1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster
Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster
The 540K was the ultimate prewar Mercedes-Benz. And if we’re going to further subdivide the model by different body styles, the Special Roadster was the ultimate 540K. Build by special order only, the Special Roadster was one of the most expensive and exclusive cars of its day, and could be considered the pinnacle of prewar German luxury car-building.
The 540K is also distinct in being one of the few prewar European luxury cars to come from a company big enough to have a presence outside of Europe. Because while it wasn’t unheard of for an American to own a European car in the years prior to WWII, the logistical framework often didn’t exist for them to buy these kinds of higher-end machines that needed to be special ordered.
The 540K is actually an evolution of the 500K, with this being based on the still earlier S/SSK. But the cars are not as similar as this might make them sound, and while the 540K used a lot of the same architecture as the 500K, the chassis construction was changed completely from that of the 500K, thanks to engineer Gustav Rohr, on loan from the highly successful Mercedes motorsports program.
Updated 02/01/2016: The Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster shown here just went under the hammer at RM Sotheby’s . Did it go for the expected $10 million? Check out the prices section to see for yourself.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster.