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540 K Streamliner
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  Mercedes-Benz 540 K Streamliner
 

  Article Image gallery (25) 189399 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Germany
Produced in:1938
Numbers built:1
Internal name:W29
Designed by:Hermann Ahrens
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:September 29, 2014
Download: All images
Chassis: 189399
Using standard 540 K chassis, Mercedes-Benz created a special streamliner in 1938 based on a design by Hermann Ahrens. The slippery duraluminium panels were mounted on an ash subframe. One of the few changes compared to a regular 540 K drivetrain was the installation of a taller final drive to allow for higher top speeds. The impetus behind developing the Streamliner was reportedly the 1939 Berlin to Rome road race, which was ultimately cancelled. Instead, the 540 K was handed to Dunlop Germany for high speed testing.

In 1940, the car was returned to Mercedes-Benz and disassembled. It was long believed to have been lost until Mercedes-Benz archivist Gerd Langer found a reference to the chassis in a list of 900 vehicles in storage. As it happens, the chassis had been preserved as had most of the drawings. It was decided to rebuild the unique Streamliner using the original chassis, a correct engine and a newly constructed body. An original panel was also found, which was a great help for the Mercedes-Benz Classic engineers. A complication were the particularly difficult to read drawings, which turned out to be a nearly lost art.

Upon completion, the 540 K Streamliner was tested in the oldest functioning wind-tunnel in Germany. The tests revealed that the car had a cd of 0.36 compared to a cd of 0.57 compared to a standard 540 K Coupe. The Streamliner made its first ever public appearance at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.


Chassis details
Last known location Mercedes-Benz Classic
Appearances

2017 Techno Classica 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed 2015 Techno Classica 2015 Retromobile
2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

  Article Image gallery (25) 189399 Specifications