Avid car collectors not only collects vintage cars as a hobby but also for investment, and this has led to the dramatic rise in the sale prices of these rare beauties. Every now and then, a new record is established when rare classic cars are sold at auctions. Recently, a 1962 Ferrari GTO became the world's most expensive ferrari bypassing the 1963 GTO 250, which was sold for $32 million in Britain in year 2011, and now the records are set to be revised for the German luxury automaker, Mercedes-Benz. In June 2011, a 1937 Mercedes Benz 540K became the most expensive Mercedes to be sold at an auction. And, now Gooding and Company is offering Von Krieger Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster, which is expected to fetch a handsome eight figures price, during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Gooding and Company describes this particular car to be as the most significant and rare Mercedes-Benz to ever hit the auction blocks. Though, the 540K Special Roadster comes with no pre-auction estimate due to the car’s unprecedented provenance and historical significance, yet the auction house strongly believes that it wouldn’t be of any surprise if this car fetches price as high as the 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa which fetched a total of $16.9 million.
Von Krieger’s Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster is one of 26 540K Special Roadsters, and was built on special order before World War II. With chassis number 130949, this long-tail, high-door car with exposed-spare, was purchased new in year 1936 by the aristocratic Von Kriegner family for the use of son Henning, but the beautiful Baroness Gisela Josephine Von Krieger, who is described as one of the 10 most fashionable women in the world, as per Gooding, eventually made this car her own. She then saved it from the potential destruction in Germany, first shipped to Switzerland, then to U.S. after the end of war. Though, she lived in Manhattan, but Baroness kept the 540K safely at the Homestead Inn in Greenwich area, even after when she moved back in early 1960s to Switzerland.
Though avid-collectors pressurized her continuously to sell the car, but she hold on to it until her death in year 1989, the time when the car was valued $2.5 million. When retrieved from the storage shed, it was in original condition with little black paint peeling from its body.
Following its sale by the Baroness’s estate, the 540K has had just one owner who initially restored it in silver, but later its owner commissioned restorer Chris Charlton of Oxford, Maine, to restore it again, in the process returning to its original black.
Another one of the most talked about Mercedes-Benz auction ran into controversy when a 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500 K Roadster, which was bought by a car collector for $3.76 million, was seized by German authorities in favor of the grandchildren of the car's very first owner, the known German industrialist Hans Friedrich Prym.
UPDATE: The vehicle fetched a total of $11.77 million, which also includes a premium of 10 percent.