1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K with a genuine 500K Chassis restored and rebodied by Franz Prahl! Now sporting the highest quality Special Roadster coachwork! Absolutely stunning in every way with Concours provenance! A must see for both Mercedes-Benz and classic car collectors! In the eyes of many, the Mercedes-Benz 500/540K embodies the true forward-thinking prowess of pre-war…
1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K with a genuine 500K Chassis restored and rebodied by Franz Prahl! Now sporting the highest quality Special Roadster coachwork! Absolutely stunning in every way with Concours provenance! A must see for both Mercedes-Benz and classic car collectors!
In the eyes of many, the Mercedes-Benz 500/540K embodies the true forward-thinking prowess of pre-war Germany! A successor to the almost instantly famous S/SS/SSK/SSKL models of the late 20s, the 500K (internal codename W29) bowed its head in 1934 in both chassis-only and one of thirteen different factory bespoke bodystyles. Assembled in Sindelfingen, the factory Mercedes cars were built on one of two wheelbases with three configurations. Featuring a 5.0L Inline 8 with a Roots supercharger and standard four speed manual (five speed optional!), the 500K was a truly ferocious car. The chassis consisted of a fully independent double wishbone front end and double-joint swing axle in the back, allowing a sporting but very comfortable ride! Aesthetically perfect, decades ahead mechanically and ultra rare, the 500K represents one of the finest motorcars to ever come out of Germany!
We couldn’t be more excited to offer this 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Special Roadster! The car comes finished in a beautiful and period shade of Ivory White over sumptuous Tan leather interior with matching Tan soft top! Under the hood is the original 500K 5.0L Inline 8 (dated March 5th, 1935) and supercharger that are mated to a standard four-speed manual transmission. The car has exquisite details and many standard features that include rear rumble-seat, auxiliary soft top, fully enclosed rear-mount spare tire, fully backlit gauges, dual cowl vents, front fog light, safety glass, vacuum-assist hydraulic brakes and 12V charging to power the power locks, windshield wipers and side indicators! The car rides on chromed wire wheels with Ivory Mercedes-Benz knock-offs wrapped in Dunlop Fort 7.00-17 blackwall tires!
The previous owner of the car, Mr. Fred Kemp, found this Mercedes-Benz 500K in 1993. Having already owned a 540K, he had spent 30 years looking for a Mercedes-Benz 500K Special Roadster, which he considered to be one of, if not the prettiest, Mercedes-Benz in their history. After some researching and scouring of enthusiast communities, he was pointed to the Carrosserie Kong restoration shop in Basel, Switzerland, where they had started on the restoration of a Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet B. Chassis number 123686 was delivered new to a Mr. Brenninkmeyer of England in 1935 as a black right-hand-drive model. Its whereabouts are scattered until 1974, when Bud Cohn helps Kalle Karlström of Los Angeles purchase the car. It was returned to Europe when Kalle sold the car to Peter Haverton of Sweden. Not long after, the car was sold to another Swede, who placed it in the Drottningholm Collection, where the restoration first began at Rohdins Automobilservice in Trollhättan. Fast forward to 1992, the car had disappeared to Germany and started a restoration at Kong. The new owner, a Dr. Harald Alfers, had disassembled the car and was just starting to put it back together when Mr. Kemp found him. After admitting that he was searching for an authentic chassis, negotiations started. They would continue until 1995 when Mr. Kemp was finally able to secure the unfinished project for himself, while also establishing a relationship with a new carrosseie to finish the custom Special Roadster body. Franz Prahl Klassische Automobile GmbH & Co. KG was responsible for the completion of engine, chassis, body and interior and documented this process in great detail and with many pictures. The final receipt of purchase was dated January 13th, 1999 and the car was to be finished before the beginning of the new millennium but as with many projects of this magnitude, there were delays in the completion of certain tasks. The car was finally finished in June of 2000, where it was test driven and any post-restoration bugs were worked out. It was appraised at 2,000,000 deutsche marks before Mr. Kemp briefly toured Germany in it and then sent it stateside. It cleared customs on September 1st and arrived in St. Louis two weeks later.
Since restoration, it has been proudly displayed at many prominent shows and concours events that include but are not limited to: 2001 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, 2008 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, 2009 Ault Park COncours d’Elegance (Awarded Jack O’Conner trophy for Best Style & Elegance) 2009 Hilton Head Concours d’Elegance (awarded for “Automotive Design Excellence”), 2010 Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance and the 2012 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance (awarded the John North Trophy for “Best New Coachwork or Recreation”/First in Class). For over ten years, this 500 K Special Roadster has been the “crown jewel” display at the Kemp Auto Museum until the museum closed in June of 2015. Along with several other dozen collectible antique Benzes, this was perhaps one of the most interesting looks into the marque’s history, receiving positive reviews from both well-studied purveyors as well as the average old car enthusiasts.
Today, the Mercedes-Benz 500K presents just as it was restored. It will show only the most minor wear from occasional use and is nothing short of Concours-ready! All Mercedes-Benz markings and stamps are visible and in line with production dates in the first part of 1935. The engine and chassis numbers match and enough of the car’s history is known to paint a picture of the ownership timeline . Included with the car is a box of labeled folders with receipts, history, documentation, correspondence, concours invites and photographs documenting the car in graphic detail from 1992. Each of the photos below of documentation is from a different year from 1992-2000. Even the most discerning enthusiasts will find it hard to fault the amounts of records, from the earliest restoration receipts that are now well over 20 years old, to the 100+ photos taken by Prahl of the most minute restoration details. It becomes immediately clear that the craftsmanship was at least as finite as that of the original fabricators in Sindelfingen. The painstaking attention to detail resulted in a ground-up refurbishment and restoration that cost upward of $1.5 million.
Showing only 1369 kilometers (~851 miles) since restoration, this Mercedes-Benz 500K has been driven enough to get all post-restoration bugs worked out. Today, the vehicle will need mild tuning to be ready for any driving or concours event as it has been on display for several years with limited exercise. This car presents a very unique opportunity to own not only one of the most beautiful Mercedes-Benz models but also one of the most stunning pre-war cars, and one that has made many “most beautiful cars of all time” lists. The car is eligible for almost any prestigious car collecting event and is among the most top-notch CCCA full classics that money will buy. With prices of the remaining 500Ks pushing over eight figures in price, it is our opinion that this is a fantastic entry into the automobile collecting elite. In addition to the 200+ pictures, we would be thrilled to answer any additional questions you may have on this exquisite automobile and would encourage interested parties to call with additional questions! Thank you for taking the time to look!
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