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540 K Spezial Roadster
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  Mercedes-Benz 540 K Spezial Roadster      

  Article Image gallery (127) Chassis (9) 154075 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Germany
Produced from:1937 - 1939
Numbers built:26
Internal name:W29
Designed by:Hermann Ahrens for Mercedes-Benz
Predecessor:Mercedes-Benz 500 K Spezial Roadster
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:January 08, 2016
Download: All images
Chassis: 154075
Commissioned by King Mohammed Zahir Shah of Afghanistan, this 540 K was fitted by the factory with the 'Spezial Roadster' body. Crucially, the design used was of the high door, long tail and covered spare tyre design that is today considered the ultimate version of the Spezial Roadster. Only three of these are known to exist. It was delivered to Kabul in September of 1937 and then spent the War hidden away in the Afghan embassy in France. In 1948, it was gifted to the King's son in law. He brought the car to England and used it occasionally before he sold it in 1953 through Chipstead Motors.

The next custodian was legendary American collector Vernon D. Jarvis. He displayed the car in his purpose-built museum in Silver Springs, Florida along with the rest of his collection that included many other formidable 1920s and 1930s classic cars. The rare Spezial Roadster was on display for nearly 30 years with the exception of rare outings. In 1986, another noted collector, Robert Bahre bought all contents of Jarvis' museum, including this 540 K. Chassis 15407 changed hands again in the early 1990s when it entered into another longterm ownership. Conserved in highly original condition with less than 13,000 miles on the odometer, it was only rarely seen in the next three decades. In 2022, it was consigned as part of the Masterworks of Design collection to the RM Sotheby's Monterey sale.


Chassis details
Manufactured in 1937
Engine number 154075
First owner King Mohammed Zahir Shah
Upcoming auction 2022 RM Sotheby's Monterey (Estimate: $9,000,000 - 12,000,000)

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  Article Image gallery (127) Chassis (9) 154075 Specifications