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1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Drophead Coupe

  • Coachwork by Lancefield
  • Chassis Number: 169317
  • Engine Number: 169317
The Lancefield Coachworks Ltd. of Queen's Park, London built six cars with this design and this is the only Mercedes-Benz 540 K. The rear deck is unlocked by means of a T-handle screw, and under manual power, the top raises vertically, then slides to the rear and swings away, similar to that of a modern Porsche Speedster. With the top revealed, it can then be unfurled over the bows into an erect position. Chrome channels direct the rear quarters into position, and thumb screws secure the leading edge to the top of the windshield.

Mr. Grey-Cheape ordered this right-hand-drive 540 K in February of 1938, was given Lanfield coachwork and finished in two-tone livery. It was advertised for sale in May 1947 and is believed to have been sold to London before coming to the United States in the early 1960s. From at least 1961 until the early 1980s it was in the custodianship of John H. Possehl of Norristown, Pennsylvania. It was later owned by Mark J. Smith and had it resprayed in green. Shortly after it was offered for sale in 1988 it entered the current owner's care.

During the late 1980s or early 1990s, the car was given its current deep maroon and black exterior with a maroon leather interior. It retains its original factory engine, original firewall Typenschild, and order number plate bearing Kommission number 269503.

By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2022

2022 RM Sothebys : Monterey

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $1,250,000-USD $1,750,000 
Sale Price :
USD $1,050,000

2016 Bonhams - The Mercedes-Benz Sale

Pre-Auction Estimates :
€2,100,000-€2,700,000 
Lot was not sold

1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Auction Sales

Recent Sales of the Mercedes-Benz 540K

(Data based on Model Year 1938 sales)
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Norrmalm Cabriolet
Chassis#: 169389
Sold for USD$1,435,000
  2024 Broad Arrow Auctions : Amelia
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster in the style of Sindelfingen
Chassis#: 408338
Sold for USD$1,545,000
  2024 RM Sothebys : Arizona
 
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster in the style of Singelfingen
Chassis#: 169394
Sold for USD$2,089,949
  2022 RM Sothebys : Munich
 
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Drophead Coupe by Lancefield
Chassis#: 169317
Sold for USD$1,050,000
  2022 RM Sothebys : Monterey
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet A by Sindelfingen
Chassis#: 189391
Sold for USD$1,132,500
  2022 RM Sothebys : Monterey
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet B
Chassis#: 130903
Sold for USD$836,000
  2016 Worldwide Auctions - The Houston Classic
 
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster by Nawrocki
Sold for USD$1,870,000
  2015 Auctions America - California
 
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet B
Chassis#: 169367
Sold for USD$1,289,033
  2013 RM Auction - London
 
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Cabriolet A
Chassis#: 154133
Sold for USD$2,200,788
  2013 RM Auction - London
 
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K cabriolet
Chassis#: 169333
Sold for USD$900,205
  2013 Bonhams - Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet 'A'
Chassis#: 169396
Sold for USD$1,312,500
  2013 Bonhams - The Scottsdale Auction
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K
Sold for USD$946,000
  2009 The Scottsdale Auction : Gooding & Company
 
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A
Chassis#: 169397
Sold for USD$1,035,868
  2005 Bonhams - Important Collectors' Motor Cars
 
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster
Chassis#: 189387
Sold for USD$1,017,500
  2005 The Monterey Sports and Classic Car Auction
 
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Sport Cabriolet
Sold for USD$973,500
  2003 Monterey Sports and Classic Car Auction
 

Mercedes-Benz 540Ks That Failed To Sell At Auction

1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1938 MERCEDES-BENZ 540K ROADSTER1693172016 Bonhams The MercedesBenz Sale $2,100,000$2,700,000
1938 MERCEDES-BENZ 540 K SPEICAL PHAETON111025100048132003 Kruse Auctions Las Vegas, NV   

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1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K vehicle thumbnail image  1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K vehicle thumbnail image  
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1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K

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1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Vehicle Profiles

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