The Roaring Twenties

14 July 2023

The 1920s was a social revolution; after World War I, society changed as inhibitions faded and money flowed.

And this change was most evident in the world of the motor car.

From 1919 to 1929, especially in North America and the more affluent parts of Europe, the social change and economic environment underwent pronounced changes, which meant more money was spent on luxuries and entertainment.

The motor industry was quick to react to the new opportunities.

At the 1929 New York Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz capitalised by presenting the exclusive 680S Torpedo Roadster. Mercedes built only three short-windscreen 680s.

To give it its full title, 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680 S Torpedo-Sport Saoutchik Avant-Garde Roadster. Fitted with a 6.8-litre engine producing 180hp became one of the speediest cars in the world.

Dr Ferdinand Porsche had a hand in the design; the elite Parisian coachbuilder Carrosserie Jacques Saoutchik built the body; Jacques had a passion for a lizard skin interior and exotic hardwoods providing a level of luxury unprecedented in the world of the motor car.

It was a time of Art Deco where modernity, technology, luxury and leisure blended seamlessly; Jacques Saoutchik slotted into those themes, ideally resulting in some of the most influential and inspirational motor cars ever built.