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680 S Barker Tourer
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  Mercedes-Benz 680 S Barker Tourer
 

  Article Image gallery (35) 35956 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Germany
Produced in:1929
Numbers built:One-Off
Designed by:Barker
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:August 21, 2017
Download: All images
Chassis: 35956
Originally completed as a 680 S, this was the only example of its type to have the chassis finished in silver instead of black. This was for show duty as the rolling chassis was displayed at the London Motor Show before it was sent on to be clothed by specialist coach builder Barker. At that time, the car had already been updated to the latest 700 SS specification. The unique boat-tail tourer body was commissioned from Barker by future Le Mans winner and co-founder of the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) Francis Richard Henry Penn Curzon, the Lord Howe. The design and construction method used was loosely based on similarly bodied Rolls-Royce Phantom experimental cars. Among the unique features were the polished aluminium engine cover and the torpedo shaped running boards, which also doubled as storage. Like many of Lord Howe's cars, the Barker Tourer was finished in his striking 'Curzon' blue. The car also sported a red driving light because Lord Howe was a member of the British parliament.

Upon completion, the car was delivered to a Captain Miller on behalf of Lord Howe. Miller also gave the car its competition debut before delivering it to the first owner. Lord Howe then also raced the car at various events like hill climbs. Like so many collectible cars of the era, the one-off Barker Tourer eventually ended up in the United States. In 2012, then owner Charles Bronson, showed the car unrestored at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. At the time, the car was painted white and lacked all of the polished surfaces that had made the original so unique. Bronson had spent five years researching the car and just as he was about to start the restoration to its former glory, it was acquired by the current custodian. He then gave Bronson carte blanche for the restoration and make the most of all his years researching the car. Although finished in the wrong colours, the car was still very much complete and included the original Marchal lights and wheels.

The restoration was carried out by Babinsky Automotive Restoration out of Lebanon, New Jersey. The work was completed just in time for the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The many years of hard work were deservedly awarded with the coveted Best of Show award. Additionally, the car also won its class, the Jules Heumann Most Elegant Open car award, the Polyphony Trophy and Mercedes-Benz Star of Excellence award.


Chassis details
Manufactured in 1929
Engine number 71823
First owner Lord Howe
License plate XV 3314
Last known location Private American Collection
Appearances

2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
2012 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

  Article Image gallery (35) 35956 Specifications