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1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A

  • Coachwork by Sindelfingen
  • Chassis Number: 189391
  • Engine Number: 189391
  • Body Number: 842205
  • Registration Number: FLC 217
This third series 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet A by Sindelfingen was ordered new and devoid of side-mounted spares. The order was placed by the British Mercedes-Benz agency on behalf of a Mr. Manson, and registered as FLC 217. It is believed that the car remained in England throughout World War II, and was acquired in 1951 by a multiple award-winning British actor, filmmaker, and writer named Peter Ustinov who kept it until 1953. Around this time, the car was advertised for sale by dealers Simmons of Mayfair in Motor Sport magazine.

The Mercedes was acquired from Simmons by Ralph Buckley of Absecon, New Jersey in July of 1953. From Mr. Buckley, the Cabriolet A traveled to California and into the custodianship of John Bond. After many years in his care, the car was later purchased by Jim Wilson of Hermosa Beach, who then began a five-year mechanical and cosmetic restoration. Upon completion, the car was exhibited at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, winning 3rd in Class. Richard Wesselink purchased the Mercedes several years later (along with a second 540 K), who passed both to Manfredo Lippmann of Guatemala.

The car currently wears the Wilson restoration which had been finished in a deep claret paint scheme with a tan leather interior. It has original, late-style skirting of the front fenders which have been lightly modified to have more of a subtle curve and house side mounted spares. The original body number suffix '205' is stamped into the hood hinge, and the original chassis and engine number stampings are still present as well.

By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2022

2022 RM Sothebys : Monterey

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $1,000,000-USD $1,250,000 
Sale Price :
USD $1,132,500

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 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 540 K Norrmalm Cabriolet1693892024 Broad Arrow Auctions : Amelia $1,250,000$1,450,000
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$0  

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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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