1936 Mercedes 540k Roadster could be world's second most valuable auction car
Will the 1936 Mercedes 540k Special Roadster top $16.4m in Monterey?
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Tuesday 14 August 2012
A supercharged 1936 Mercedes 540k Special Roadster could be set to take the title of the world's second most valuable car at auction this weekend (August 18-19) at California's Pebble Beach.
The car is hoping to beat the $16.4m one-time record held by the 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa prototype that sold at the Pebble Beach auction in 2011. Despite the strong results expected, it is very unlikely to surpass the reported $30m+ achieved by a 1936 Bugatti 57SC Atlantic, which stands as the world's most valuable auctioned car.
The 540K is one of just 30 built to Mercedes' top-end specifications and boasts only three owners in 76 years. It also features the authentic matching numbers engine and chassis and is presented in original, as delivered appearance, with some unique custom features. An estimate has not yet been set, although a similar car sold with the same auction house last year for $9.7m, setting the world record for a Mercedes at auction.
The car's value will be heightened beyond that of last year's example by its fascinating celebrity provenance, having once been owned by Baroness Gisela von Kreiger - a European socialite who was described as one of the 10 most fashionable women in the world and made huge efforts to save the car from destruction in war-time Germany.
Also featuring at the Pebble Beach auction will be Clark Gable's 1935 Duesenberg, which looks set to sell in excess of $9m.
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