Car & Classic, Europe’s largest online marketplace for classic and niche vehicles is set to auction a 1966 Mercedes-Benz 250S once owned by Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman. Now 86-years-old, Wyman was part of the original lineup and contributed to the band’s first 19 albums. Wyman was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
The 250S was bought new in 1966, one year after the model’s unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The 250S was one of three variants of the W108 model range, designed by legendary automotive designer Paul Bracq as a follow-up to the W111s. Like the W111, the W108s were expertly engineered. Lower, wider and taller than their predecessors, W108s were popular in West Germany, North America and South East Asia, but as a leftfield choice, were never as common in the UK.
For wealthy prospective buyers at the time, this made the 250S a credible Rolls Royce alternative and this particular Mercedes was the first of many he would go on to buy. After fellow band member Mick Jagger had his windows blacked out on his Mini, Wyman followed suit and claimed this was the first Mercedes to have the feature having paid £350 (around £8,300 today) to have it done.
One of 75,000 built, the Mercedes was used regularly by Wyman in London in the late 1960s, an era of seminal importance for The Rolling Stones and its fans. He used the 250S to ferry himself to and from Olympic Studios for the recordings of albums ‘Beggar’s Banquet’ and ‘Let it Bleed’, the latter of which saw the creation of world-famous singles ‘Gimmie Shelter’ and ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’.
Wyman part exchanged the car in 1971 for a Mercedes-Benz coupe, before eventually buying the car again for £1000 upon rediscovering it 20 years later in 1991. By this point, the car had fallen into disrepair, and the famous black tinted windows had sadly been replaced. In 1998, Wyman paid for a thorough restoration by specialist Tony Davey, after which the car is thought to have remained in his collection until 2017.
Today, the 250S comes with plenty of evidence of early MOTs (of which it is now exempt), numerous invoices and press articles documenting Wyman’s ownership of the car. Mechanically, the car is highly original, although the 2,497cc inline six-cylinder petrol engine, once capable of 130bhp, is now in need of recommissioning before it can be driven. The interior features the marque’s durable MB Tex vinyl in parchment and the exterior only has minor imperfections, with tight and symmetrical panel gaps in keeping with the expected quality of a 1960s Mercedes-Benz.
Unusually for a jet-setting rock star, Bill Wyman was reportedly afraid of flying, which might explain his excellent taste in cars as an alternative method of getting around. A Citroen SM and MG B are amongst the other cars in his former collection, and yet his 250S was clearly special enough for him to want to buy it twice.
Car & Classic’s auction of Bill Wyman’s Mercedes-Benz 250S begins on 1 September and ends on 6 September, it is expected to fetch between £10k and £15k.