100 Cars That Changed History

tn_71-1024px-1938_Mercedes_Benz_540K_Roadster1938 Mercedes Benz 540K Roadster” by Hugh Llewelyn from Bristol, UK – 1938 Mercedes Benz 540K Roadster. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.


71. Mercedes Benz 540K Roadster 1936-1940 Germany

The 540K was a roadster designed and fabricated by Mercedes-Benz in the 1930’s. The designer, Friedrich Geiger had developed the car out of its predecessor, the Mercedes-Benz 500K, which was itself developed from the SSK. Popularly purchased as a two-seater cabriolet or a four-seater coupé, the Roadster was also available as a stretch limo which came with fully armored! Powered by a straight-8 cylinder aspirated by twin pressurized updraft carburetors, the beast kicked out 115hp naturally. The addition of a Roots supercharger which could be engaged for short periods of time gave it extra kick. This car became a favorite of the Nazi party. Mercedes built 12 custom Roadsters with extended chassis and armor plating. One of these cars was a gift from Adolf Hitler to Ante Pavelić, leader of the Independent State of Croatia.


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