George Meier's 'BMW concept' car from WW2's aftermath brings $195,500


2015-06-26 12:38:13


George Meier's 'BMW concept' car from WW2's aftermath brings $195,500

Bike Racer George Meier wanted to build a car based on BMW parts in Allied-occupied Germany...

Results are in from Auctions America and RM's sale of the remarkable Lee Hartung Collection, an assortment of exceptionally rare automobiles which took the term 'barn find' to the next level.

"Hartung was the ultimate collector with an incredible passion for history and a remarkable eye for originality, said Rob Myers, Chairman & Founder of RM Auctions and Auctions America, in the run-up to the sale.

In Lee Roy's own words and sentiments, he always viewed himself as a caretaker to the items in his collection. Following his death in May 2011, Auctions America's experts were given the task of excavating Hartung's barns for the treasures within.

In the end, there were so surprises among the emerging stars of the November 5 sale. The star lot was a vintage motorcycle, the 1911 Flying Merkel Twin Belt Drive, rightly billed as one of the highlights of the collection.

1911 Flying Merkel Twin Belt DriveThe 1911 Flying Merkel Twin Belt Drive motorcyle, sold for$201,250

Remaining in outstanding original "time-warp condition" and - crucially - still boasting both original paint and components, the motorcycle sold for $201,250.

Elsewhere, a unique and coveted piece of automotive history brought $195,500, a 1950 Veritas BMW created by, among others, 1939 motorcycle Tourist Trophy winner George Meier.

Meier, along with Ernst Loof and Lorenz Dietrich, decided to build a car based on BMW components in the wake of World War II. Since the Allied Forces occupying Germany would not allow the manufacture of engines larger than one liter, customers had to bring their own drivetrains.

A road-going version of the Veritas was launched in 1949. Engines were from BMW, either stock or modified 326 units or powerplants from the 328 - although BMW objected to the use of their name on cars not of their manufacture.

1911 Flying Merkel Twin Belt Drive1950 Veritas BMWThe 1950 Veritas BMW, inspired by the American La Sabre concept car

The cars were soon rebadged simply as Veritas, bodied by Hermann Spohn Karosseriebau of Ravensburg.

Meanwhile, Spohn became enamoured by Harley Earl's US Le Sabre concept car and turned out several custom cars with Le Sabre-type rear fins and taillights. This all-original example is believed to have been returned to Spohn for such modifications.

Work on this motor included the installation of fender skirts. It was also fitted with an upper grille assembly in the nose. Also in "time-warp overall condition", the Hartung Spohn didn't disappoint as a star of November 5's sale.

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