1934 Mercedes-Benz 500K Special Roadster achieves $4.2m in Stuttgart

A 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500 K Special Roadster headlined an auction dedicated to the marque held by Bonhams in Stuttgart on July 12, where it achieved $4.2m.

The lot was sold without a reserve in order to benefit Swedish cancer and Alzheimer's charities.  

Mercedes Benz 500K
The Mercedes Benz 500K Special Roadster was designed and built in 1934

It was designed by the legendary engineer and racing driver Dr Hans Nibel and shown at the 1934 Berlin Auto Show, where it caused a sensation among spectators.

Just over 300 500Ks were ever produced, only 29 of which were Special Roadsters. The car was the first to feature independent suspension and could reach speeds of just over 100mph.

In 2012, a superior example of a 540K Special Roadster crossed the block for $11.7m at Gooding & Co's Pebble Beach auction.  

A 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet A also sold well, achieving $3m.

Max Sailer, who took the reins after Nibel died suddenly in 1934, was the brains behind the design - which improved on the 500K by introducing a larger engine capacity, a lightened chassis and twin pressurised updraft carburettors.

This allowed for an increased top speed of around 110mph.

The example sold belonged to the owner of Le Roulotte, a Paris jazz club that hosted performances from the likes of Edith Piaf and Django Reinhardt during the 1930s.  

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