Home Auto Blog 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster to be Auctioned

1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster to be Auctioned

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1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Auction

Next month, an auction by RM Sotheby’s in Phoenix, Arizona, will feature a 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster. Originating from the Open-Touring Collection, this classic car is set for auction on January 25th.

The vehicle, with the chassis number 408338, was initially sold as a Cabriolet B, sharing numerous characteristics with the highly sought-after Special Roadster series, of which only about 60 were produced. These similarities included the chassis, drivetrain, lighting, wire wheels, and instrumentation.

Refurbishment of the Dodge Challenger

Eventually, the car underwent a transformation. Its original Cabriolet B body, having deteriorated, was replaced with a Special Roadster body. This work was carried out by metalworker and coachbuilder Cass Nawrocki from Moose Lake, Minnesota. The process took approximately two years, leveraging Nawrocki’s previous experience in restoring an original 540K Special Roadster. He utilized original patterns, jigs, and parts like rusted fenders, doors, and other panels for reference.

1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster with Chassis No. 408338 – Image Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Post body reconstruction, the car’s restoration was entrusted to Jim Friswold, a Mercedes restorer based in Portland, Oregon. The listing reveals that this restoration, which lasted an additional three years, was executed without regard to cost.

Mercedes initially offered nine body styles for the 540K. The model, along with the 500K, was produced at the Mercedes’ Untertürkheim facility near Stuttgart, Germany, from 1934 to 1939. Of the 760 chassis produced, 406 were equipped with the supercharged 5.4-liter inline-8 engine of the 540K, capable of an estimated 180 hp and paired with a 4-speed manual transmission.

The expected price range for this 1938 model lies between $1.75 million and $2.25 million. For comparison, a completely original 1937 540K Special Roadster was auctioned by Mecum in August but remained unsold even after a highest bid of $2.6 million was placed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Auction

What is the 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster heading to auction?

A 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster, originally sold as a Cabriolet B, is going to auction next month at RM Sotheby’s in Phoenix, Arizona. This classic car, part of the Open-Touring Collection, shares several features with the Special Roadster series and has undergone significant restoration.

Who restored the 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster?

The restoration of the 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster was undertaken by Cass Nawrocki, a renowned metalworker and coachbuilder from Moose Lake, Minnesota, and later by Jim Friswold, a Mercedes restorer based in Portland, Oregon. The restoration process took approximately five years in total.

What is unique about the engine and production of the Mercedes-Benz 540K?

The Mercedes-Benz 540K, including the 1938 model set for auction, is powered by a supercharged 5.4-liter inline-8 engine, delivering an estimated 180 hp. It’s part of a production series that ran from 1934 to 1939 at Mercedes’ Untertürkheim plant near Stuttgart, Germany, with only 406 out of 760 chassis being the 540K version.

What is the estimated value of the 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster?

The estimated value of the 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster at the upcoming auction is between $1.75 million and $2.25 million. This estimation comes in the wake of a similar 1937 model failing to sell at a Mecum auction, despite reaching a top bid of $2.6 million.

More about 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Auction

  • RM Sotheby’s Official Website
  • Mercedes-Benz Classic Car Collections
  • Overview of 1938 Mercedes-Benz Models
  • Classic Car Auctions and Values
  • History of Mercedes-Benz in the 1930s
  • Guide to Vintage Vehicle Restoration Techniques
  • Mercedes-Benz 540K: A Collector’s Dream
  • The World of High-Value Car Auctions
  • Investing in Classic Cars: What You Need to Know
  • Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim Plant: A Historic Overview

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6 comments

HistoryBuff December 28, 2023 - 8:43 pm

The 1930s were such a fascinating time for car development, especially for brands like Mercedes, these models are like a window into the past, absolutely love it.

Reply
VintageLover December 28, 2023 - 8:50 pm

Heard about this, the history behind these cars is just so rich, makes you wonder about all the stories it could tell if it could talk, you know?

Reply
RestoKing December 28, 2023 - 9:12 pm

restoring a car like that’s a massive undertaking! Props to Nawrocki and Friswold for their work, must’ve been a real challenge but man, bet it looks stunning.

Reply
Speedster67 December 28, 2023 - 11:07 pm

that engine tho, a supercharged 5.4-liter inline-8, must sound like a beast, they really don’t make ’em like that anymore, pure muscle and elegance.

Reply
CarFanatic99 December 29, 2023 - 6:07 am

wow, a 1938 Mercedes going to auction? thats incredible, always dreamed of seeing one of these beauties in person, the craftsmanship is just top-notch!

Reply
EconWatcher December 29, 2023 - 12:18 pm

interesting to see these classic cars fetching such high prices, the market for vintage vehicles is booming like never before, wonder if it will keep going up?

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