500K Cabriolet B

1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet B by Sindelfingen

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019

Photo – Artcurial

Of the three in-house cabriolets offered on Mercedes’ 500K chassis, the four-seater Cabriolet B is the most common, with 296 examples produced (between the 500K and 540K). Why is it then that this is the first 500K version I can remember coming up for sale? I mean there were more than double the number of these made compared to the Cabriolet A and Cabriolet C – and those are both better-looking cars.

The 500K was built between 1934 and 1936 and is powered by a supercharged 5.0-liter straight-eight capable of 160 horsepower. This particular car was one of the final 500Ks built and was actually equipped from the factory with the 540K’s 5.4-liter, 180 horsepower engine.

This car, which was once owned by Donald Healey, features a rebuilt engine with its original body and interior. It is one of 342 500K examples built and should bring between $675,000-$900,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Al Jolson’s Mercedes

1928 Mercedes-Benz S-Type 26/120/180 Sports 4 by Sindelfingen

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

I know we featured a similar-looking Mercedes-Benz S-Type just a week ago but this… this is one of my favorite cars of all time. This is Al Jolson’s Mercedes and it is wonderful. The S-Type was sort of the entry-level model of Mercedes-Benz’s first halo car, introduced in 1926. The cars only get better as they added letters: the SS, the SSK, and the SSKL.

Under that long hood is a 6.8-liter straight-six. Under normal operating conditions, it makes 120 horsepower – but there is a supercharger strapped to the motor that, when engaged, pushes the power to 180. The body is a two-door, four-seat tourer by Mercedes’ in-house coachbuilder, Sindelfingen. The cream exterior with red interior is a great combo and the low-slung dramatic stance this car has is just incredible.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

We never use more than one photo of a car, but it’s impossible not to here. I’d use all of them, but RM Sotheby’s would probably get angry, so just go check out the rest of them here on their site.

According to its third owner, famed American designer Brooks Stevens, this car was given to Mercedes-Benz factory racing driver Rudolf Caracciola when new. But it’s first traceable owner was none other than Al Jolson, one of the biggest stars of stage and screen (and radio) in the 1920s. He owned the car until 1947 when Stevens bought it. Stevens owned the car until 1990 when he sold it (and then the new owner restored it).

About 10 years ago (give or take) this car was offered at the Auto Collections (or the Blackhawk Collection, I can’t quite recall which, but aren’t they essentially the same thing?). It was there for a while and that’s when it became my “lottery car.” It’s a spectacular looking example of one of the finest pre-war sporting tourers money could buy. And imagining it being manhandled around Jazz Age Hollywood by one of its top stars just adds to its appeal.

RM Sotheby’s is estimating that it will bring $3,500,000-$4,000,000. On a related note, can anyone lend me $4 million? You can see more from this sale here.

Update: Not sold.

540K Cabriolet B

1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet B by Sindelfingen

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Houston, Texas | April 23, 2016

Photo - Worldwide Auctioneers

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

I feel like we’ve been featuring a lot of Mercedes-Benz 500K/540Ks recently – and we have – but the reason is that these are some of Mercedes’ finest cars and, while we tend not to feature the same car twice, there were a lot of different styles offered. This is the Cabriolet B. There was also an A and a C, among others.

Powered by a 5.4-liter straight-eight, the 540K makes 115 horsepower and, when the supercharger is engaged (i.e. the gas pedal is pushed to the floor), 180. The Cabriolet B was the most popular body style of all 500K/540K production with 296 built (there were 419 540Ks built in total).

The restoration on this car was completed in 1981 but it has aged so well that it has continued to win awards up through the 2000s. It was even shown at Pebble Beach in 2013. It is expected to bring between $900,000-$1,300,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $836,000.

500K Sports Roadster

1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sports Roadster by Sindelfingen

Offered by Bonhams | Stuttgart, Germany | March 19, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

This is a slightly more “standard” 500K – even though it is so beyond most of its 1936-era contemporaries. Most of the 354 500Ks built fall into specific categories such as Cabriolet A, Cabriolet B, Cabriolet C, Special Roadster, etc. This is a Sports Roadster and is one of somewhere between seven and 12 such examples built. There is a category of “other open cars” with regards to 500K body styles and this would fall in there.

The engine is the standard supercharged 5.0-liter straight-eight making 100 horsepower or 160 with the kompressor engaged when the throttle is held wide open. This car was delivered new to London and later ended up in Florida. In 1989, it returned to Europe – this time Sweden. It’s a wonderful example of one of MB’s all-time great models. It should bring between $3,900,000-$5,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

A Pair of Stunning 500Ks

A Pair of Stunning 500Ks

Offered by Bonhams | Stuttgart, Germany | March 19, 2016


1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet by Saoutchik

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The fact that this car looks so fresh as if the body was constructed during a restoration – but wasn’t – signifies that it is something special: it is entirely unique to this model. Jacques Saoutchik is responsible for some of the most beautiful designs of his era. And to have one of those stylish bodies on one of the greatest chassis of the era is quite a feat.

The Mercedes-Benz 500K is one of their most sought-after models with only 354 built. They are powered by a 5.0-liter straight-eight making 100 horsepower or 160 with the supercharger engaged. This particular chassis was displayed as a bare chassis at the 1935 Paris Salon.

It was sold new to California and remained there until the current owner acquired it in 1989. It has been restored but it hasn’t really done the show circuit. It’s quite the ticket and should bring between $6,600,000-$7,700,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.


1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sports Roadster by Sindelfingen

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

This is a slightly more “standard” 500K – even though it is so beyond most of its 1936-era contemporaries. Most of the 354 500Ks built fall into specific categories such as Cabriolet A, Cabriolet B, Cabriolet C, Special Roadster, etc. This is a Sports Roadster and is one of somewhere between seven and 12 such examples built. There is a category of “other open cars” with regards to 500K body styles and this would fall in there.

The engine is the standard supercharged 5.0-liter straight-eight making 100 horsepower or 160 with the kompressor engaged when the throttle is held wide open. This car was delivered new to London and later ended up in Florida. In 1989, it returned to Europe – this time Sweden. It’s a wonderful example of one of MB’s all-time great models. It should bring between $3,900,000-$5,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

540K Spezial Cabriolet A

1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Spezial Cabriolet A by Sindelfingen

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 12, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The Mercedes-Benz 540K was the final iteration of their most luxurious line of pre-war cars. It was produced between 1936 and 1940 and a total of 419 of them were built. There are a number of popular body styles, including the Sindelfingen-bodied Cabriolet A, B, & C. There was also the Special Roadster. And then there was this, the 540K Spezial Cabriolet A.

Only two such cars were given the Spezial Cabriolet A treatment (the other is a 500K, making this, essentially, a factory one-off). It’s a combination of the Special Roadster’s raked windshield and the Cabriolet A’s classic, beautiful lines. The engine is a 5.4-liter straight-eight that makes 115 horsepower in normal mode and 180 when the supercharger is engaged.

This car has known ownership history back to the 1940s when it first arrived in America. It was part of the Otis Chandler collection and actually won Best of Show at the 1973 Pebble Beach Concours during his ownership. It was most recently restored in the early-90s and should bring between $3,000,000-$4,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.

Update: Not sold.

540K Special Roadster

1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster by Sindelfingen

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 28-29, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

You’re looking at what might be the biggest dollar car sold at this year’s Arizona auctions. It’s certainly among the most beautiful (okay it is the most beautiful). This is the Benz of the 1930s. The 540K was introduced at the 1936 Paris Motor Show, an evolution of the 500K.

The 540K is powered by a 5.4-liter straight-eight that makes 115 horsepower in normal operating mode and a sporty 180 horsepower when the supercharger was engaged via matting the pedal. 540Ks usually wear Cabriolet A, B, or C bodies by Sindelfingen. But the ultimate topless version was the Special Roadster.

This example is one of the earliest 540Ks known to exist and it was sold new in the United States and kept by the original owner up until the late 1950s. The current owner acquired the car in 1989, it having been restored prior to that acquisition. It is believed to have 10,277 original miles.

Not many of these were built but it is thought that only six remain in this specific style today. They never come up for sale. The pre-sale estimate of $10,000,000-$13,000,000 underscores how special these are. Don’t miss it. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $9,900,000.

Mercedes-Benz 770K

1931 Mercedes-Benz 770K Series I Cabriolet D by Sindelfingen

Offered by Bonhams | Stuttgart, Germany | March 28, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Here it is. The biggest Benz of the era. The 770 was introduced in 1930 at the Paris Motor Show and was produced in two series until 1943 (Series I cars produced into 1938 before Series II cars came about). And yes, this was produced well into World War II. Why? One reason, perhaps, is that these were the favored machines of top Nazi officials.

The engine is a massive 7.7-liter straight-eight making 150 horsepower. This kompressor “K” (or “supercharged) model makes 200 horsepower. An overwhelming majority of 770s were supercharged (only 13 of the 205 total built were not). Torque was impressive: 395 lb/ft at a lowly 1500rpm – that’s a lot of low-end grunt. Imagine what fun these cars are when you put the power down.

This Cabriolet D is one of 18 produced and was sold new to a German actor in Berlin. When he fled Germany in 1933 after the rise of Hitler, he brought this beautiful Benz with him to Hollywood. It spent much of the rest of its life in the U.S., including time in the Blackhawk Collection. It returned to Germany in 2004 where it was restored for a second time.

This early 770K is an amazing car. It is not a model that comes up for sale often at all, so this is a unique chance. To get your hands on it, it will run you between $2,500,000-$3,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $2,506,821.

500K Cabriolet C

1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet C by Sindelfingen

Offered by RM Auctions | London, U.K. | September 8-9, 2013

1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet C by Sindelfingen

RM Auctions is offering an incredible collection (all from the same owner) of Mercedes-Benzes. Like 70 or 80 cars – it’s an entire day of the auction. Anyway, there are a lot of old Benzes in the sale that I’ve never seen before. Many are more generic, pedestrian models than this 500K (but sometimes that’s even more interesting).

The 500K was the followup model to the 380K. It was introduced in 1934 and uses a 5.0-liter supercharged straight-eight engine making 100 horsepower and 160 with the supercharger engaged. The body is by Sindelfingen – Mercedes’ then in-house coachbuilder. Between the 500K and the 540K, only 122 Cabriolet C bodies were built.

This car has been beautifully restored and the interior shows signs of use. It would make a great driver – something that is rare among these high-dollar Mercedes cabriolets. The pre-sale estimate on this car is $1,100,000-$1,400,000. You can read more here and see more from this auction here.

Update: Not Sold. High Bid of $1,025,000.

S/N: 215011

Mercedes 500K Cabriolet A

1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet A by Sindelfingen

Offered by Gooding & Company | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 18, 2013

1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet A by Sindelfingen

Last week (or the week before, I’ve lost track) we featured a MB 540K. This was that car’s immediate predecessor. The 500K was introduced by Mercedes in 1934 and last until 1936. This car is brilliant in gray and black with red interior – it’s dark and menacing, just like the 1930s Germany that spawned it. It defines luxury and style of a time and place – and that was Germany in 1935.

The engine is a supercharged 5.0-liter straight eight making 160 horsepower (with the supercharger engaged). Only 342 500Ks were built, and only 33 carried Mercedes-Benz’s in-house Sindelfingen Cabriolet A coachwork and only 11 of those still survive. This car is imposing – especially with twin rear-mount spares.

This one managed to survive because it was purchased new by a Swedish Baron, who kept it at his castle. It was parked in 1948 and sold in 1950, and then it hopped from owner to owner, being restored for the first time in 1963. It remained in Sweden until 1983 when it went to a collector back in West Germany. It was expertly restored in the late 1980s and has been preserved since. The 20+ years of use give this car a patina that makes it appear to have never been restored since new, which is really cool. It is being sold from a Dutch collection and should bring between $2,500,000-$3,000,000. For more info (and gorgeous pictures), click here. And for more from Gooding, click here.

Update: Sold $2,750,000.

Here are some videos of a similar car: