Mercedes-Benz 28/95 Sport Phaeton
One of the last of the magnificent Mercedes models introduced before the merger between Daimler and Benz, the 28/95 stands as one of the most powerful and sporting of all post-WWI automobiles and the precursor to the immortal S, SS, SSK and SSKL models of the late 1920s. A short-chassis 28/95 Mercedes was driven by Max Sailer to win the Coppa Florio and to second place in the concurrent Targa Florio, conclusively establishing the model’s sporting credentials.
Powered by an inline six-cylinder engine tracing its design heritage to Daimler’s DF80 aircraft engine of WWI, the 28/95 initiated the transition from the somewhat rudimentary automobiles of the prewar period to far more refined and sophisticated design statements. In particular, the exposed valve gear of the DF80, with its lubricant splatter and noisy valvetrain, was replaced with a fully enclosed, shaft-and-bevel gear driven camshaft and valves tucked neatly within cast-aluminum housings for each of the three pairs of cylinder castings joined to a large aluminum crankcase. Mercedes’ engineers also showed an unusual (for the time) appreciation for free breathing, giving the normally aspirated 28/95 two carburetors and individual intake passages to each cylinder.
The chassis was typical of the period but robustly constructed, so Mercedes owners could use their 28/95s in any possible situation and with a wide selection of coachwork. The drive to the rear axle was through a shaft, while semi-elliptic leaf springs and friction dampers controlled the live front and rear axles. While the earliest 28/95s had only rear-wheel brakes, Mercedes was quick to realize that the size and performance of these magnificent automobiles – plus the 28/95’s capacity for passengers and luggage – warranted the additional stopping power of four-wheel brakes, which were soon added to the 28/95’s specifications. Whether on colonial roads, European highways or urban boulevards, the Mercedes 28/95 was a sophisticated, fast, robust and powerful automobile of the finest quality, and its expense made it accessible only to the top tiers of society, who specified individual coachwork to suit their specific needs.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2011 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
90 hp, 7,280 cc SOHC inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, live axle suspension with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 98.4"
Source: RM Auctions
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