The German brand endeavors to appeal the elite. It will of course be lucky to meet the luxury trends of the new German regime but even in terms of an international perspective its initiative is timely. The Cord group fails to balance the budget of Duesenberg, Bugatti's La Royale is an almost total commercial failure and Bentley went bankrupt.
The Mercedes-Benz 380 can be bodied in limousine, coupe, cabriolet or roadster. It is heavy and sluggish. With a high intelligence Mercedes-Benz appreciates that the wealthiest customers shall prefer a bigger and more powerful car even if it is much more expensive. The 380 is terminated in mid-1934 to be replaced by the 500 and 500 K.
On September 3 in Chantilly, Bonhams sells a 500 K Roadster coachworked in Sindelfingen according to the practice of the company that unlike its competitors did not like subcontracting the body. Completed in February 1935, this car is then the high-end of the brand and is immediately exhibited at the Auto Show in Berlin. Remaining in very good condition with its matching number engine, it is estimated € 5M, lot 16.
I already met it in this column in 2011 when it was part of a tantalizing set of five vehicles demonstrating the dramatic progress of Mercedes-Benz into the later 1930s, with the 540 K introduced at the Salon de l'Auto of Paris in 1936 and the ultimate luxury, the 540 K Spezial launched in the same year, which will delight Göring.
In that sale made by RM Auctions on August 20, 2011, the 500 K Roadster was the earliest built of these five prestigious Mercedes-Benz and the only example in 500 K, the four others being 540 K. It was sold for $ 3.8M.
The other results were : $ 3M for a 1936 Cabriolet A, $ 3.1M for a 1936 Spezial Coupe, $ 9.7M for a 1937 Spezial Roadster and $ 4.6M for a Spezial Roadster from 1939 that was sold again for $ 7.5M by the same auction house in August 2013. These prices include the premium. The five cars were shown on the article shared by Sports Car Digest.
SOLD for € 5.3M including premium