<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 53
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton

Sold for US$ 1,215,000 inc. premium
Ex-Brooks Stevens
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton
Chassis no. 113696
Engine no. 113696

5018cc, OHV 8-Cylinder Engine
Roots Supercharger, 100bhp or 160bhp with supercharger engaged
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Independent Coil Spring Suspension, Front by Double Wishbones, Rear by Swing-axles
4-Wheel drum brakes with hydraulic servo-assistance

*Rare derivative of Sports coachwork on the 500K chassis
*Former ownership in noted US Collections
*Restored by noted Mercedes Restorer Mike Fennel
*A CCCA Full Classic™


THE MERCEDES-BENZ 500K

The sensation of the 1934 Berlin Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz's legendary pre-war 500K supercar cost a small fortune when new and today commands a king's ransom, such is its rarity. The 1930s decade was a period of unprecedented fertility in motor car styling, of which the sublime 500K represented the very pinnacle of excellence. Its timeless appeal endures to this day.

The 500K, which boasted an ingenious swing-axle independent rear suspension layout, was created by Hans Nibel who, having started with Benz in the early years of the 20th Century, succeeded Marius Barbarou as chief engineer in 1904 and designed (and raced) the huge Benz cars of the period, culminating in the 200hp 'Blitzen' Benz. After the merger with Mercedes, he replaced Ferdinand Porsche and created the most sophisticated chassis of their day for road and track, including the first of the 'Silver Arrow' racers. The supercharged road-going Mercedes of the 1930s are a wonderful tribute to his engineering skills.

Together with its successor the 540K, the magnificent Mercedes-Benz 500K was arguably the most noteworthy production model offered by the Stuttgart firm during the 1930s. The 500K was powered by a 5,018cc supercharged straight-eight engine that featured the company's famous Roots-type supercharger system in which pressing the accelerator pedal to the end of its travel would simultaneously engage the compressor and close off the alternative atmospheric intake to the carburetor. This system had been thoroughly proven on the preceding series of Dr. Porsche-conceived S-Type cars, and in effect the 500/540K was the last supercharged production Mercedes until relatively recent times.

Beneath its seemingly endless bonnet, the 500K's straight-eight engine developed 100bhp un-supercharged or 160bhp with the compressor engaged. The gearbox was a four-speeder with overdrive top ratio. With the supercharger engaged, the 500K had a top speed approaching 110mph (177km/h) matched by servo-assisted hydraulic braking. Its performance potential was such that Mercedes-Benz in the UK retained racing driver Goffredo 'Freddy' Zehender as technical adviser and demonstration driver, since the supercharged Mercedes was one of the few genuine 100mph road cars available in the 1930s.

The manufacturing record of the 500K reveals its exclusive nature: 105 being produced in 1934, 190 in 1935 and 59 in 1936. In recent years, the rarity, style and performance of these big supercharged Mercedes have made them one of the most sought-after of all classic cars on the few occasions they have come on the open market.

After testing a 500K in 1936, The Autocar declared: 'This is a master car, for the very few. The sheer insolence of its great power affords an experience on its own.'

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

Although the 500K chassis attracted the attention of many of the better quality bespoke coachbuilders of the day, the company's own Sindelfingen coachwork left little room for improvement, this department now being overseen by Hermann Ahrens, who had a great eye for design. The Sindelfingen bodies oozed quality, with modern design and solid construction. As was the vogue of the Thirties, even open coachwork would come in forms of convertible, rather than in the phaeton or touring style that had previously been seen. Convertibles were found in two seater 'A' form, its most sporting and low slung look, ranging through the alphabet to a 'D' which was more staid.

However, a small number received 'Tourenwagen' or sports Touring coachwork evidenced by this car. This design, would have cost its first owner some 22,000 Reichsmarks and owes more to the earlier Sindelfingen bodies that can be found on six-cylinder supercharged cars, being more lithe, vintage, open and sporting, than the better known series of Cabriolets. It is a style that emulates the British touring cars of the same era more than those in Germany, perhaps not surprisingly because the UK was such a strong market for them. Of the 500K series, just 16 were delivered as Tourenwagens.

According copies of the Mercedes-Benz Kommission papers, order number 203719 was made in April 1935. It was completed in June that year and was supplied new to Rudolf Schmeer an official in the German Government. As new, it wore blue paintwork with black fenders and a black top and interior.

On file is recent correspondence with historian and researcher Jonathan Sierakowski with later owner Cecil Lemon, who fondly remembered the car and its history as recalled to him. Lemon and an Ezekiel Ramirez found themselves stationed in Salzburg, Austria in the early 1950s where they stumbled across the 500K. It was by then owned by a former Motor Pool mechanic, who had maintained the car in Berlin first for the Germans and then through the Russian invasion. When abandoned by them the mechanic brought the car back to Austria.

Ramirez and Lemon brought the Mercedes to the US, and at this point it passed to Lemon, who held on to it for about a year in 1955, before advertising it for sale. Even in 2016, Lemon would state that he still regretted selling the car! Its buyer, being Ivan P. Baxter of Hartland, Wisconsin. On file are copies of correspondence from Baxter, who was greatly enamored by the car. Based in Berrian Springs, Michigan, his Christmas note to friends that year professed how "This fall, I expanded our two-car garage to the North and the rear to make it a four-car building. Reason: we have finally acquired a real collectors item automobile, instead of merely reading about them and drooling''

Baxter kept the car for around 5 years, before it seems that local collector, Brooks Stevens was able to pry it away from him. Stevens is of course the well-known designer of many household items. He was a passionate car collector and was inspired by Mercedes of this era to build the popular 'retro' look Excalibur cars, based on Studebaker frames. In 1959, he opened the Brooks Stevens Automotive Museum, where his collection, including cars such as the 500K Phaeton were displayed alongside some of his own designs.

In fact, the car continued to remain in this area for much of the next 3 decades, passing next to Mike Uilhein, but still being on display in the Museum, and then later to Bob Adams of Franksville, Wisconsin. While with Uihlein it was in an understated two-tone scheme of burgundy over black and is pictured in this livery in Automobile Quarterly in 1988. From Adams, the car passed to noted collector William 'Bill' Lassiter in Florida, and next it would join the esteemed Imperial Palace Auto Collection in 1991

At this point, it was sent to respected California restorer, Mike Fennel of Saugas, to undergo its most recent restoration. During which it received the color change from an understated to a complete repaint in the solid silver-grey livery we see today. Offsetting this is a trim in lustrous red leather interior.

By the late 1990s when Jan Melin's exhaustive work Mercedes-Benz Supercharged 8-Cylinder Cars was published, the car was pictured in both its earlier scheme and the new silver guise.

Following its newer refurbishment, the Mercedes was shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 2008 and also at the Amelia Island Concours in 2010. Far less numerous in production than the more commonly found series of Cabriolets, just a handful of Tourenwagens survive today. It is a rare, and supremely elegant touring car, which will likely continue to be lauded at Concours around the country.
Contacts
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
<b>1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 11369<br />Engine no. 113696
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