The Petersen’s T290 is an unrestored and heavily patinated example that bristles with originality. This car has been preserved in its original condition, including an all-original interior, engine, and convertible top, and is an impressive example of pre-war Mercedes-Benz luxury. It was built to order in 1936 for a French vintner and delivered to Burgundy. The car was originally ordered in a deep red hue, suiting its owner and locale. In 1957, an American working in France purchased the car from a mechanic in Arles for approximately $200. The American drove the car throughout France, Switzerland, and Germany before importing the Benz back to New York.
Eventually, the car ended up in the collection of dentist and renowned collector Dr. Rick Workman. Dr. Workman has won numerous Concours with his cars and though the Mercedes certainly fit his collection in spirit, its originality meant that restoring it would be a bit of a shame. Enter Myers, the Canadian gentleman behind one of the world’s top automotive auction houses, RM Sotheby’s. Myers put Dr. Workman in contact with the Petersen Museum and a deal was struck. Now the Mercedes has a permanent home alongside the museum’s other historic Benzes such as the 600 Laundaulet formerly belonging to Saddam Hussein.