1939 Mercedes-Benz sells for £5.4 million
The 540 K Special Roadster – a one off – has been meticulously restored to its original glory and was the stand-out star of the auction in Phoenix, Arizona. Also on the billing was a low-mileage Ferrari Enzo, a 2013 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, and a 2008 Lamborghini Reventon.
It’s thought that the Mercedes was hidden away from the Nazis during the Second World War, and was then smuggled out of Europe via the Soviet Union. It may have been the final example of this model manufactured before hostilities commenced.
The Roadster measures 17.5ft long and with a 5.4-litre engine – a true product of its time.
“Our Arizona sale is consistently a bellwether for the collector car market, setting the pace for the auction season to come,” says Ian Kelleher, Managing Director of RM Sotheby’s West Coast Division.
“This year’s top ten sales clearly indicate that demand for modern supercars remains strong, while exceptional pre-war classics—such as the 540 K—anchor the strength and resilience of the market.
“When it comes to specific marques, four decades of Ferrari production were represented in our catalogue, from the 400 Superamerica through to the Enzo, each of which attracted multiple bidders and achieved impressive results – a reflection of their outstanding provenance, restorations and condition.
“We now turn our attention to Paris, where we’ll open our European calendar next month.”