The 10 Most Expensive Mercedes-Benzes Ever Sold At Auction

Today's Mercedes-Benzes are certainly gorgeous, gorgeous machines, and they're on an aesthetic upswing on account of Gorden Wagener's clean take on the brand's image. That said, no modern Benz can match the grandeur of the old-school ones from the '30s through '50s.

Because nostalgia is one of the most potent economic forces in the world, this means that certain old Mercedes-Benzes can fetch truly ludicrous amounts of money at auctions. Between that and the rapidly inflating prices of top-tier classic cars, prices are going up very rapidly; we're talking eight figures here.

10. 1939 540K Spezial Roadster - $4,620,000

Sold by RM Auctions at Pebble Beach in 2011

The 540K Spezial Roadster is the epitome of what a '30s roadster was intended to be. Powerful, elegant, and with a solid and lightened chassis, 25 of this improved version of the 500K were sold to the wealthy and powerful of the Depression era. Now it's highly sought after by today's rich and powerful.

9. 1955 300SL - $4,620,000
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL - Gooding & Company

Sold by Gooding and Company in Scottsdale, AZ in 2012

The legendary 300SL is not only the most iconic Mercedes sports car of all time, but it's also the first car to ever feature gullwing doors. Rather than just trying to be flashy, however, the doors were designed to help the chassis engineers add an extra brace across the bottom of the car.

8. 1927 S-Type 26/180 Sportwagen - $5,040,000
1927 Mercedes-Benz S-Type 26/180 Sportwagen - Gooding & Company

Sold by Gooding & Company at Pebble Beach in 2011

Only five of these S-Type 26/180s with Sindelfingen coachwork is known to exist, and one of them crossed the block in 2011. It's the oldest Benz on this list, and a prime example of the popular design of the era which focused on presenting the automobile as a machine, complete with exposed piping and very utilitarian-looking venting on the engine bay.

7. George Milligen's 1929 38/250 SSK - £4,181,500 (About $6.4 Million)
1929 Mercedes-Benz 38/250 SSK - Bonhams

Sold by Bonhams at Goodwood in 2004

George Milligen bought this car, inspired as he was by Mercedes' 1927 first, second, third finish at the German Grand Prix and the claim that this was "THE FASTEST SPORTS CAR IN THE WORLD." If that's not a solid marketing pitch, I don't know what is.

Read the full story here.

6. 1937 540K Spezial Roadster - £3,905,000 (About $6 Million)
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Spezial Roadster - RM Auctions

Sold by RM Auctions in London in 2007

You're about to start seeing a lot of these gorgeous 540K Spezial Roadsters on this list, and for good reason. This one was made for Sir John Chubb in England, and features a long wheelbase, high doors, and and exposed spare tire.

5. 1939 540K Spezial Roadster - $7,480,000
1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Spezial Roadster - RM Auctions

Sold by RM Auctions at Pebble Beach in 2013

This gorgeous dark blue 540K was taken by a Soviet general near the end of the second world war, and then discovered by a Swedish journalist in 1962. Said journalist somehow managed to drive it across the border (and through the Iron Curtain) presumably using a Jedi mind trick.

Read the full story here.

4. 1928 680S Torpedo Roadster - $8,250,000
1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Torpedo Roadster - RM Auctions

Sold by RM Auctions at Pebble Beach  in 2013

This 680S was fitted with a custom body by Jacques Saoutchik and wond Best in Show in the 2012 Pebble Beach Councours d'Elegance; that's a surefire way to get your auction price up.

3. 1937 540K Spezial Roadster - $9,680,000

Sold by RM Auctions at Pebble Beach in 2011

This 540K Spezial's body was made by Mercedes at the Sindelfingen facility, and it features the best classical example of the "falling line" that graces the sides of many Benzes throughout the years in the shape of the front fender.

2. 1936 540K Spezial Roadster - $11,770,000
1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Spezial Roadster - Gooding & Company

Sold by Gooding & Company at Pebble Beach in 2012

The Baroness Gisela von Krieger of Prussia had excellent taste, and was fond of making grand entrances. That explains why she kept this car until her death in 1989.

You can read more about her here.

1. 1954 W196 Silver Arrow - £19,601,500 (About $30 Million)

Sold by Bonhams in West Sussex in 2013

Only ten of the legendary W196 Silver Arrows survive, and this is the only one in private hands. The legendary Juan Manuel Fangio drove this car to a world championship and the highest winning percentage of any racing driver in history. It is the second most expensive car in history.

You can read more about it here.

Some of the Greatest Cars Ever Made
It's not surprise that these cars are some of the most sought after and valuable in existence, as they all embody the perfect union of sculpture and engineering that is the Platonic form of the car.

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