The 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster earned the title of Best of Show at the 2023 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, marking the conclusion of the 2023 Monterey Car Week. This victory was a record-breaking event as it marked the 10th occasion that a Mercedes received this prestigious award.
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The winning 540K is a remarkable piece, being one of just three Long-Tail Special Roadsters known to exist with a covered spare tire. The car has been fully restored by RM Auto Restoration in Canada, who worked in close conjunction with Mercedes’ classic car division. The restoration was done with meticulous detail, leveraging Mercedes’ archives to replicate the exact materials used.
The vehicle’s current owner, Jim Patterson, acquired it at an auction during the 2022 Monterey Car Week. He houses it in his Louisville, Kentucky collection, which boasts two previous Best of Show winners: a 1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A (2015) and a 1933 Delage D8 S de Villars Roadster (2010). Patterson paid a hefty sum of $9.9 million for the Mercedes, a car that has only been owned by five different individuals over its seventy-year history.
Its initial owner was none other than Mohammed Zahir Shah, the King of Afghanistan, who placed the order in May 1937 and took possession in September of the same year. Crafted in Sindelfingen, Germany, the car’s unique design features include the elevated side lines of the doors, the curved body contours, a recessed radiator, and the elongated tail accommodating the spare wheel.
Throughout World War II, the vehicle was sheltered at the Afghan embassy in Paris. In 1950, it traveled to the U.K. after being gifted to the Afghan king’s son-in-law. Three years later, it was sold to a U.S. collector.
On the subject of the Mercedes-Benz 540K chassis, it was manufactured at Mercedes’ Untertürkheim plant near Stuttgart between 1934 and 1939. Of the 760 total chassis constructed, 406 were the supercharged 540K model, fitted with a 5.4-liter inline-8 engine generating an estimated 180 hp, and paired with a 4-speed manual gearbox. Nine different body styles were available, but only 60 were constructed using the roadster design.
In a related event, another 1937 540K Special Roadster was up for auction at Mecum’s event in Monterey the previous week, but failed to sell, with the highest bid reaching only $2.6 million.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster
Who won the Best of Show at the 2023 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance?
The 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster won the Best of Show at the 2023 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
How many times has Mercedes won this honor before?
This marks the 10th time that a Mercedes has won this honor, setting a record.
Who is the current owner of the 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster?
Jim Patterson is the current owner of the car. He purchased it during the 2022 Monterey Car Week and keeps it in his collection in Louisville, Kentucky.
What is special about the 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K’s design?
The car’s design is notable for features such as the high side line of the doors, curved body contours with a recessed radiator, and the long tail that houses the spare wheel.
Where was the car’s chassis manufactured?
The 540K’s chassis was manufactured at Mercedes’ Untertürkheim plant near Stuttgart, Germany, between 1934 and 1939.
Who was the original owner of the 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster?
The original owner of the car was Mohammed Zahir Shah, the King of Afghanistan, who ordered it in May of 1937.
What was the highest bid for another 1937 540K Special Roadster at a Mecum auction?
Another 1937 540K Special Roadster failed to sell at a Mecum auction in Monterey, reaching a top bid of $2.6 million.