Vehicle details:

Year: 1970
Exterior: Arabian Grey
Transmission: Auto
Interior: Red Leather


The car offered here has a touching story. It was originally delivered to Peter Flagg of C.N. Flagg Company, an affluent businessman and philanthropist from Meriden, Connecticut (USA), who purchased the car as a birthday present for his beloved wife Juana Maria.


Juana Maria Flagg (née Guruceta), was a young teen the day Generalissimo Franco’s planes rained bombs over the Basque Country, the fiercely independent, highly industrialised and culturally rich region of the Pyrenees, which spreads across Northern Spain and the southwestern corner of France. Her father, Vicente, a custom gun maker and the trade representative of a group of sporting rifle manufacturers famously established in the Basque Country, was forced to flee with his wife, daughter, and young son.  They barely escaped before their house was destroyed, travelling to France an, eventually, to Nicaragua, where Vicente had visited often in his role as trade emissary. Vicente subsequently established himself in Nicaragua, resuming his role as a trade representative for gun manufacturers in Europe and the Americas.  Tragedy still dogged the family when Vicente’s young wife died of cancer, then his son of a brain tumor.  To make a bad situation worse, his daughter Juana became the object of the affections of the Nicaraguan dictator’s son, Anastasio Somoza. Juana’s father, a towering, proud man of refined Basque lineage, would have none of this.  After shooting young Somoza off his property with a shotgun, he shipped Juana off to the relative safety of Connecticut College for Women in New London, where she met Mr. Flagg…


Mrs. and the late Mr. Flagg were passionate horse lovers, so one day in 1970, they spent the morning as they often did – at a local horse show. Although it was her birthday, all indications were that he had forgotten the significance of the date. Juana Maria later described herself as feeling "blue," but that all changed when she made her way to their stable only to find there a gorgeous sleek and elegant roadster, attractively finished in “Arabian Grey”, like an Arabian horse, with a rare matching dark grey soft top, complemented by an inviting red leather interior, waiting for a ride. Understandably, the new owner, Mrs. Flagg, had affectionately christened the German thoroughbred the “Grey Mare”.

Describing the car as her favourite one, Mrs. Flagg had owned the “Grey Mare” for many years, during which it was thoroughly maintained by the mechanic, who also serviced the family’s private aeroplane. Mrs. Flagg loved that car and, even decades later, was thrilled to hear about the automobile.


Following a long-term ownership of Juana Maria Flagg, and having passed through the hands of two other custodians in Connecticut and Massachusetts, the car was purchased by Douglas Kim of New York – a renown Mercedes-Benz enthusiast, knowledgeable model historian and the President of the US’s W113 owners club, who was totally fascinated by both the car’s story and its remarkable condition. In his loving hands the car enjoyed a proper life of a classic, having been showcased at local car events and was particularly well known to the model enthusiasts. It goes without saying, that the car was, naturally, responsibly treated and always properly maintained. 


Mr. Kim had cherished the “Grey Mare” until 2003, when it was bought by Nicola Colley – a young lady with a great taste to classic cars, who, eventually, brought the car to the UK 33 years after it had left the continent. At some point during her ownership the car’s original heart was, unfortunately, swapped for an identical one to factory specs following a fatal engine failure. The “Grey Mare” was used regularly until September 2011, after which, starting from early 2012, it has been a subject to a comprehensive nut-and-bolt restoration involving a bare-metal respray and a complete engine and gearbox overhaul. Finished in its original ‘Arabian Grey’, the car is beautifully presented in all its former glory with both hard and soft tops painstakingly restored to original specifications – just as Mrs. Flagg would have found it 44 years ago as her birthday present.