Instead of asking in vain why only the filthy rich can afford getting their hands on basically every car they want – including classic legends of the automotive realm – we made up a list of the most lavish Benzes sold in auctions.
Since we’re talking about prices of seven or eight figures that are meant to give normal people headaches, dizziness and nausea, let’s cut straight to the chase and see which are the most ridiculously-expensive, deluxe Benzes on Earth:
1. 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 – $29,607,760
This racing beauty managed to set a world record for the most expensive car ever sold in auction one year before a Ferrari 250 GTO moved the record up to $38 million: ladies and gents, meet the Mercedes-Benz W196. The car was listed at the Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed sale in July 2013 featuring a fuel-injected , 2.5-liter inline-eight engine.
The Formula 1 single-seater’s resume also includes wins by legendary F1 driver Juan Manuel Fangio and other two world records set in 2013: the priciest Formula 1 car and the most expensive Mercedes-Benz.
2. 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster – $11,770,000
Rumour has it this Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster was the apple of Baroness Gisela von Krieger’s eye. The car was shipped to the US on the Queen Mary following the Baroness’ emigration from Germany to New York and was found only later on, in 1992, dumped a Connecticut barn.
After its discovery, the vehicle was expertly restored and regained its romantic, war-torn personality and classic beauty. This four-wheeled jewel uses a 180 hp 5.4-liter inline-eight supercharged engine, mated to a four-speed manual transmission. Add this to the amazing stories the car has to tell and you find out the reason why it was sold for almost $12 million at the Pebble Beach Auction in 2012.
3. 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster – $9,680,000
One of the main attractions at the RM Auction’s 2011 Monterey event was this stunning silver Spezial, one of the few created in the extremely appealing configuration of high door, long tail and covered rear spare, of which just three examples are believed to have survived to this day.
4. 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Torpedo Roadster – $8,250,000
This 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S comes with a low-slung torpedo roadster body signed by Carrosserie J. Saoutchik of Paris and stands as a perfect example of coachbuilding in the late 1920s. Displayed at the 1929 New York Auto Salon, it is one of only three short-whindshield examples built and the only known survivor.
Power comes from a 6,789 cc six-cylinder engine with dual-carburetor Roots supercharger, connected to a four-speed manual transmission. The inside is an exotic statement of modern day coachbuilding materials, as the hides used to create the lizard skin interior were supplied by Alpina, a company that sourced products from the French colonies in Southeast Asia. In addition, the beautiful trim wood – know as Purpleheart – was brought all the way from the French Colonies in South America. The car was sold in August 2013 for $8,25 million.
5. 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe – $1,850,000
Obviously, the mighty, elegant 300SL could not miss from this list so, here it is. This particular model was once owned by legendary Hollywood star Clark Gable, purchased later in the actor’s life.
Gable’s Mercedes-Benz 300SL was equipped with fitted luggage, Rudge knock-off wheels and a Nardi steering wheel. The car was restored to perfection in 1989 and Gable himself added the accessories. Eventually, the car was sold in 2013 at an auction event in Scottsdale, USA, for $1,85 million.