Oklahoma City auto dealer Bob Howard sold a 1955 Mercedes-Benz originally owned by actor Clark Gable, fetching $1.85 million for the car at auction last month.
The silver Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing Coupe with red interior spent a decade inside the showroom of the Mercedes-Benz of Oklahoma City dealership at 1225 N Broadway. It sold at the 2013 Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Jan. 18 to a couple from Orange County, Calif.
Howard said it was time for the car to move on from Oklahoma City.
“Everybody loved the car. It was a piece of art,” he said, adding: “We're glad to get it in somebody's hands where other people can enjoy it.”
Gable, who starred in “Gone with the Wind,” bought the car new from a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Beverly Hills. It was an extremely rare car, Howard said.
After Gable died in 1960, the car changed hands several times and underwent a $200,000 restoration in 1989. It was featured in the May/June 2006 issue of Motor Trend magazine.
Howard said the history of the car, which he purchased in 2003, made it especially popular with his customers. The Mercedes had been on the set of “The Misfits,” Gable's last movie before he died, which also starred Marilyn Monroe.
Howard said he and his staff only drove the car occasionally to “exercise it” and keep the engine in working order.
“A little scratch can devalue it by a couple hundred thousand (dollars), so we were very careful about that,” he said.
The 1955 Mercedes-Benz was one of about 35 cars Howard sold at the auction. He said he's looking for something to replace it inside the dealership's downtown showroom.
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