1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster by Sindelfingen. Photo: Darin Schnabel ©2015 Courtesy of RM Sothebys.
PHOENIX, AZ.- A 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster sold for an outstanding $9,900,000 at RM Sotheby’s Arizona Biltmore sale in Phoenix tonight to enter the history books as the most valuable automobile ever sold during the famed Arizona auction week. The previous record for an automobile sold in Arizona was held by a Ferrari 250 LM, which garnered $9.625 million at RM’s 2015 Arizona Biltmore sale.
One of the most prestigious and beautiful automobiles of the interwar years, the extremely elegant Special Roadster, chassis no. 130894, was one of very few built in the most desirable configuration of high doors, long tail and factory left-hand drive. An original U.S.-delivery car with known history from new, it was offered in Phoenix in wonderful, restored condition with a mere 10,277 miles on its odometer and following 26 years in single ownership.
Bidding on the stunning automobile opened at $5 million before quickly climbing to a final $9,900,000. In addition to setting an auction benchmark for an automobile sold in Arizona, the strong price ranks the vehicle as one of the most valuable pre-war automobiles ever sold at auction.
Record-Setting 540 K Special Roadster in Arizona
Other highlights of RM’s Friday sale session at the Arizona Biltmore included a 1952 Cunningham C-3 Coupe, one of just 19 built, which sold for $1,210,000—a new auction record for the marque—and a 1939 SS 100 Jaguar 2½-Litre Roadster that realized $1,402,500 to set a new auction benchmark for a Jaguar SS 100.
1952 Cunningham C3 Coupe by Vignale. Chassis no. 5208. Sold for $1,210,000. ©2015 Courtesy of RM Sothebys.
1939 SS 100 Jaguar 2½-Litre Roadster by Van den Plas. Sold for $1,402,500. ©2015 Courtesy of RM Sothebys.