Rare Mercedes once owned by Hollywood star James Mason up for auction

Rare-Mercedes-once-owned-by-Hollywood-star-James-Mason-up-for-auctionA Mercedes-Benz that formerly belonged to Hollywood star James Mason is to be auctioned by Sotheby’s this month.

The 300 SE Cabriolet is one of several classic cars coming under the hammer. Others include a 1956 Austin Princess hearse once owner by John Lennon and featured in the musician’s 1972 film Imagine.

Mason’s former vehicle comes with a title document confirming the late actor as a previous owner and gives detail how the car was used by Mason’s family during holidays in Europe. This is the first time the vehicle has been put up for sale by the Mason family estate.

The actor, who grew up in Marsh near Huddersfield, was the star of many acclaimed films during his career which spanned 44 years. Amongst them were North by Northwest, The Desert Fox, Lolita and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. He died in 1984 in Switzerland.

Relatively few of the Cabriolets were produced and subsequently the car is something of a collector’s item. The vehicle is expected to fetch between £150,000 and £200,000. As a model it succeeds the 220 SE Cabriolet which was driven by Mason’s character Phillip Vandamm in North by Northwest.

The Mercedes has a 185 horsepower engine and features red leather seats. Mason purchased the car second hand in 1966.

John Lennon’s Austin Princess still has the original registration document signed by the former Beatle when he took ownership of the vehicle in 1971. It was donated to the Austin Rock and Roll car museum in

The car was a donation in 2008 to the Rock & Roll Car Museum in Austin, Texas. A percentage of the profits raised by his auction with be given to the children’s charity UNICEF – a favourite cause of Lennon’s. Other charities to benefit are Make a Wish America and Dell Children’s Medical centre. The car is expected to fetch in excess of £250,000.

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