1936 MercedesBenz 540K (Cabriolet C Special Sindelfigen CabA…

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Mercedes-Benz 540K W24

1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K pictures, specifications, and information

Mercedes-Benz 540K von Krieger Roadster. ‘The Price of

Life is full of tragedy and and ‘all the world’s a stage, and all the men and merely players’ (Shakespeare Rarely can the fullness of life, all of the emotions and intricacies, become in an inanimate, unfeeling object. there are those special when true pieces of art are And though they may be, in and of themselves and cold, they have the to take on the identity of their or possessor and become alive, a story-teller. One such piece of art narrates a story full of and destitution, of love and loss, make its way to auction at the 2012 and Company event held in California.

While the Gooding and auction in Monterey is all about automobiles with incredible to fully understand and appreciate the Mercedes-Benz 540K offered one to know and understand the story of the in the drama for which the car would be made and delivered.

Just one at the exquisite and voluptuous lines by the brilliant visionary coachbuilders at and it immediately becomes clear who the for this particular 540K Roadster would have

Some of the last of German Baron Benno von Krieger and his Josephine came to be settled in a of Berlin during the Golden Era of the Republic when the Junkers still exerted considerable on German politics and society. this world of glamorous and improbable prestige, the Baron and his would raise their two Gisela and Henning.

By the early the economic crisis felt all the globe was putting tremendous upon families, no matter their rank or situation. The tide of the Third Reich was beginning to come into and the strain on the German nobility only increase. In the base of and Josephine, the pressures would to bear on the family itself and become too much and the two would for divorce.

Also, by the early there was a shift happening the noble families. The days of chauffeured around in horse-drawn had come to an end. The early coach-built designs around the decades of the 20th century lent to aristocracy being to and from important engagements. motor racing would up a whole new world, and it would a considerable influence on the von Krieger’s Henning.

R. H. Johnson would in a 1952 edition of Motor ‘The noise of a Mercedes is, to the occupants of the car, bloodcurdling and After the first terrifying of boost have been and it is found that the engine not blow up, the experience becomes exhilarating.’

The only ones could afford to experience exhilaration were those the means to do so. Therefore, the world of the and exotic automobile would No longer would the big, designs of most coachbuilders do. The would now be in the driver’s seat. aspect of the car now needed to portray the of wealth, affluence and artistry to one would be accustomed. Perhaps for the time the whole of the automotive came to speak of one’s and position. Whereas before it had all about comfort and appointments a big and luxurious car, it would now to become an amalgamation of artistry and with the kind of performance to also speak of one’s and command.

Henning would be born at the right time and would demonstrate the new era in aristocracy. Like in his position, Henning had the wealth and the to partake of only that the best motor racing in the world had the privilege. The early century was certainly a period of and adventure. Like the jousting of centuries past, aviation and especially cars built for racing, belonged to a certain of its own—the ones that had the means or the talent to take Everyone else had to watch and from the sidelines. Henning one of them.

By the time he reached age, Henning would be a Mercedes-Benz SS the family owned and Supercharged, Henning would accustomed to the whirling siren of the Roots-type supercharger and would be hooked on cars with the and the performance to match.

The car that fit perfectly was Mercedes-Benz’s 500-Series of And, as a graduation gift for the 19 year old Henning, Josephine put in an order for a Special Roadster.

ordered to be a 500 chassis, Mercedes had made the switch to the 540K and used that chassis of what had been ordered. because of when the car was ordered by Henning’s new Special Roadster, it was built, would be one of the first 540Ks ever to be built.

only a graduation gift, would spare no expense it came to her son’s new car. separating from her husband, would, by no means, become a without means. She would an extremely influential and wealthy estate dealer around France, which is where she and the would move to after the became final.

Henning’s Mercedes-Benz 540K Special would be finished and delivered to the man with an entirely black and pigskin leather upholstery. such elegant touches as a wood writing table, dashboard and an extremely expensive and Telefunken radio, the Special certainly was to be something special in Henning would be seen around the streets of Berlin.

But wasn’t the only one in the family to use of the Special Roadster to help their social standing. sister, Gisela would be an figure in the Paris social She would be noted for her ability to be at the party and always in the right An elegant beauty in her own right, would attract many a and would turn them all Her elegant grace and exotic would claim its share of with one even going so far as to himself out of his plane over the Channel after Gisela his hand in marriage. And at the wheel of the Special Roadster, she certainly how to torture her most ardent

But while it would seem life would be most for everyone but the von Kriegers, the course of would turn and the carefree of the noble family would be upside down and it would the only suitor the family welcome from then on be that of tragedy. Instead of out their days in comfort and events would transpire would eventually leave destitute and struggling to retain sanity.

It would all begin Germany invaded Poland in Amidst a life spent summer months along the Riviera, Paris and London, the von family would soon themselves amidst suspicion French authorities because of German roots and the influence possessed. This would to the family being taken their plush surroundings and a period of time in an internment

Henning would not believe in the of the Third Reich but would be to return to Germany to take up a of corporal in the German Luftwaffe. and Gisela, however, would to escape to Monaco and, neutral Switzerland.

With European world totally upside-down in a war-torn Europe, made arrangements for her and her children, and the Roadster, to make the journey to the States in 1949. Arriving on the Elizabeth, the family would in Manhattan’s Upper East

The family would live a couple of years in the United before Josephine would ill and would return to Europe. there would be nothing could be done for her and she would die in of 1951 in Lausanne, Switzerland. in 1958, Henning would diagnosed with melanoma. He unfortunately, pass away in of 1959.

The dark side of the ‘perfect’ life was beginning to its toll and by the 1960s, just and Benno remained. But the dark had already formed over world.

The traumatic experiences the Second World War would the socialite to begin a process of within herself. The move to the States would actually be in an to change the environment around the baroness who, by that had already been diagnosed depression and bouts of tension.

those early years in the States, the Special Roadster be seen turning heads up and down streets in Manhattan. But the car once symbolized freedom and for life, it would later something else entirely.

By the mid-1950s, Gisella and Henning now in Connecticut and were both American citizenship. The move to was to be a move back to simplicity and but Henning’s illness in 1958 Gisela back into a prison of depression and exhaustion. returning to Europe with her as he underwent treatment for his melanoma, world began to shrink and The car too would find itself away, caged just the baroness.

Throughout its time in New City, Gisela would great care of the Special having it serviced by Zumbach’s in Once Henning and Gisela to Connecticut, she would continue to after the car sparing no expense, as her life was filled with no However, when Henning ill and Gisela returned with him to the once proud and grand would find itself away awaiting Gisela’s the return that would happen.

Whereas in days by the Special Roadster seemed to of elegant parties and a life of like a bearer of bad memories, the car soon become a neglected member. Once intended to be but never again receiving any of its family, just like the lady in which it carried for so many years, 130949 a recluse, a distant memory beloved but seemingly destined to again regain its senses and of nobility.

Gisela’s life, out of the of the von Krieger family, would be the tragic. Left all alone and no husband or family of her own, she never again return to the States and would never see the Special Roadster that had clearer, care-free days as one of most affluent families.

of enjoying her wealth and those things surrounding her, would remain locked with literally no means of to the outside world with the of sending and receiving mail. was her seclusion in the last decades of her that her body would go before being discovered in 1989. Surrounding her body in her apartment would be jewelry and dresses, lying around waded pieces of paper. It was these pieces of finery, the one nearly forgotten about away back in Connecticut, not save her.

Unlike the 540K Special Roadster not die alone. And throughout its years of locked away, unable to visitors and live its life, were still would-be trying to pull the car out of its prison to let it, once again, breathe the air of life. Gisela von Krieger would say, ‘This of good cars is said to be purest passion.’ And the stark in the life of Gisela and the Special would bear this out. While Gisela continue to lock herself and would never accept the of any of her suitors, the Special Roadster find a number of suitors it toward the later stages of life. Among them be Daimler-Benz, George Maley and C. Bott. But just as she had with all of the men in her Gisela would turn every possible suitor for her Special Roadster. And who really blame her, for it was the finery was maintaining the aura of perfection, the lie the reality.

It seemed the car would never its prison even after death. Tied down in problems and issues with the von estate, the car would still locked away with not even aware of its existence

Then, in 1991, Mr. Gooding receive an intriguing phone from a man unsure of what he had All the man knew is that ‘it’s an black two-seat Mercedes.’ But Gooding would find the last door in an unassuming in Greenwich, Connecticut would be

Mercedes-Benz 540K W24

Issues with the estate delay the car from being Finally, in 1998, the von Krieger Roadster would find its way the hands of its current owner. The owner, an East Coast of perhaps the finest coachbuilt would commission Chris of Classic Car Services to undertake a restoration.

When discovered in the car was a veritable time-capsule as it still lipstick-stained cigarettes in the ashtray and a Though covered in dust and some obvious signs of and aging, the car’s grand was still undeniable and demanded So much of the car was original, including the chassis and engine, but still, would have an incredibly task ahead of himself as he to return the car to its original state.

Mr. would be beyond meticulous. He catalogue every aspect of the car and take hundreds of photographs of the car in its state so as to maintain an exceedingly level of originality and perfection.

No would be spared throughout the of the restoration and the result would be one beauty of a car. Formal and raw at the time, Charlton would true to the essence of the car. in a tuxedo black with a tobacco leather upholstered the car is elegant inside and out and certainly be the perfect car in which to arrive at one of the events of the year, whether it be in the late-1930s, or today. Tastefully by brilliant chrome brightwork, all of the aspects of the car stand out amongst the black background of the Sindelfingen

Charlton would remain to the original vision of the car in many, not so obvious, ways. One of those particularly significant to this car would be the flat lenses on the Seeing that the car would be around the streets of Paris, the on the car would have to be of yellow It was found the flat lenses much better with the headlamps than the more convex lenses.

When all the old 1936 Mercedes 540K shine with a brilliance not in decades. Like the von Krieger itself, the car had come to overwhelmed aging and neglect. But now… now the car with a brilliance reminiscent of the when Gisela and the car were the of the ball.

Charlton’s meticulous process had years, but when it made its at the 2004 Pebble Beach d’Elegance the collective gasp make it clear all of the work had not in vain. The emperor had some new and was stepping out in them.

The car, its tall, long nose the 5.4-liter inline eight engine, sweeping fenders, fixtures, incredible chrome and that long, contoured end would hold the attention of throughout the event. As a result of the work achieved by Charlton, and the originality of the car itself, 130949 go on to Best in Class honors.

Mr. would remember the moment he would discover the Special in the storage room in Greenwich. He state, ‘It was an amazing all the great long-lost cars ever seen, the Special was, by far, the most It was truly a time capsule a bygone era and had an incredibly haunting But thanks to the work of Mr. Charton, the Roadster would emerge the darkness and back into the the pain of the past being a of its sum worth.

Though the von Kriegers be passed and gone, the Special would be one former member of the that would live on, and the social circles that have made the family In 2010, the von Krieger Special would be selected as the only Mercedes-Benz to be chosen for a special held by the High Museum of Art in Georgia. The exhibit would be The Allure of the Automobile: Driving in 1930-1965, and would bring 18 of the world’s finest and most automobiles.

While already as one of the world’s finest automobiles, its owner of some 14 years was interested in maintaining the original of the car. Therefore, the car would be to Mr. Charlton to have the car refinished. The was clear: to return it to the state it have been when took delivery of the car back in Therefore, Mr. Charlton would the livery refinished in its original and would tweak some aspects of the car to bring it back to its original form. Accented by Firestone tires, the von Krieger Roadster demands attention it shows up and is, rightfully, expected to top dollar at the 2012 Gooding and auction in Monterey.

But the prospective isn’t just buying a The buyer will be welcoming the past, the light and the dark of it Materially, the buyer will be welcoming, perhaps, one of the most and documented of all 540Ks. Complete a treasure trove of correspondences, photographs and other pieces of the authenticity of 130949 cannot be Just the momentous amount of from the von Krieger family commands a noteworthy sum and just to the legacy of this Special

A true work of art is said to every kind of emotion. And particular Special Roadster has ability in spades. All of the elegance, all of the and too, all of the pain, the heart-break and of perfection can be experienced when of this beauty. Every bit the saga of the von Krieger family the true sense of worth, of its beauty comes not in and of itself, but the lives of the family it had been a Behind the charm, the well-rehearsed and the opulence are the emotions, experiences of an of pain and loss, seclusion and And it is this captivating, unspoken of this car evokes when it is beheld by the onlooker.

The car is telling the without a script. Filled beautiful lines, remarkable and comforts, there is also feelings of pain, neglect and Obviously rare and worthwhile for its provenance, it is the not so obvious that this amazing car. It and truly is the one member of the von Krieger that has survived. It has made its through the darkness, the depraved of existence and has truly returned to its days. It has managed to do what of its owners ever could.

never before, or since, has been a car evocative of so many and speak so much. In its own right, the 540K is evocative for it has all of the necessary of a truly remarkable story. In its own the car is a car of significance and great influence. It is and graceful, and yet, diabolic and at the same time. It is rich and It is a piece of art that united the And in the case of the von Krieger Special it too is filled with love, pain, loss and neglect, all of experiences blended together something far more simple but to define—perfection.


Brynan, ‘The von Krieger Special Pacific Grove: Gooding and 2012.

www.goodingco.com/car/1936-mercedes-benz-540-k-special-roadster. Retrieved 14 2012.

Mercedes-Benz 540K W24
Mercedes-Benz 540K W24
Mercedes-Benz 540K W24
Mercedes-Benz 540K W24
Mercedes-Benz 540K W24

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