Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster Picks up “Best in Show” at Pebble Beach

Alexi Falson

Mercedes-Benz has picked up the highly-contested honours for best in show at the most recent Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance 2023 with a stunning example of its W29-generation 540 K Special Roadster.

The most recent best-in-show award gives Mercedes-Benz bragging rights for ten outright wins at Pebble Beach now, marking the most successful single brand in the event’s history.

Interestingly, the car in question was auctioned off at last year’s Pebble Beach Automotive Week for USD $9.9 million, and a year later, came back to take the crown at the prestigious automotive meet.

After its purchase last year, the 540 K Special Roadster has been immaculately restored by RM Auto Restoration and Mercedes-Benz’ Classic Center for its current owner, Jim Patterson.

Its history traces back to 1937, when none other than the King of Afghanistan, Mohammed Zahir Shah, who opted for the Special Roadster with a Sindelfingen body.

Nearly nine decades and five owners later, the 540 K Special Roadster returned to Pebble Beach to blow its competitors out of the water and collect outright honours.

Mercedes’ Unterturkheim plant produced a total of 760 chassis for the 500 K and 540 K, with the W 29 series produced between 1934 and 1939, while just 60 examples of the roadster bodyshape were produced.

354 examples came powered by a 5.0-litre engine while the remaning 406 vehicles came powered by a larger 5.4-litre engine.

“The 540 K Special Roadster winning ‘best of show’ title crowds the immense commitment of RM Auto Restoration and Mercedes-Benz Heritage to the restoration of this outstanding vehicle,” says Chief of Mercedes-Benz Heritage, Marcus Breitschwerdt.

“We are proud to have contributed to this success story with the unique expertise of our Classic Centre and the archives.”

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