Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster could top $10m

A highly rare 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster will lead RM Sotheby's forthcoming Arizona sale.

The sale on January 28-29 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix will feature 149 blue-chip collector cars, topped by "an automobile of unparalleled elegance and uniqueness", according to the auction house.

Mercedes Roadster
 The car has "extreme beauty, power and rarity", states the auction house

Regarded as one of the most beautiful and prestigious automobiles of its era, the Mercedes-Benz 540 K was favoured by millionaires and movie stars alike.

The example on offer, chassis no. 130894, is one of the earliest examples built and features the desirable configuration of high doors, long tail and factory left-hand drive.

It was delivered new to Reginald Sinclaire of Colorado, heir to the Corning Glass company fortune, and later passed through some of the world's most prestigious car collections.

The car has just 10,277 miles on the clock and is presented in stunningly restored condition. Having spent the past 25 years with a single owner, it now comes to the market for the first time in a generation and is expected to sell for $10-$13m.

"In the world of luxury automobiles, the 540 K is a car with few peers and effortlessly checks all the boxes when it comes to collectability, namely extreme beauty, power and rarity," says Ian Kelleher, managing director of RM Sotheby's West Coast Division.

"These cars are held in esteemed collections and rarely come to public market— when they do, few rival the provenance of the Sinclaire 540 K."

Further pre-WWII highlights from the sale will include a 1911 Lozier Model 51 Seven-Passenger Touring car estimated at $900,000-$1.1m, a 1913 Pierce-Arrow Model 48-B-1 Five-Passenger Touring valued at $400,000-$600,000, and a 1929 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Torpedo Convertible Coupe estimated at $3m-$3.5m.

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