There is automotive art and cars that are actually a form of engineering art. This Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster art work combines them both in a fascinating mixture of light, shadow, lines, and shapes. It praises a car that set speed, mechanical and design standards of its time.
Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster is a genuine engineering art
Introduced in 1936 Paris Motor Show, 540K was development to the 500K, itself a development of the Mercedes-Benz SSK. Only 419 chassis were produced between 1936 and 1939 and they were delivered in a variety of 10 body styles, including coupe, limousine, armored limousine, 4-seater convertible, and a 2-seater convertible known as Special Roadster. At that time, rich and famous clients preferred to order a chassis from notable manufacturers like Bugatti, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Talbot-Lago, Mercedes-Benz or Delahaye, followed by the order of the body to coach builders like Figoni and Falaschi, Saoutchik, Vanvooren, Ghia, Touring, etc. For this model, Mercedes-Benz broadened the abilities of their Sindelfingen factory in order to meet the customization requirements of the customers. That means only 70 chassis were bodied by independent builders.
Just 25 of those cars were fitted with a roadster body, known as Special Roadster. Only 10 have left and they change owners for a price tag around $10 million. Back in the day, Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster was a truly special machine. It was more expensive than most expensive 16-cylinder Cadillac at that time. Powered by in-line, 5,4 liter 8-cylinder supercharged engine with 180 hp, it was one of very few road going cars capable of 170 km/h. Its superchargers were ready to be activated with the push of a button on the dashboard and the brakes were hydraulically operated on all 4 wheels. Last but not least – it was beautiful as nothing else. Its flaring fenders, rising radiator and the cascade of lights and chrome was nothing less than flawless.
Well, its destiny wasn’t … In the end of the `30s, Mercedes-Benz 540K was the pinnacle of German automotive engineering and because of this, it was the first pick of the first class Nazi officials, including Hitler and Goering. Its design heavily influenced the creators of Captain America comic series where the evil antagonist Red Skull drove similarly shaped car. It seems the coin has two sides.
Now you can make this legendary Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster art yours in the form of a beautiful art print, created by Ankur Singh and carefully issued by Simply Petrol.