Mercedes-Benz “500 K”, 1934.
In 1926 Daimler (which produced cars with the Mercedes brand) and Benz merged to establish Daimler-Benz. The adopted name and logo (the Mercedes-Benz writing on a round badge with the Mercedes three-pointed star framed by the Benz laurel crown) have always marked prestigious cars.
The 500 K was first introduced in 1934: the 5-liter engine was able to give 100 bhp without supercharger; the Roots supercharger raised the power to 150 bhp and the car could reach 160 kph.
Mercedes-Benz had a special body department at the Sindelfingen plant and most of the 500 Ks and later 540 Ks were fitted with factory-built bodies rather than bodies built by independent coachbuilders.
The car on display at the museum is fitted with a cabriolet C body: a two-door cabriolet, with two side-windows and four/five seats. This car was probably used by some representatives of the Third Reich government and in 1936 it was updated with the bigger 540 K engine; the 5.401cc engine was able to develop 180 bhp at 3.400 rpm.
Curiosity: the term chauffeur referred to the working man, the one who shoveled the coal into the boiler. It helped the driver to fill the tank and open the door for the lord, while the driver was a more-cultured man.
Luciano Nicolis used to say: “This is a 1934 500K, probably one of 8 cars that came back to the factory to be updated as 540Ks. So this is basically a 540K. It’s a truly rare car, it still reaches 180 kph. Back when it was produced in 1935, it was very sought-after by party officials and lords. On German magazines they said its only rival was Rolls-Royce. As an Italian, I would say Alfa Romeo and Isotta Fraschini could compete with this car too”.
- 2013 The Mercedes-Benz from the video clip of Mario Biondi’s song, Deep Space
Read the article in which Mario Biondi talks about his passion for cars at Radio Monte Carlo.
- 2018, the Mercedes-Benz 500k participates at the F1 Italian GP parade, in Monza with Lewis Hamilton on board.