Mercedes-Benz 500K

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Mercedes-Benz 500K
Silver Mercedes-Benz.jpg
Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet A
Manufacturer Mercedes-Benz
Assembly Sindelfingen, Germany
Designer Friedrich Geiger
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door convertible
Layout FR layout
Engine 5,018 cc (5.018 L) I8
Transmission 4-speed manual
optional 5-speed manual [1]
Wheelbase 2,980 mm (117.3 in) (SWB)
3,290 mm (129.5 in) (LWB)
Curb weight Up to 2,700 kg (6,000 lb)
Predecessor Mercedes-Benz 380
Successor Mercedes-Benz 540K
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Special Roadster, Harrah Collection; National Automobile Museum; Reno, Nevada. 1936 Mercedes-Benz 500 K Special Roadster.jpg
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Special Roadster, Harrah Collection; National Automobile Museum; Reno, Nevada.

The Mercedes-Benz 500K (W29) is a grand touring car built by Mercedes-Benz between 1934 and 1936. First exhibited at the 1934 Berlin Motor Show, [1] it carried the factory designation W29. [2] Distinguished from the 500 sedan by the "K" for Kompressor (German for supercharger), only fitted to these performance cars, it succeeded the Mercedes-Benz 380 introduced just the previous year. It offered both a larger, more powerful engine and more opulent coachwork to meet customers' demands for greater luxury and performance. [3] [4]

Grand tourer High-performance luxury automobile

A grand tourer (GT) is a car that is designed for high speed and long-distance driving, due to a combination of performance and luxury attributes. The most common format is a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive two-door coupé with either a two-seat or a 2+2 arrangement.

Mercedes-Benz is a German global automobile marque and a division of Daimler AG. The brand is known for luxury vehicles, buses, coaches, and trucks. The headquarters is in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg. The name first appeared in 1926 under Daimler-Benz. In 2018, Mercedes-Benz was the biggest selling premium vehicle brand in the world, having sold 2.31 million passenger cars.

Berlin Motor Show recurring event

The Berlin Motor Show originally started in 1897 in the German capital Berlin as the home of the International Motor Show and ran until 1939. From 1951 the IAA eventually became established in Frankfurt.



The 500K used the same independent suspension as had been introduced on the 380, with a double wishbone front axle, double-joint swing axle at the rear, and separate wheel location, coil springs and damping, a world first. [1] [3] Consequently, it was a more comfortable and better handling car than Mercedes' previous S/SS/SSK generation of roadsters from the 1920s, and offered greater appeal to buyers, particularly the growing number of well-heeled female drivers of the time. [1]

Independent suspension

Independent suspension is any automobile suspension system that allows each wheel on the same axle to move vertically independently of the others. This is contrasted with a beam axle or deDion axle system in which the wheels are linked – movement on one side does not affects the wheel on the other side. "Independent" refers to the motion or path of movement of the wheels or suspension. It is common for the left and right sides of the suspension to be connected with anti-roll bars or other such mechanisms. The anti-roll bar ties the left and right suspension spring rates together but does not tie their motion together.

A swing axle is a simple type of independent suspension designed and patented by Edmund Rumpler in 1903. This was a revolutionary invention in the automotive industry, allowing wheels to react to irregularities of road surfaces independently, and enable the vehicle to maintain a strong road holding. The first automotive application was the Rumpler Tropfenwagen, later followed by the Mercedes 130H/150H/170H, the Standard Superior, the Volkswagen Beetle and its derivatives, and the Chevrolet Corvair, amongst others.

Coil spring

A coil spring, also known as a helical spring, is a mechanical device which is typically used to store energy and subsequently release it, to absorb shock, or to maintain a force between contacting surfaces. They are made of an elastic material formed into the shape of a helix which returns to its natural length when unloaded.

Pressing the throttle pedal fully engaged the Roots supercharger, [1] inducing the five litre straight-eight engine to produce up to 160 horsepower (120 kW) and making the car capable of over 160 kilometres per hour (100  mph ), while consuming fuel at the rate of up to 30 l/100 km (9.4 mpgimp; 7.8 mpgUS) as it did so. [1] [4]

A throttle is the mechanism by which fluid flow is managed by the constriction or obstruction.

Litre non-SI unit of volume

The litre or liter is an SI accepted metric system unit of volume equal to 1 cubic decimetre (dm3), 1,000 cubic centimetres (cm3) or 1/1,000 cubic metre. A cubic decimetre occupies a volume of 10 cm×10 cm×10 cm and is thus equal to one-thousandth of a cubic metre.

Straight-eight engine inline piston engine with eight cylinders

The straight-eight engine or inline-eight engine is an eight-cylinder internal combustion engine with all eight cylinders mounted in a straight line along the crankcase. The type has been produced in side-valve, IOE, overhead-valve, sleeve-valve, and overhead-cam configurations.

Three different chassis and eight bodies were available for customers; [1] [4] the two longer "B" and "C" four-seat cabriolet versions rode on a wheelbase of 3,290 mm (129.5 in), and would later be used on other sedan and touring car models. [1] The short "A" chassis, with a 2,980 mm (117.3 in) wheelbase, underpinned the two-seater models: the Motorway Courier, and the 1936 Special Roadster which offered the highest performance. [1] [5] All models featured such advanced equipment as safety glass, hydraulic brakes, and a 12-volt electrical system sufficient to bear the load of the electric windscreen wipers, door locks, and indicators. [4]

Chassis internal vehicle frame

A chassis is the framework of an artificial object, which supports the object in its construction and use. An example of a chassis is a vehicle frame, the underpart of a motor vehicle, on which the body is mounted; if the running gear such as wheels and transmission, and sometimes even the driver's seat, are included, then the assembly is described as a rolling chassis.

Coachbuilder occupation

A coachbuilder or body-maker manufactures bodies for passenger-carrying vehicles. Coachwork is the body of an automobile, bus, horse-drawn carriage, or railroad passenger car. The word "coach" was derived from the Hungarian town of Kocs.

Wheelbase distance between the centers of the front and rear wheels

In both road and rail vehicles, the wheelbase is the distance between the centers of the front and rear wheels. For road vehicles with more than two axles, the wheelbase is the distance between the steering (front) axle and the centerpoint of the driving axle group. In the case of a tri-axle truck, the wheelbase would be the distance between the steering axle and a point midway between the two rear axles.

Production figures

Of the combined production of the 500K (342 cars), including 29 "Special Roadsters" during its two years in production, and the later 540K (419 cars) from Sindelfingen, the deliveries were: [1]

Current value

Today, the cars remain highly prized for their heritage and scarcity. When the car collection of Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone was auctioned in October 2007, it included five pre-war Mercedes cars, and his 500K Special Cabriolet fetched almost £700,000 (US$1.45 million). [6]

Formula One is the highest class of single-seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and owned by the Formula One Group. The FIA Formula One World Championship has been one of the premier forms of racing around the world since its inaugural season in 1950. The word "formula" in the name refers to the set of rules to which all participants' cars must conform. A Formula One season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix, which take place worldwide on purpose-built circuits and on public roads.

Bernie Ecclestone British business magnate

Bernard Charles Ecclestone is a British business magnate. He is the former chief executive of the Formula One Group, which manages Formula One and controls the commercial rights to the sport, and part-owns Delta Topco, the previous ultimate parent company of the Formula One Group. As such, he was commonly described in journalism as 'F1 Supremo'.

Pound sterling official currency of the United Kingdom and other territories

The pound sterling, commonly known as the pound and less commonly referred to as sterling, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the British Antarctic Territory, and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence. A number of nations that do not use sterling also have currencies called the pound.

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  2. "Herren-Rasse: Ein Automobil seiner Epoche: pompös, mächtig, respektheischend...Mercedes 500K". Auto, Motor und Sport . Heft. 20 1977: Seite 58–68. 28 September 1977.
  3. 1 2 "1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Special Roadster". August 2001. Archived from the original on 2008-10-28.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Frank, Michael (February 5, 2003). "Special K". Forbes .
  5. "The 25 Most Beautiful Cars Ever". Automobile Magazine.
  6. "Gallery: Ecclestone Merc goes for £4m". MSN. October 31, 2007.