Americans had the Duesenberg Model J, France had the Talbot-Lago Teardrop and the Germans had the Mercedes 540K Spezial-Roadster.
Mercedes-Benz launched the 540K in 1936 at the Paris Motor Show. The vehicle was developed for five years during 1935 to 1940.
German automobile designer, Friedrich Geige, had the most noteworthy cars pre-World War ll.
He was responsible for the 500K and 540K sports cars and became head of styling in the 30s.
His design of the 540K was available as a two-seater cabriolet, four-seater coupe, or seven-seater limousine – the largest of its time.
The Merecedes 540K had the same chassis layout as the 500K.
Although, it was significantly lighter due to replacing the girder-like frame of the 500K with oval-section tubes.
Expanding on the theme of the 500K, the 540K had an enlarfed 5.4 litre inline-9 which was good for 180hp.
The main highlight of this classic engine is the gear driven, Rootes-type supercharger that could spook up on demand, to increase the power from 115bhp to 180bhp.
Although the factory records state there were over 400 Mercedes 540K built, only 26 Spezial Roadsters were completed.
With superb engineering, exacting craftsmanship and gracious styling, this vehicle is one of the most sought-after supercars.