Nazi Mercedes Aktion P to auction at $1.1m with Bonhams

An extremely rare Mercedes "Aktion P", a special armoured version of the 540k, that was built for the Nazi party's highest ranking members will sell through Bonhams.

Mercedes Aktion P
The Mercedes Aktion P was an emergency measure after a Nazi was killed by a hand grenade

One of just three known to have survived, the bomb-proof Mercedes comes as part of the Goodwood Festival of Speed sale on June 27 in the UK - the highlight of Bonhams' collector car calendar.

It is valued at £400,000-700,000, a value that serves as testament to its rarity and historical significance.

With the 540K the most luxurious model available from Mercedes during the second world war, 20 were requisitioned for the Third Reich's Aktion P programme, which was established after Reinhard Heydrich was killed by a grenade attack while riding in an open-top staff car in Prague in 1942.

A period photo of the car shows what the winning bidder can look forward to after restoration

The Aktion P (the "P" stands for "Panzer") features armour plate and armoured window glass, but retains the original engine of the 540K. However, some were fitted with a 5-speed gearbox to improve performance, though it is missing in this model.

Adding to the appeal for collectors is that this example was delivered new to the Volkswagenwerke HQ, with the production of the Volkswagen Beetle famously supported by Hitler. He is said to have taken a tour of the factory in an "open bodied Mercedes-Benz", presumably the model at auction.

News of the sale follows the announcement that Hermann Goring's Mercedes 540K, recently discovered in a US garage, is up for sale on eBay.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock