Franschhoek, South Africa+27 (0)21 874 9000kras@fmm.co.za

MERCEDES-BENZ 540K CABRIOLET

Project 38 of 40

In the 1930s, the supercharged MERCEDES-BENZ 500K’s imposing styling and unparalleled performance was perfect for exploiting Germany’s growing network of autobahns. In 1936 it gave way to the 540K with its 5,4-litre engine and a maximum power output of 134 kilowatts, enough to propel these majestic 2,3-ton cars to over 160 kilometres per hour.

This four-seater Cabriolet first appeared at the 1936 Berlin Motor Show. In 1938 it was bought by the German government to be used as a wedding gift from Adolf Hitler to King Farouk I of Egypt. The car’s colour was changed to the king’s preferred dark shade of red, the interior and hood reupholstered in contrasting beige leather and a unique dashboard fitted. It was presented as “the most precise car manufactured in the world”.

In 1996 the car underwent a five-year restoration and, remarkably, the specialists were able to retain 90 per cent of the original car.

 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Year 1936
Country of Origin Germany
Engine Type 5.4 litre or 329.5 cu/in
Power Output 115 HP or 85.75 kW uncompressed180 HP
or 134 kW compressed
Transmission Type 4 Speed with independent rear suspension
Braking System disc brakes all round
Top speed 170 km/h or 106 mph

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