1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Tourenwagen Sports Phaeton / 209421 Chassis Information

1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K photograph

1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K photograph

1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K photograph

1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K photograph

1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K photograph

1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K photograph

1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K photograph

1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K
Tourenwagen Sports Phaeton
Chassis #: 209421
Engine # 123724
Sold for $1,430,000 at 2014 Bonhams.
It's hard to deny that one of the signature models of Mercedes-Benz is the 500 model chassis. So many striking and elegant bodies would grace the stalwart chassis. Each one is an expression of art and function. Every single example is a fitting tribute, a sign of recognition suitable for those that affect the world.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Cox, Jr. would pass away in February of 2012. The inspiration for his name would be easy to discern. Ralph Cox would be born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on December 30, 1914. By the time the young lad turned 13 great exploits in aviation would seem to be happening nearly everyday. The same year of his 13th birthday, Charles Lindbergh would complete his epic flight from New York to Paris non-stop. Aviation was adventurous and romantic at the same time, and it would capture the imagination of Cox.

Ralph would not head directly into a life of aviation like Lindbergh. Instead, in 1938, he would graduate from the University of Pittsburgh's dental school. Still, the dream of flight would never leave the mind. Ralph would answer the call to the skies by putting aside his dental training and, instead, would volunteer for the US Army Aviation pilot program.

Cox would then join the US Navy and would soon find himself flying sub patrols along the eastern coast of the United States. His area of service wouldn't just be limited to the US, however. He would also spend some time flying patrols off the coast of Spain as well. Cox's time in the Navy would come to an end in 1941, right before the country entered the war. Ralph wasn't about to be left out of the war. Though there were great dangers, the war presented an opportunity to do more flying.

So Ralph would join the American Overseas Airlines and Pan American. He would soon find himself at the controls of the impressive VS-44 Flying Boat. Though not the largest of the flying boats, the VS-44 was still quite a sight to behold. Powered by four Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp radials rated at 1,200hp each, Cox would have an impressive amount of horsepower at his command. Furthermore, the VS-44 could fly faster than the Boeing Clipper and could travel distances of much greater than 3,000 miles making it the plane with the greatest range within the United States military.

Being a veteran of many long haul flights, Cox, after the war, would start his own airline known as Ocean Air Tradeways. The airline would later become known as US Overseas Airlines. Cox's airline would become a part of many major airlifts throughout its history, including the Berlin Airlift and in Korea. The airline would also open service to the Philippines, Okinawa, San Juan and the Caribbean, all places and settings Ralph was very familiar. He would also end up being a major voice in the Congressional hearings that would eventually lead to the deregulation of the airlines in 1978.

Cox had come from humble beginnings, yet, his life would be, in many respects, quite extraordinary. Such a man, if he were to have a car, certainly could have been an understated and demure model. But really, such a man, for his service to his country and people throughout the world, needed a car more befitting of his reputation. He could, therefore, be forgiven for choosing a car just as remarkable. It wouldn't be at all surprising, then, one of the cars Cox would own throughout his life would be a Mercedes-Benz 500K.

Chassis 209421 would be completed in 1936. The chassis would come with a 5.0-liter supercharged eight-cylinder engine numbered 123724, the very same one it has to this very day. When united with its 'Tourenwagen' coachwork, the car would be delivered to its first owner for the price of some 22,000 Reichsmarks. Unfortunatey, the vast majority of the car's early history is unknown.

By the 1950s, Cox was expanding his interests. One of those new interests included collecting historically-important automobiles. While on his honeymoon in Europe, he would stumble upon something striking. In Munich, at a sales lot, there would be sitting there a Mercedes-Benz 500K. It was chassis 209421. The car's owner at the time was one Mr. Unholzer. Mr. Cox just had to have the car and he would go and find out who the owner of the car was and would negotiate to buy the car from him.

Not only would he buy the Mercedes right then and there, he would also drive the car straight from Munich to Paris, and then on to Le Havre where he would have it shipped to the United States.

Upon arriving in the United States, the Mercedes-Benz would come to be part of Cox's Frontier Village Museum. The car would remain relatively undisturbed for nearly 40 years. Then, in the 1990s, the car would undergo a very light restoration before it would end up on public display at the Museum of Automobiles at Petit Jean Mountain in Arkansas.

Not as famous as their Cabriolet brethren, the Tourenwagens are obviously fewer in number, yet still very much an elegant design inside and out. This particular example, correct and highly original from nose-to-tail, offers a peak at a relatively unknown and distinct take on the famous 500K chassis.

Offered at the 2014 Bonhams auction held in Scottsdale, Arizona, chassis 209421 would end up selling for a very impressive and respectable $1,430,000.

'1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K News, Pictures, Specifications and Information', ( From Concept to Production. Retrieved 22 January 2014.

'Ralph Waldo Emerson Cox, Jr.' ( Find A Grave. Retrieved 22 January 2014.

'Sikorsky Product History: S-44', ( Sikorsky Product History. Retrieved 22 January 2014.

'Lot No. 167: 1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sports Phaeton', ( Bonhams. Retrieved 22 January 2014.

Wikipedia contributors, 'Sikorsky VS-44', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 20 December 2013, 20:23 UTC, accessed 22 January 2014

By Jeremy McMullen

Chassis# 209421

2014 Bonhams - The Scottsdale Auction
Sale Price : $1,430,000


Chassis number 209421 Auction Sales History

2018 1
2017 1
2014 1
2008 2
2007 2
2004 1
2001 1

YearAvg. SaleHigh Sale# of Sales

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1936 sales)
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton
Chassis#: 113696
Sold for $1,215,000
  2018 Bonhams : Quail Lodge
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K image  1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K image  
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500 K Offener Tourenwagen by Sindelfingen
Chassis#: 123724
Sold for $1,540,000
  2017 RM Sothebys : Monterey
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K image  1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K image  
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sports Phaeton
Chassis#: 209421
Sold for $1,430,000
  2014 Bonhams - The Scottsdale Auction
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K image  
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K
Chassis#: 130878
Sold for $1,045,000
  2008 Gooding & Company
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K image  1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K image  
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet A
Chassis#: 105383
Sold for $1,287,987
  2008 Bonhams - Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles Automobiles d'Exception
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Marlene Replica Kit
Sold for $13,500
  2007 Mecum - Kansas City High Performance Auction
Sold for $20,500
  2007 Palm Springs Exotic Car Auctions - February 23-25, 2007
Sold for $9,460
  2004 Barrett-Jackson - Petersen Museum 2004
Sold for $20,000
  2001 Kruse Auction - Dallas, TX

No Sale

1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1936 MERCEDES-BENZ 500K SPORTS ROADSTER1308572016 Bonhams The MercedesBenz Sale $270,000$3,500,000
1936 MERCEDES 500 K REPLICA SPECIAL ROADSTER 2016 McCormick's Palm Springs # 60$32,500  
1936 MERCEDES 500 K REPLICA SPECIAL ROADSTER 2016 McCormick's Auction # 60$32,500  
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500 K Cabriolet C2150112013 RM Auction London$650,000  
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K 2009 Sports & Classics of Monterey$425,000$500,000$600,000
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Three-Position Drophead Coupe 2008 Automobiles of London$275,000$300,000$350,000
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K 2008 Vintage Motor Cars of Meadow Brook$475,000$600,000$750,000
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500k Replica Convertible 2007 RM Auctions Toronto International Fall Classic Car Auction$19,000  


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Vehicle information, history, and specifications from concept to production.

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