1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K
|Model History||Auction sales research||Specifications||Body styles and Chassis Data|
The first owner was Maria Leyder of Stuttgart who took delivery of the vehicle on October 18th of 1936. When World War II came to a close, the car made its way to the United States and into the ownership of Don Rounds of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In 1970, it was sold to Lowel Ledford who kept the car for 15 years, performing its first restoration prior to its acquisition by noted collector and dealer Don Williams in 1985. Other owners include Japanese collector Nachiro Ishikawa, who kept the car in California where he had some fettling done by Mercedes-Benz specialist Scott Grundfor. He ran the car twice in the Monte Carlo Historic Rally, covering 2,000 miles with first place finishes in 1991 and 1994. A short time later, it was sold to Thomas Taffet along with the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS Prototype Roadster. In 1994, Taffet commissioned a sympathetic restoration and had the car repainted and reupholstered, chancing its color from red to black with a black leather interior. A full mechanical rebuild was performed, including the original Rootes-type supercharger. The result of the work earned it a class-win at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 1996.
A second restoration was performed 12 years later. The car was completely disassembled and stripped. Work continued for two years, and every part was restored. When complete, the car was finished in black with claret accents and matching black cloth top. The interior was done in black leather with contrasting red piping. The dash is mother-of-pearl with ivory gauge faces and switches surrounded by polished wood.
It took Best of Show at the 1996 Forest Grove, Oregon Concours and it earned 100 points at the Pebble Beach Concours that same year. It was then put on display at the Mercedes-Benz Classic center in Irvine, California.
In 2011, the car was offered for sale the Monterey, CA auction presented by RM Auctions. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $2,970,000 including buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2011
|Auction Sales Information|
|Auction||The Monterey Sports and Classic Car Auction|
|High Bid (Lot was not sold)||$1,100,000|
|Auction||RM Auctions - Automobiles of Arizona|
|Auction||RM Auctions at Monterey|
|Auction||RM Auctions at Monaco|
|Sale Price||$3,002,390 (€2,324,000.00)|
|RM Auctions at Monaco||1925-1954|
|RM-Automobiles of Arizona||1900-1941|
|RM Auctions at Monterey||1934-1939|