1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster

Monterey Jet Center Auction | Estimate $7,000,000 - $8,000,000


1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster

Monterey Jet Center Auction | Estimate $7,000,000 - $8,000,000


  • Unique from approximately 25 Mercedes-Benz Special Roadsters originally built, 408383 was specified with a five-speed transmission from the factory
  • A multiple award-winning example including best in class at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, a second in class award at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, and numerous awards from additional prestigious concours events around the United States
  • Outstanding provenance and known history from new, believed to be one of the very last Special Roadsters built at the conclusion of model production in 1939


Chassis no. 408383

This unique and outstanding 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster is one of the true crown jewels of the Classic Era of motor cars, arguably no automobile symbolizes the pinnacle of design, engineering, and construction among the Classic Era cars better than the Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster. Incredibly rare, stunningly beautiful, a cherished centerpiece for collectors worldwide – chassis 408383 is the perfect representation of those enviable qualities.

The original owner of the Mercedes-Benz, Rolf Horn of Berlin was known to operate an exclusive and high-end interior design and accessories boutique and as such, he was recorded to have been closely involved in the original design of this 540K Special Roadster. While the core of the design is clearly Sindelfingen, Horn specified subtle, yet unique revisions to the coachwork including desirable sculpted lowered doors that incorporated disappearing roll up windows, a dramatically sloping and opening windshield, a full covered spare tire and perhaps most attractively, two long and impressive distinctive lines of louvers replacing the rectangular hood screens.

Notably, all Mercedes-Benz 540K models were highly desirable when new. Chassis 408383 was no exception and over the course of the ensuing three decades it found its way to Sweden from where it was purchased by noted collector and trader Tom Barrett and eventually passed into the long-term ownership of Major General William Lyon and the Lyon Family Collection where it would remain until 2011. After the car was restored and sold to a new owner, 408383 underwent a complete refreshening by RM Auto Restoration that then set the car, now finished in a deep and rich dark blue, on a new path that would lead it to events around the country including the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance where it was awarded best in class as well as the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance where it won a Second in Class award. The 540K Special Roadster received additional awards at the Pinehurst Concours d'Elegance, Winter Park, Boca Raton, Hilton Head, as well as a Best of Show at Mar-a-Lago.

Ownership provides immediate entry into the finest events worldwide while also allowing for inclusion within one of the most select of ownership circles. This Supercharged five-speed 540K is as impressive to drive as it to look at and the next owner will appreciate the meticulous care that the car has received under its current ownership.

Motorious Article


Donnie Gould
Senior Car Specialist

Use of this website is subject to the Broad Arrow Group, Inc. Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, located at www.broadarrowgroup.com