Mercedes-Benz – 540 K Spezial-Roadster (1936)
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- Richard Workman (US)
Class BKompressor! The Supercharged Mercedes-Benz
During the 1930s, the big eight-cylinder models manufactured by Mercedes-Benz were an integral part of the genre of the prestige automobile luxury class. The visceral attribute was the car’s driver-controlled supercharger. This boosted output of the 5.4 litre eight-cylinder inline engine by more than 50 percent with power bursts – a truly powerful experience for all the senses. The ultimate car in the model series was undoubtedly the Spezial-Roadster, an elegant, stunningly cosmopolitan boulevard version of the model series. Mercedes-Benz always presented the versions of this series in Paris.
This Spezial-Roadster is not simply one of only some two dozen roadsters built. It also embodies an unusual story. The car was once driven by Gisela Josephine Baroness von Krieger, originally in Switzerland and then in New York. She retained ownership of the car for her long and glittering life. However, when she passed away in 1989, she had not driven it for around 40 years. After the car’s second restoration, the roadster now looks exactly the same as it did in 1936 when the mother of the baroness
purchased it for her daughter new from the showroom.