<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>

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Lot 57Ω
1935 MERCEDES-BENZ 500K CABRIOLET A

US$ 2,200,000 - 2,600,000
€ 2,000,000 - 2,300,000
1935 MERCEDES-BENZ 500K CABRIOLET A

Chassis no. 113717
Engine no. 113717

5,018cc Supercharged Inline 8-Cylinder Engine
Single Twin-Throat Updraft Carburetor
100bhp at 3,400rpm (160bhp with Supercharger engaged)
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Drum Brakes

*Exceptional seven-year restoration by Kienle Automobiltechnik
*Extensively documented by Mercedes-Benz Classic Center, Germany
*Displayed at the 2014 Villa d'Este Concorso d'Eleganza and Goodwood
*Highly desirable example of the marque's legendary prewar supercharged icon



THE MERCEDES-BENZ 500K

The sensation of the 1934 Berlin Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz's legendary 500K Supercar was the creation of the gifted engineer Dr. Hans Nibel. With its advanced chassis design and mighty 5-liter engine, the 500K was one of the very few cars of the 1930s capable of achieving 100 mph on the open road. The "K" models employed a form of supercharging that was peculiarly Mercedes, with the supercharger being used as a top-end booster. Pushing the gas pedal to the floor engaged the train of gears that drove the Roots-type blower, unleashing 25 percent more power and a banshee shriek. It was an impressive and unnerving performance used as a short-term expedient for brief bursts of overtaking.

"Without the supercharger, this is a quiet, docile carriage, the acceleration from low speeds being then quite mild. It will amble around town and along by-ways with scarcely a hint of its latent performance. Bring in the supercharger and it becomes another machine, with fierce acceleration," declared H.S. Linfield, Road Test Editor of The Autocar, after driving a 500K. He summarized the vehicle as: "a master car for the very few; the sheer insolence of its great power affords an experience on its own".
Although the 500K/540K chassis attracted the attention of many of the better quality bespoke coachbuilders of the day, Mercedes-Benz's own Sindelfingen coachwork left little room for improvement and it can safely be argued that its high quality had no peer.


THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

Claiming rarity, a comprehensive restoration, and an unusual Manufacturer's Assessment from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Germany, this beautiful Cabriolet A is an exceptional example of the manufacturer's legendary supercharged touring car. According to its factory Kommission sheet, chassis no. 113717 was ordered on February 8, 1935, by Mercedes-Benz Ltd. of London on behalf of Herbert Gumprecht, a German national, who conducted business in England. Specified with Cabriolet coachwork by Mercedes' famed Sindelfingen workshop, the distinguished car was delivered on May 6th of the same year. It is one of approximately 33 examples built, although far less are known to still exist.

First registered under Mr. Gumprecht's company in Baden, Germany, the 500K was sold in December 1938 to K.H. Downing of Newcastle, England, a member of the Knights of the Order of the Guelphs of Hanover. It then passed in March 1946 to A.G. Jones of Shrewsbury, a farmer who tinkered with tractors and motorcars. Jones sold the car to E.U. Casinelli Ltd. a few months later. In 1951, the Mercedes suffered a minor fire to the interior, although all mechanical elements reportedly remained intact. By the end of the year the car was acquired by S. Hobson of Stockport, Cheshire.

In October 1958, the 500K passed to Dr. R.H. Johnson of Falmouth, a medical author and president of the British Mercedes-Benz Club. Around this time the car was repaired and painted white. Dr. Johnson and his family are depicted with 113717 in several period photos stored in a deep file of documentation. By March 1962, the Mercedes had passed to a Swedish engineer living in the United States, and 20 years later it was purchased through auction in San Francisco by a German collector. After being re-imported to Europe, the 500K was sold in mid-1984 to a Swiss banker and some restoration work was begun.

In early 1994, the aging Mercedes-Benz was acquired by marque expert Klaus Kienle of Heimerdingen, Germany, one of the world's largest independent restorers of classic Mercedes-Benz motorcars. Mr. Kienle quickly sold the car to Dr. Ludwig Fassbender of Düsseldorf, who commissioned a full restoration that took nearly seven years to complete. While Mr. Kienle took on all considerations related to the restoration of the coachwork, the mechanical elements were entrusted to Reifen-Wagner of Landshut, Germany. Many photos of the extensive work performed can be found in the large history file accompanying the sale, showing Mr. Kienle's in detail the work done to the coachwork. Looking at the photos, it is evident that much new sheet metal and woodwork was fabricated during the process.

Originality was stressed during the photo-documented restoration, though several measures were undertaken to make the car safer and more easily drivable. Notably, the car was photographed during restoration by renowned marque expert Jan Melin for images that appeared in Mercedes-Benz 8, The Supercharged 8-Cylinder Cars of the 1930s Vol. 2, the follow-up to his seminal volume on Stuttgart's prewar supercharged models.

In August 2012, the sensationally restored 500K was purchased by the consignor, a Swiss collector who has made great efforts to document the car's history. A formal assessment by Mercedes-Benz Classic in Germany was even performed; the manufacturer's esteemed heritage department thoroughly evaluated the Cabriolet A with carefully detailed measurements and tests to determine the 500K's degree of authenticity. The department's research determined that 113717's engine and body numbers correspond to those shown in the original Kommission sheet, and that nearly every major system is consistent with proper 500K build specifications and components.

Mercedes-Benz Classic printed two elegant hardbound volumes (one in English and one in German) reflecting the full scope of the process, including hundreds of copies of fascinating period materials like the original sales brochures and spec. sheets. Such materials from the Mercedes-Benz factory are extremely rare, and this car is believed to be the only 500K Cabriolet A to have ever been so documented. Following completion of the authentication, chassis no. 113717 was accepted and shown at the 2014 Villa d'Este Concorso d'Eleganza; it also participated in the Royal Automobile Club's 2015 1,000-Mile Trial and in Goodwood.

Impeccably restored and documented, this exquisite 500K is highlighted by its original matching-numbers engine. It offers its future owner access to world-class concours d'elegance, and promises smooth and enjoyable driving characteristics ideal for vintage touring events. Finer examples of Daimler-Benz's important prewar touring model are very rarely seen, and 113717 would beautifully complement almost any collection.
Contacts
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
<B>1935 MERCEDES-BENZ  500K CABRIOLET A<br /></B>
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