Collectors Corner - Mercedes-Benz 500K (W29)

Lot 016 - 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Special Roadster s_n 105380 Est. €5,000,000 - 7,000,000 £4,200,000 - 5,800,000

Lot 016 - 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Special Roadster s_n 105380 Est. €5,000,000 - 7,000,000 £4,200,000 - 5,800,000


The predecessor model 380 (W22) had already introduced an innovative independent suspension and servo-assisted hydraulic braking, but its 3.8 and 4.0 l engines had left Mercedes customers yearning more raw power to push the boundaries of their 2.5 ton vehicles.

... Mercedes-Benz 500 K Register >>>

The answer came at the 1934 Berliner “Internationale Automobil- und Motorrad-Ausstellung” in the form of the model 500K, “K” standing for “Kompressor”. The supercharged 5.0 l engine added 10 to 20 hp in power, and coupled with a 4 or 5 speed transmission made the new series up to 30 km/h faster. A 110 liter fuel tank afforded the driver a range of about 400 km. Validation for the new model promptly followed later that year during the 1,364 mile Deutschlandfahrt, where the 500Ks dominated among the 190 competing entries.

By the time the 500K saw the light, Hermann Ahrens had firmly established the marque’s “Special Vehicle Production Unit”, leading to a noticeable shift away from independent coach builders to most cars now being bodied by “Karosserie Sindelfingen”. A low number of Sport-Roadsters and Sport-Coupés rested on a short (“kurz”) wheelbase chassis, while most cars were delivered with standard wheelbase: The powertrain layout for the Saloons, Open Tourers and the Cabriolets B and C had the radiator directly above the front axle, while the Coupé, Roadster, Cabriolet A, Spezial-Roadster, and fastback Autobahn-Kurier had their radiator, engine and cockpit set back 185 mm from the front axle. This visual trick gave the illusion of a particularly long, sporting front-end.


500 K, 500 K kurz

Production Period



8 cyl. supercharged overhead valve inline


5,018 cm³


100 hp / 160 hp

Top Speed

160 km/h


3,290 mm (standard)
2,980 mm (“Kurz”)


Four or five-speed synchromesh


Coil spring four-wheel independent suspension,
parallel wishbones at the front, swing axles at the rear


Four-wheel servo-assisted hydraulic drum brakes

Principal Developers

Dr. Hans Nibel, Hermann Ahrens

Related Material
... Mercedes-Benz 500 K Auction Results

Mercedes-Benz 500 K Register created by Peter Singhof