The red 1937 example sold by RM Sotheby’s in Biltmore Arizona is an early pre-production car, which makes it even more valuable. The last time this car was on the market was in 1989, so buyers launched a bidding war that made this specimen set a new record in the state. It is also one of the most expensive 540K Special Roadsters ever, but its value is set to grow over the years if the new owner takes good care of it.
This example is the third most expensive Mercedes-Benz sold at auction. Its price was surpassed by another 540K sold in 2012 and by Juan Manuel Fangio’s W196 Silver Arrow. While the other 540K sold for $11.7 million in 2012 at a Gooding&Company auction, the latter attained a winning bid of $29 million.
Previously, the most expensive car ever sold at an auction in Arizona was a 1964 Ferrari 250 LM, which traded for $9.6 million at last year’s RM Sotheby’s event.
The opening bid for this car was $5 million, but the example did not attain the pre-sale estimated value. Initially, specialists expected this car to sell for a maximum of $13 million and a minimum of $10 million. Looks like the winning bidder got a good deal (pun intended).
The 1937 540K Mercedes-Benz was not the only expensive car sold this weekend by RM Sotheby’s in Arizona. The company raised an impressive $62.8 million in sales in Arizona this year, and it's only February. The second most expensive car sold this weekend by RM Sotheby’s was a Duesenberg Model J that fetched no less than $2 million.