With six feet of hood separating the driver from the front of the Mercedes 500K, there had to be something important under all that elegantly styled sheet metal. In this case, it was a legend - and an enormous engine. The early thirties saw Daimler-Benz begin to design high-speed touring cars, with the 500K one of the proudest accomplishments. The eight-cylinder, 5-liter big-bore engine was supercharged with the 'K' standing for Kompressor, and engaging it rewarded drivers with a distinctive C-note from the 500K's whining blower. The steering was stiff at lower speeds, but one look at the body (there were nine options) made it clear that speed would never be a problem. The car has four-wheel independent suspension, and is capable of hitting over 100 mph in top gear. This car was rebodied from a 540K to a 500K Special Roadster in 2000, and the engine and chassis numbers are matching.
After lengthy negotiations with Dr. Harald Alfers of Dusseldorf, Germany, the present owner purchased the Special K Package Mercedes, which Carrosserie Kong of Bassel, Switzerland, had started to re-body in 1992. Included in the package were a 1935 500K cabriolet B with the frame shortened, the engine repositioned, new wood body frame and a number of Special Roadster trim pieces. In 1996, Alfers moved the Special K Project from Kong to Frantz Prahl Klassische Automobile in Olendorf, Germany. The present owner purchased the project from Alfeers in 1997 and chose to have Prahl complete the project. After three years, many calls, letters and a number of trips to Germany, the project was completed and arrived in New York City in August of 2000.
The car rides on a stretched 129.5-inch wheelbase and is fitted with four-wheel independent suspension with coil springs, a 12-volt electrical system, vacuum assisted hydraulic brakes and electric windshield wipers.
Only 29 of these cars were originally built and only 20 remain in modern times.Also photographed at :