$2.5 Million 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Crowns Essen Auction

Tyler Heatley
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet

This beautifully restored Mercedes-Benz 540 K with Sindelfingen coachwork was the top seller at the RM Sotheby's event

RM Sotheby’s Essen sale in Germany attracted a plethora of exotic vehicles to the auction block, of which some sold for record-breaking values. While the 1985 Lancia Delta S4 Stradale that hammered for $1.17 million was certainly impressive, the top seller of the auction was a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet A by Sindelfingen.

Sold for an incredible $2.545 million, this vintage Mercedes-Benz was the showstopper of the event. The highly original car retains its native chassis, engine, gearbox and bodywork. The latter Sindelfingen coachwork remains truly decadent even by today's standards, with sweeping fenders, elongated hood, and a proud grille. Delicate chrome details separate the two-tone paintwork that highlights the handsome design.

The Mercedes-Benz 540 K launched at the Paris Salon in October 1936 with the choice of two engines. This example plays host to the more potent 180-horsepower 5.4-liter supercharged motor and a four-speed manual transmission. Its impressive 110mph top speed is kept in check by advanced servo-assisted hydraulic brakes.

Chassis No.154078 was delivered new to the UK after Sindelfingen did their work, then presented originally in a shade of green. It is believed that Sindelfingen built just 32 Mercedes in this Cabriolet A configuration, with just 18 surviving today. During the 1960s, the Benz was exported to France and then Germany, before finding its way to Switzerland. Passing from owner to owner over the years, the car’s history – and sometimes costly maintenance – is well documented.

1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet

This numbers matching car was presented in fully restored condition, arguably making it one of the best examples to head to auction of late. The fact that the vehicle received plenty of interest comes as no surprise, with the 540 K being an iconic car of its era for its various technical innovations.

Its $2.5 million price tag is very impressive, but the most expensive Mercedes-Benz 540 K to ever be sold at auction fetched a staggering $9.9 million in 2016. It too was sold by RM Sotheby’s, but at their Scottsdale, Arizona event.

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Source: RM Sotheby’s