Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este

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Mercedes-Benz – 540 K Cabriolet A (1936)

Details

Vehicle Type:
Cabriolet
Coach Builder:
Mercedes-Benz
Cylinders:
8
Engine CC:
5363
Entrant
Hans Hulsbergen (CH)

Class B

Kompressor! The Supercharged Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz - 540 K Cabriolet A
Class B25

If there was ever an automobile for high society during the 1930s, a car with haute couture that truly reflected a glamorous lifestyle, then it was this motor car. A Mercedes-Benz 540 K was regarded as the stylish epitome of success. No wonder that Mademoiselle Lucy Franchi, owner of the popular Parisian Bar Americain La Roulotte in Montmartre, decided to have this model. On 3rd June 1936, she took a stroll to Atelier Vautrin, the Mercedes-Benz concessionaire on the aristocratic Champs-Élysées.

The young entrepreneur ordered this 540 K styled with two-tone Cabriolet A coachwork and spare wheels mounted at the rear. Just four months later, she was able to chauffeur the latest jazz stars through the turbulent streets of Paris in those heady years – virtuoso greats like Edith Piaf numbered among them, alongside Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Django Reinhardt. These legends all sang and played on her stages. Nevertheless, Lucy Franchi soon gave her luxury acquisition to her brother Pierre as a sublimely generous gift – a 540 K as a token of appreciation for his support in her scintillating business ventures.

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