While today’s high-performance car market is million-dollar affair in which some of the world’s finest manufacturers compete, the big money is still in classic cars. In a recent auction organized by RM Sotheby's, a gorgeous 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster just became Arizona’s most expensive car with a price tag of $ US 9.9 million.
When it came out, this car was one of the fastest on the road. Its inline-eight engine displaces 5.4 litres and is topped by a supercharger (activated by the driver when he needs more power) to generate an impressive… 180 horsepower. This may not seem like a lot, but when you remember that Ford’s legendary 221 cubic inch Flathead V8 could barely muster 85 horsepower, it’s easier put things in context. The Mercedes was also impressive in the corners thanks to a four-wheel independent suspension and assisted brakes, considered modern technologies before the Second World War.
This particular record-breaking model is even more unique. It's a pre-production model with only 16,458 kilometres on the odometer. It is of course in pristine condition and features its original drivetrain.
Among the other interesting pieces sold in this auction were a 1929 Duesenberg, a 1971 Lamborghini Miura and a 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder. At the end of the day, 62.8 million dollars changed hands.