Mercedes-Benz have created a plethora of gorgeous cars over the years. The company’s early models have a prestigious reputation because of their classic beauty. The Mercedes-Benz 540K was one such vehicle. It mixed style with high-quality engineering. Such was its appeal that a special version of the 540K was created, which went on to become one of the most highly sought cars of all time. We’re looking into the history of the 540K.
The 540K was developed by Friedrich Geiger, who wished to improve on the 500K. It featured a 5401 cc straight-8 cylinder engine that was fitted with a Roots supercharger. This propelled the 540K to a top speed of 110mph. The car had a similar chassis layout to the 500K, though it was much lighter. This was achieved through replacing the frame with oval-section tubes.
The long, sloping body of the 540K gave off an elegant appearance. It had a narrow bonnet that was common of luxurious cars of the time. The first 540K debuted at the 1936 Paris Motor Show. It received high praise and many customers decided to have bespoke versions built. Jack L Warner of the Warner Brothers film studio famously owned a 540K.
Several variations were made, including a a seven seater limo with armoured sides and glass. During WW2, special saloon versions were developed for the Nazi hierarchy. They were fitted with De Dion rear suspension in order to accommodate armour plates. After the assassination attempt on Reinhard Heydrich, the German government would only use the armoured 540Ks for ministers of friendly powers.
In 1937, a special version was made for the Hermann Goring. Nicknamed the ‘Blue Goose’ because of the sky blue paint job, the car featured bulletproof glass. The Blue Goose passed through the hands of many collectors, such as veterinarian Dr George Bitgood. He had the car painted black. Bitgood only displayed the Blue Goose oonce. After his death the car went into the possession of Carnlough International Limited of Guernsey.
The 540K remains one of Mercedes-Benz’s most historic vehicles.
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