Mercedes-Benz 540K: The Roadster Fit for a King… and Now, Pebble Beach!

Mercedes-Benz 540K Named Best of Show at the 72nd Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. 2023 Charitable Donations Surpass $2.68 Million.

Mercedes-Benz 540K Named Best of Show at the 72nd @Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

A prewar Mercedes-Benz roadster that was first owned by King Mohammad Zahir Shah of Afghanistan—one of just three similar cars surviving in the world today—was awarded the top prize at the 2023 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

In a world where cars are a dime a dozen and style seems to be an afterthought, there exists a rare breed of automobile that struts its stuff like a supermodel on a catwalk. Enter the Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster, a car so divine it could make even the most stoic of auto aficionados swoon like teenagers at a boy band concert. And guess what? This automotive masterpiece just bagged the crown jewel of all car shows, the coveted “Best of Show” at the 72nd Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance!

Now, you might be wondering, what’s so special about this car that it won the heart of the Pebble Beach judges and even upstaged those Bugattis? Well, first off, it was once owned by King Mohammad Zahir Shah of Afghanistan. Yes, you read that right; this car was once part of royal transport. In fact, it probably had a parking spot next to the king’s elephant. Try getting that in your average sedan!

Picture this: a car with a history so rich it practically oozes motor oil infused with royal charm. It’s like the James Bond of automobiles. This isn’t just any old Mercedes-Benz; this is a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster, a car so rare that there are only three like it left in the whole wide world. If this car were a movie star, it would be sipping champagne on a yacht in Monaco while the rest of us waited in line at the DMV.

The lucky owner, Jim Patterson of the Patterson Collection, must be feeling like the king of the road right about now. His pride and joy were not just plucked from obscurity but propelled into the annals of automotive legend. “This 540K balances strength with sweeping lines and style, and its history is unique,” said Concours Chairman Sandra Button.

Indeed, this is a car that’s seen more drama than a soap opera. Just imagine the stories it could tell: chauffeuring a king, surviving wars, and now, basking in the glory of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It’s like the automotive version of “Game of Thrones” but with fewer dragons and more polished chrome.

This victory is not just about a car, though. It’s about a brand, and Mercedes-Benz is now officially the undisputed champion of Pebble Beach. They’ve won the Best of Show title a whopping 10 times, leaving Bugatti in their dust. Sorry, Bugatti, but it looks like Mercedes-Benz is the new king of the concours.

But it wasn’t an easy win for the 540K. It had some fierce competition, including a 1930 Mercedes-Benz 710 SS Special Roadster, a 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Corto Figoni Cabriolet, and a 1939 Delahaye 165 Figoni et Falaschi Cabriolet. It’s like choosing between caviar, truffles, and foie gras; they’re all exquisite, but one had to reign supreme, and this time, it was the Mercedes-Benz’s turn to wear the crown.

Now, as we bask in the afterglow of this automotive triumph, let’s not forget the heartwarming charity aspect. The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance managed to raise over $2.68 million this year, bringing their total donations to a whopping $37 million. It’s like a car show that moonlights as a superhero, saving the day for local charities and impacting the lives of more than 10,000 children annually in Monterey County. Move over, Batman; Pebble Beach is in town!

So, as we look ahead to the 73rd Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where Packard, Maserati, and the creations of Italian coachbuilder Pietro Frua will take center stage, we can’t help but wonder: Will any of them be able to steal the spotlight from the 540K? Only time will tell, but for now, let’s raise our champagne flutes and toast to the king of the road, the Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster, and its triumphant reign at Pebble Beach!