1936 Mercedes Benz 540K Special Roadster that was once in the possession of Baroness Gisela Josephine von Krieger, is set to go under the hammer later this year at the Pebble Beach Auctions. This is no ordinary car that we are talking about but an elite automobile that is one of hardly 10 which have survived to date. Gooding and Company are about to receive this car and believe that this may be the most expensive car ever sold by them.
Assessment of this 1936 540K Special Roadster is due to its rarity and condition. The car is in pristine condition with every original panel in place. Its history dates back 76 years when it was bought by a Prussian baroness who lived in some of the most exclusive hotels in Paris and Cannes. She lived a life of luxury and mingled with high society during her life. The car in question was later brought to New York while the Baroness resided in top class hotels but she left the car in the US when she returned to Switzerland in 1959.
This remarkable story of Baroness Gisela Josephine von Krieger comes to an end. She was found dead in 1989 living in squalor but with $320,000 worth of priceless jewels and the rare Mercedes Benz lay wasting in a garage in Connecticut.
Back in 1992 when he was working for Christie’s, Mr David Gooding recalls about receiving a phone call regarding the same Mercedes Benz roadster. The person on the other side of the phone was a lawyer representing Baroness Gisela Josephine von Krieger. The lawyer said that there is a Mercedes Benz in the garage which is in a pretty bad shape. Gooding asked, “How old?”, “I don’t know. But it has pipes coming out of the side,” replied the lawyer.
Anyways, that deal didn’t go through and Gooding was not able to sign the car for Christie’s as a private buyer came in and bought the Mercedes. Ever since, Gooding, who now owns Gooding and Company, was after the rare 1936 540K Special Roadster. “I’ve been chasing this car for a long time,” he said. Speaking about how much money he expects this car will go for, Gooding says, “We sold a Ferrari Testa Rossa last year for $16 million. If this car hits that number, it wouldn’t surprise me.”