1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K
|Model History||Auction sales research||Specifications||Body styles and Chassis Data|
The Mercedes-Benz 500 K employed a generously-braced chassis frame boxed with the axle centerlines with fully independent suspension with coil springs using dual A-arms at the front and swing axles at the rear, both fitted with hydraulic lever shock absorbers. Concentric coil springs were added to the rear suspension to pick up higher loads, and later in the 500 K series, horizontal camber compensator springs added another level of control to the swing axles.
The engine had overhead valves operated by pushrods and rocker arms from a camshaft mounted above the crankshaft on the left side of the cylinder block. The Rootes-style positive displacement supercharger mounted at the front of the engine was activated by the driver when the accelerator pedal was pressed fully to the floor, engaging a multi-disc clutch pack on the engine and forcing air through the carburetor into the cylinders. The unit cylinder block and crankcase were cast in steel with a cast iron cylinder head and an 8-10 liter capacity aluminum oil sump. With the normal-aspirated version of the engine, it produced 100 horsepower. When the supercharger was engaged, that figure rose to 160 hp at 3400 RPM.
Later, the 500 K engines were given a rotary-type 'Jumo' fuel pump built by aircraft engine manufactures Junkers, and ensured adequate fuel flow when the blower cut in and fuel requirements soared.
The 500K had a four-speed gearbox with direct (1:1) third-speed and a pre-selector type overdrive fourth with a 0.6:1 ratio engaged without using the clutch. The top three speeds were synchronized. The standard rear axle ratio of 5.11:1 of the 380 was raised to 4.9:1 or greater for the 500 K.
In standard guise, the 500K had two spare wheels and tires, safety glass, electric windshield wipers, hydraulic brakes with vacuum booster and 370mm diameter drums, central lubrication, 12-volt electrical system and a centrally mounted fog light.
Production of the 500K continued for three years, through 1936. In total, there were 342 examples built. 29 were bodied with Roadster and Special Roadster coachwork.
Chassis Number 105380
This 500 K Roadster was completed on February 6th of 1935 at Sindelfingen and immediately shipped to Berlin where it was the centerpiece of the Mercedes-Benz display from February 14th through the 24th at the Berlin Motor Show. At the time, the car was metallic green. After the show it remained in Berlin until March 22 when it was shipped to the Mercedes-Benz agency in Aachen, Germany. It was sold a month later, on April 25th of 1935, to Hans Friedrich Prym of Stolberg.
The interim history is unknown, but when it ended up in the collection of Russell Strauch in the 1970s, it was still in excellent original condition. It was acquired by Don Dickson in 1976, and remained in his collection until 1988 when it was sold to Richie Clyne for the Imperial Palace Collection which commissioned a cosmetic restoration in 1991. It was later purchased by the Lyon Family Collection.
The car is finished in red and rides on chrome wire wheels and whitewall tires. There are dual rear spares, a pair of windshield post-mounted spotlights, chrome outside exhaust headpipes and chrome body accent moldings. There is a raked vee windshield, sweeping fenders and integrated running boards. Both front and rear fenders are slightly skirted.
The interior of the car is finished in tan leather with a matching tan single layer cloth top. The top folds nearly flush with the rear deck under a matching top boot cover.
In 2011, the car was offered for sale in Monterey, Ca. presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $4,000,000-$5,000,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $3,767,500, including buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2011
|Auction Sales Information|
|Auction||RM Auctions at Monterey|
|RM Auctions at Monterey||1934-1939|