Unveiled at the Paris Auto Salon in the fall of 1936, Mercedes-Benz's supercharged 540 K stood out from most of the other great models of the era. The brand's chief engineer, former racing pilot Max Sailer, ensured that the 5.4-liter inline eight-cylinder engine could provide enough power - in this case, the power reached 180 hp - to propel the car beyond 100 mph. . In fact, the 540 K was so capable that the automaker kept racing driver Goffredo “Freddy” Zehender in retainer in the UK to serve as a technical advisor and demonstration driver.

The example that happened on RM Sotheby's block is one of 32 opulent Cabriolet A-style tourers built by Sindelfingen, of which only 18 are believed to exist.

This survivor is particularly notable for being essentially a car of combined numbers, one that has its original chassis, engine, gearbox and body. "Most people would consider the chassis as the true identifier of a car's identity," explains Gord Duff, global auction director for RM Sotheby's. "If you don't have the original chassis, you can argue that you don't have the original car."

The 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet A by Sindelfingen presented by RM Sotheby's.

In addition to its high level of originality and authenticity, this 540 K - which sold for 2.25 million euros (about $ 2.5 million) - is a desirable prewar classic based solely on the model's reputation. "The 540 K is the embodiment of style and performance and incredible build quality," says Duff, adding that the period when the car was built - a time of European racing mastery for Mercedes-Benz - was the "era of brand gold ". .

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