conceptcarz.com

Image credit: © conceptcarz.com (Reproduction Or reuse prohibited).

1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A

  • Coachwork by Sindelfingen
  • Chassis Number: 154084
  • Engine Number: 154084
Mercedes-Benz built 419 chassis of the 540 Ks and most wore coachwork designed by Sindelfingen, the official karosserie of Daimler-Benz. It came equipped with an overhead valve, eight-cylinder engine that displaced 5,401cc, and with the help of a Roots-Type supercharger, it offered 180 horsepower at 3,400 RPM (with the blower engaged). The engine was paired with a four-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes to provide stopping power.

Styling features of this Mercedes-Benz included its radiator set back behind the front axle. It has flowing fenders, a sloping rear deck, and a rear-set cockpit.

Dr. William Walter Birge collected his new 540 K from the factory on July 24th of 1937 and returned with it to his home in Paris. The car remained with Dr. Birge for many years, presumably until his passing in 1952. It was around that time that the Mercedes-Benz was purchased by an American collector, and was exported to Baltimore. It is believed that the car remained on the East Coast until the late 1970s. In 1980, the car was imported to Germany and into the care of Dr. Ernst Beeh of Stuttgart who kept it for 21 years. During that time, it was used in European events and rallies including the Monte Carlo, Tour des Alpes, and Bertha-Benz. Dr. Beeh drove the Mercedes-Benz 60,000 km.

Near the end of Dr. Beeh's ownership, he commissioned Rolf Wagner to do a full, body-off restoration that was carried out between 1997 and 1999. Nearly $400,000 was spent on the restoration and upon completion, it wore cream paintwork, just as it had when it originally left the factory.

The 540 K returned to the United States in 2001 via dealer and enthusiast Axel Schuette. The following year, it joined the Ray Scherr collection of Southern California. In 2007, entrusted the Mercedes-Benz specialist Scott Grundfor of Arroyo Grande, California, to prepare the 540 K for competition at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Upon completion, the car wore a black exterior with black leather hides. At the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours, the car was awarded Third in Class and the Road & Track Trophy.

In 2010, the car was sold to Tony Vincent and has been kept in top form and was exhibited at numerous shows around Southern California in the early 2010s, beginning with Best of Show accolades at the Palos Verdes Concours d'Elegance.

By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2022
Factory records indicate that some 419 examples of the 540K were produced between 1936 and 1939. Only 32 of this particular Sports Cabriolet A version were produced, and only 12 are known to survive. This example's bodywork left the Sindelfingen factory on April 9th of 1937. On the same day that the body was completed, it was transported to the assembly area at Unterturkheim where it was joined to the chassis. Some of the features of this car are inherent to the 540K Special Roadster, including the radiator mounted behind the front axle, extremely long fenders and the twin spare wheels mounted at the rear. These two body styles are the most sought-after of all the factory coachwork. They were among the ultimate cars that money could buy in the late 1930s. This car reigns as the fastest production road car of its era and the last supercharged model the company built until the modern era.

2022 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $1,750,000-USD $2,000,000 
Sale Price :
USD $3,085,000

2010 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach Auctions

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $154,084-USD $154,084 
Sale Price :
USD $2,145,000

1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Auction Sales

Recent Sales of the Mercedes-Benz 540K

(Data based on Model Year 1937 sales)
1937 MERCEDES-BENZ 540K SPECIAL ROADSTER
Chassis#: 154080
Sold for USD$2,420,000
  2024 Barrett-Jackson : Scottsdale AZ
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet B by Sindelfingen
Chassis#: 169367
Sold for USD$775,000
  2023 RM Sothebys : Amelia Island
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  
1937 MERCEDES-BENZ 540 K SPORT CABRIOLET A
Chassis#: 154084
Sold for USD$3,085,000
  2022 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster by Sindelfingen
Chassis#: 154075
Sold for USD$9,905,000
  2022 RM Sothebys : Monterey
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Coupe by Hebmüller
Chassis#: 154143
Sold for USD$995,000
  2020 RM Sothebys : Scottsdale Arizona
 
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet A by Sindelfingen
Chassis#: 154078
Sold for USD$2,539,413
  2019 RM Sothebys : Essen
 
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Sports Roadster Coachwork by Mayfair
Chassis#: 154080
Sold for USD$3,277,500
  2018 Bonhams : Quail Lodge
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet B
Chassis#: 169350
Sold for USD$577,500
  2018 Mecum : Monterey
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Sport Cabriolet A by Sindelfingen
Chassis#: 154146
Sold for USD$2,585,000
  2017 RM Sothebys : Monterey
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet C
Chassis#: 154062
Sold for USD$1,072,500
  2016 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  
1937 MERCEDES-BENZ 540K CABRIOLET A Coachwork by Sindelfingen
Chassis#: 154083
Sold for USD$2,970,000
  2016 Bonhams : The Amelia Island Auction
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster by Sindelfingen
Chassis#: 130894
Sold for USD$9,900,000
  2016 RM Sothebys : Arizona
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Sports Saloon
Chassis#: 169341
Sold for USD$797,307
  2013 Bonhams - The Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale
 
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster Model
Sold for USD$34,500
  2012 RM - Milhous Collection, Fla
 
1937 Mercedes 540 K cabriolet B 1937
Sold for USD$646,491
  2012 Artcurial Motorcars at Rétromobile
 
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet 'C'
Chassis#: 236583
Sold for USD$667,000
  2012 Bonhams - The Scottsdale Sale, Az
 
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A - Coachwork by Sindelfingen
Sold for USD$1,350,079
  2011 Coys - A217 True Greats
 
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Spezial Roadster by Sindelfingen
Chassis#: 154140
Sold for USD$9,680,000
  2011 RM Auctions at Monterey
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A by Factory Sindelfingen
Chassis#: 154081
Sold for USD$1,996,988
  2011 RM Auctions - Villa d'Este
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K image  
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet C
Chassis#: 169312
Sold for USD$612,630
  2011 Bonhams - Automobilia, Motos de collection et Automobiles d'exception au Grand Palais
 

Mercedes-Benz 540Ks That Failed To Sell At Auction

1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster1540802023 Mecum : Monterey$2,600,000$3,500,000$4,500,000
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster1540802021 Mecum : Monterey   
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster 2021 Mecum : Kissimmee   
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster 2020 Mecum : Indy   
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet B1693672020 Bonhams : Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais $650,000$750,000
1937 MERCEDES-BENZ 540K SPORT CABRIOLET A1541462016 Bonhams : Greenwich Concours d'Elegance Auction   
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Sport Cabriolet A by Sindelfingen1541462015 RM Auctions Automobiles of Arizona$3,100,000$3,400,000$4,000,000

Vehicles With Comparable Market Values

Similar sales to the $2,680,281 range.
2021 Koenigsegg Regera
Chassis#:YT9NN1E11MA007233
Sold for $2,631,069
2024 RM Sothebys : Paris
The First and Last Corvette L88 Offering
Chassis#:u78
Sold for $2,585,000
2024 Mecum : Kissimmee
1994 Ferrari 512 TR Spider
Chassis#:ZFFLA4C000097310
Sold for $2,756,343
2023 RM Sothebys : London
1953 FERRARI 166 MM/53 SPIDER
Chassis#:0328 M/0308 M
Sold for $2,730,691
2023 Gooding & Company : London Auction
1956 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Coupe Series I by Pinin Farina
Chassis#:0497 SA
Sold for $2,810,000
2023 RM Sothebys : Monterey
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K vehicle thumbnail image  1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K vehicle thumbnail image  
1964 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso Berlinetta
Chassis#:5695
Sold for $2,810,000
2023 Broad Arrow : Monterey Jet Center
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K vehicle thumbnail image  1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K vehicle thumbnail image  
2019 Ferrari Monza SP1
Chassis#:ZFF94MSB000250235
Sold for $2,622,550
2023 RM Sothebys : Villa Erba
1953 Maserati A6GCS/53 Spyder by Fantuzzi
Chassis#:2053
Sold for $2,590,000
2023 RM Sothebys : Amelia Island
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K vehicle thumbnail image  1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K vehicle thumbnail image  
2020 McLaren Speedtail
Chassis#:SBM23GDG5LW403030
Sold for $2,584,837
2023 RM Sothebys : Paris
1989 FERRARI F40
Chassis#:ZFFGJ34B000080782
Sold for $2,750,000
2023 Barrett-Jackson : Scottsdale, Az.
1965 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C by Scaglietti
Chassis#:06779
Sold for $2,810,000
2022 RM Sothebys : Monterey
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K vehicle thumbnail image  
2014 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse Jean-Pierre Wimille Legend Edition
Chassis#:VF9SV2C24EM795035
Sold for $2,640,000
2022 Mecum : Monterey
1971 Mercedes-Benz 600 LWB Landaulet
Chassis#:100.015-12-001861
Sold for $2,590,000
2022 Broad Arrow Auctions : Monterey Jet Center Auction
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K vehicle thumbnail image  1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K vehicle thumbnail image  
1936 Duesenberg Model J Rollston Convertible Berline
Chassis#:J586
Sold for $2,695,000
2022 Mecum : Monterey
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K vehicle thumbnail image  1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K vehicle thumbnail image  
1971 Lamborghini Miura SV
Chassis#:4884
Sold for $2,582,220
2022 RM Sothebys : Monaco Grimaldi Forum
1973 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider By Scaglietti
Chassis#:16839
Sold for $2,699,358
2022 RM Sothebys : Monaco Grimaldi Forum
2020 McLaren Speedtail
Chassis#:SBM23GDG1LW403087
Sold for $2,700,000
2022 RM Sothebys : Amelia Island
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K vehicle thumbnail image  1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K vehicle thumbnail image  
1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 by Scaglietti
Chassis#:09021
Sold for $2,676,459
2022 RM Sothebys : Paris
1992 Ferrari F40
Sold for $2,750,000
2022 Mecum : Kissimmee
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing
Sold for $2,640,000
2022 Mecum : Kissimmee

1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K

Additional valuation insight and sales data
History
Specifications
Image gallery
Other Mercedes-Benz 540K model years

1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Vehicle Profiles