Auctions are always a good source of record-breaking or exquisite auto pieces and this example falls in both categories – we’re talking here about a marvelous 937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster.
It might not have snatched the highest bid in the world for a vehicle at an auction – that one is reserved to those Ferraris – following a bid that commenced at a “mere” $5 million, a pristine example of the 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster fetched at an auction organized by RM Sotheby’s no less than $9.9 million. The unit, chassis number 130894, is also widely regarded as one of the initial models in the 540 K line and this one has managed to withstand the adversities of time – the unit is even a pre-production model. Originally sold in the United States over the years it has clocked on the odometer just 10,227 miles (16,458 kilometers), has a full ownership history and comes jammed with all the original drivetrain parts. Power comes courtesy of a 5.4-liter, eight-cylinder engine sporting a driver-activated Roots-type supercharger that allows power to jump from 115 horsepower to 180 hp.
The engine is linked to the wheels via a four-speed manual gearbox and the 40 K Special Roadster also has our-wheel servo-assisted hydraulic drum brakes and an independent wishbone coil front suspension matched by an independent swing-arm rear suspension. This very special and beautiful 540 K was the main attraction at the 17th annual Arizona Biltmore auction in Phoenix, which also included models such as a 1929 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Torpedo Convertible Coupe ($3 million), a 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV ($ 2 million), and a 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder ($1,59 million).