January, 2017 -- Mercedes-Benz has a long history of finely-engineered automobiles dating back to the turn of the century. However, despite the company's reputation for superior builds, they weren't known for producing luxury cars. All that changed in the 1930s, though, when they introduced the Mercedes-Benz 500K Series, and began competing in the world market with marques, such as Duesenberg, Delahey, Rolls-Royce, and Isotta Fraschini.
The 500K Series, first offered in 1934, was a 500K with a 5.0 liter straight eight. The model was upgraded to a 5.4 liter supercharged straight eight in 1937, and designated 540K. Although offered in a 4-seat and 7-seat limo version, the 2-seater sport designs ("A" models) are the most desired models of today's collectors. These prewar cars are regularly among the cars to compete against for Best of Show at Concours d'Elegence events, and when they go up for sale, they often command often command 7 figure prices. Here is a summary of key information on these magnificent vehicles -- the 540K model.
These Mercedes-Benz classics always draw attention, whether on the Concours show field or the auction block. Here are some we spotted at events in recent years.
We first saw this dark blue beauty at the 2014 Boca Raton Concours where it won best in show. It also wowed the crowds at the 2015 Pinehurst Concours and later in the year at the 2015 Hilton Head Concours.
This Mercedes-Benz took home the top prize of Best of Show at the 2015 Arizona Concours. Just a week later the big Mercedes appeared on the auction stage, where it received a high bid of $3,100,000. However, the reserve price was not met, so it didn't sell.
This early model Mercedes 500K Cabriolet sold at a 2015 auction for $3,025,000.
One of the most valuable of its kind, this Scarlet Red 540K sold at auction in 2016 for a record $9,900,000. This is essentially a pure custom, built to the original owner's requirements, making it even more rare than other 540Ks and thus extremely valuable.
This 540K Cabriolet A sold at Bonhams for $2,970,000.
To Be Sold at RM/Sotheby's, Amelia Island.
All sale prices include commission.