Mercedes 500 K Cabriolet – ogromny, dwumiejscowy wóz jest jednym z najbardziej imponujących samochodów lat 30-tych. Wyposażony w potężny 8-cylindrowy rzędowy silnik wzmocniony sprężarką Rootsa osiągał imponujące w owym czasie 160 KM, pozwalających mu na osiągnięcie niemal 180 km/h. Powstało ich zaledwie 354 i zarówno wówczas, jak dziś są propozycją wyłącznie dla najbogatszych. Ten konkursowo odrestaurowany egzemplarz pochodził ze słynnej kolekcji Rolfa Mayera i był gwiazdą dzisiejszej aukcji Bonhamsa w Muzeum Mercedesa w Stuttgarcie. Uzyskana cena – 690 tys. euro – była przyjęta z pewnym zaskoczeniem. Było nie było to zaledwie połowa ceny znacznie bardziej popularnego Gullwinga.
1935 MERCEDES-BENZ 500 K CABRIOLET
Sold for €690,000 (PLN 2,858,462) inc. premium
THE MERCEDES-BENZ SALE
Stuttgart, Mercedes-Benz Museum
12 Jul 2014 14:30 CEST
The ex-Rolf Meyer
1935 Mercedes-Benz 500 K Cabriolet
Coachwork by H J Mulliner
Chassis no. 123683
Engine no. 123683
Sensation of the 1934 Berlin Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz’s legendary pre-war 500 K supercar cost a small fortune when new and today is one of the most coveted collectors’ motor cars. The 1930s decade was a period of unprecedented fertility in motor car styling, of which the sublime 500 K represented the very pinnacle of excellence. Its timeless appeal endures to this day.
The 500 K, which boasted an ingenious swing-axle independent rear suspension layout, was created by Hans Nibel who, having started with Benz in the early years of the 20th Century, succeeded Marius Barbarou as chief engineer in 1904 and designed (and raced) the huge Benz cars of the period, culminating in the 200hp ‘Blitzen’ Benz. After the merger with Mercedes he replaced Ferdinand Porsche and created the most sophisticated chassis of their day for road and track, including the first of the ‘Silver Arrow’ racers. The supercharged road-going Mercedes of the 1930s are a wonderful tribute to his engineering skills.
Together with its successor the 540 K, the magnificent Mercedes-Benz 500 K was arguably the most noteworthy production model offered by the Stuttgart firm during the 1930s. The 500 K was powered by a 5,018cc supercharged straight-eight engine that featured the company’s famous Roots-type supercharger system in which pressing the accelerator pedal to the end of its travel would simultaneously engage the compressor and close off the alternative atmospheric intake to the carburettor. This system had been thoroughly proven on the preceding series of Dr Porsche-conceived S-Type cars, and in effect the 500 K /540 K was the last supercharged production Mercedes until relatively recent times.
Beneath its seemingly endless bonnet, the 500 K’s straight-eight engine developed 100bhp un-supercharged or 160bhp with the compressor engaged. The gearbox was a four-speeder with overdrive top ratio. With the supercharger engaged, the 500K had a top speed approaching 110mph (177km/h) matched by servo-assisted hydraulic braking. Its performance potential was such that Mercedes-Benz in the UK retained racing driver Goffredo ‘Freddy’ Zehender as technical adviser and demonstration driver, since the super¬charged Mercedes was one of the few genuine 100mph road cars available in the 1930s.
Although the 500 K/540 K chassis attracted the attention of the world’s pre-eminent bespoke coachbuilders of the day, the company’s own Sindelfingen coachwork left little room for improvement. The factory cabriolet came in a variety of styles: Cabriolet A, B, C and D with desirability generally in that order. After testing a 500K cabriolet in 1936, ‘The Autocar’ declared: ‘This is a master car, for the very few. The sheer insolence of its great power affords an experience on its own.’
The manufacturing record of the 500 K reveals its exclusive nature: 105 being produced in 1934, 190 in 1935 and 59 in 1936 making a total of only 354 cars. In recent years, the rarity, style and performance of these big supercharged Mercedes have made them one of the most sought-after of all classic cars on the few occasions they have come on the open market.
The breathtaking 500 K Cabriolet offered here was delivered new to the UK in rolling chassis form and is one of the few bodied by a specialist coachbuilder, in this case the renowned H. J. Mulliner, as confirmed by Mercedes-Benz. Sadly, there is no record of the first owner. This two-seater car is supremely elegant and reminiscent of the highly desirable, and very valuable, Cabriolet A, with long bonnet, close-coupled cabin and twin spares mounted at the rear. It is finished in black with Burgundy coachline and Burgundy-piped black hood/hood bag. The beautifully appointed interior features tan trim and upholstery; a matching two-case luggage set positioned behind the front seats; an elegant instrument display with crushed mother-of-pearl panel set into the burr walnut dashboard; and matching walnut panels on the doors.
There are twin spot lamps to the windscreen pillars with inset rear-view mirrors; Bosch headlamps; a louvred bonnet; centre spot light; twin trumpet horns; removable rear spats (not shown in the photographs); and twin rear-mounted spares.
Restored to concours standard in the early 1990s while in the collection of the great Mercedes-Benz collector, Rolf Meyer, the car has aged a little since but is still in generally excellent condition. Driven for the photo shoot, the car started readily, with good water temperature and oil pressure readings. It has been an entrant in the Mercedes-Benz Kompressor Rally in Treffen (car number ’38’) and an award winner at the 1996 Monte-Carlo Concours d’Élégance.
The 500 K was acquired by the present owner’s father in 2003 direct from the Rolf Meyer Collection auction in Paris, since when it has resided in a collection of other important Mercedes-Benz motor cars, being cared for by a resident engineer. The accompanying file contains the instruction book; old State of Oregon Certificate of Title; Pebble Beach concours paperwork; photographs of the restoration process; FIVA passport; and German registration papers. EU taxes have been paid.
Representative of the very best that money could buy in the mid-1930s, the car we offer is an excellent example of this classic German model offering Cabriolet A style at a fraction of the price.