mention more useable on public roads.
That got us thinking - what else from the same RM Sotheby’s Paris sale might make for a leftfield supercar alternative? Having had a good trawl through the lots, we think we’ve found a firm candidate.
What you’re looking at here is not a real Mercedes 300 SEL ‘Red Pig’. Although to give you as much context as possible, we’ll regale the tale of the original. That car came about in the midst of Mercedes’ lengthy, self-imposed motorsport ban, which started immediately after the horrific 1955 Le Mans disaster.
That being the case, it wasn’t a project Mercedes was involved in directly. Instead, the car was created by AMG - then a separate entity - using a 300SEL 6.3 as a starting point. The V8 engine was enlarged to 6.8-litres, yielding an output of 420bhp, with all of that transmitted to the tarmac via considerably fatter tyres attached to a widened track.
The arches had to be flared considerably to cover the new rubber, resulting in a rather ungainly-looking beast. Hence it was nicknamed Röte Sau or ‘Red Pig’. And so what if it was a bit ugly? It soon went on to prove its racing chops, with a class victory and 2nd overall finish in the 1971 24 Hours of Spa.
The original was sold on to French firm Matra, which used it to test aircraft tyres, the vehicles weight and power making it ideal for the job. The new gig eventually led to its destruction, but Red Pig’s spirit lives on in various replicas, including a couple commissioned by Mercedes itself, and the one you see here.
This example began its life as a 1969 300 SEL 6.3, eventually undergoing its Red Pig transformation at the hands of Arthur Bechtel Classic Motors in Böblingen, Germany, covering under 800 kilometres since the work was finished. D.Parts CEO James Goo Kim bought the car from Arthur Bechtel, but it’s now seeking a new owner.
The replica Red Pig is due to go under the hammer in Paris on 5 February, with an estimate of €150,000 - €200,000. So even if it goes for around the lower estimate, it’ll be more than double the price of a regular 300SEL 6.3 sold by RM Sotheby’s at the Paris event last year.
Considering the work that will have gone into its creation, that sounds like a good deal.