To the sale to the controversial Mercedes-Benz 500K stolen in World War II


Only 29 bodies open were assembled.

The exemplary most controversial of the last few years, a Mercedes-Benz 500K Special Roadster, 1935, is once again front page news thanks to the announcement of his making the sale at the next event at Chateau de Chantilly for the auction house Bonhams, which will be held next September 3, 2016.

What is certain is that the Mercedes type W29 are the production models of the brand that are most valued. Saving a very few exceptions, such as vehicles of competition that forged the legend of the arrows of silver, the 500K and 540K are universally considered to be the Mercedes most desirable and therefore expensive of the centuries-old production of the brand German. Not surprisingly, these units are key players in common from the list of more expensive vehicle of the story, with quotes that are close to 8 figures.

This same month of January, RM Sothebys sold in Scottsdale one of these rare convertibles by 9.9 billion, and even so, it is not the highest price paid for one of these few specimens manufactured with an open body, of which only joined the 29 units. That honor falls to the 540K Special Roadster frame number 130949, was sold in August of 2012 at Pebble Beach by Gooding and Company, a price of 11.7 million dollars.


Three types of chassis, and up to 8 bodies available was the Mercedes W29.

however, of the 342 manufactured between 1934 and 1936, of which, as we have already said, less than thirty were bodied in versions Roadster Special Roadster, the most famous certainly is the one that looks like the rack number 105380. This unit, purchased in Monterey in 2011 for 3.7 billion dollars by Dutch collector Frans van Haren, jumped all the means of communication when the German authorities the did they take, by stating that it was a stolen vehicle.

Dutch collector was intended to expose the Techno Classica Essen 2012, however, nothing more come to Germany was seized, due to the allegations of the family industrial Prym, who claimed that the vehicle had been stolen at the end of the Second World War by the american army.

Although this fact was never proven, it is true that in 1945 the industrial Hans Prym was imprisoned by the allies, as many German entrepreneurs of the time. One of his properties was used precisely as a base by american troops, which at that time did not back to find out more about the Mercedes 500K.


One of only 29 roadster manufactured.

Years after it appeared in the united States as a classic more, so no one suspected anything when it was auctioned at Pebble Beach in 2011 for 3.7 million. In fact, RM Sothebys, at that time, RM Auctions, said in the own presentation of the model there was information in the period between the time the vehicle was acquired by the family of Prym in the thirties and the seventies. A little less than a year later, it jumped the controversy in Germany, concluding in 2012 with a ruling from a Hamburg court that gave the reason to the grandson of Hans Prym, naming as rightful owners to the heirs of the industrial German owners of the company oldest family of Germany, claiming that the Mercedes had been requisitioned illegally in 1945.

, Leaving to his recent owner without a vehicle and of course, without the 3.7 million dollars he had just paid for.

The next 3 September, the 500K rack 130949 will be auctioned. But on this occasion by the legal heirs of Hans Prym in the event the Chateau de Chantilly Bonhams, where it is estimated to a value between 5 and 7 million euros. Figure considerably higher than the 3.3 million euros that they paid Frans van Haren only 5 years ago. The controversy aroused by this issue will undoubtedly help the event to have a major impact, although it is soon to elucidate if this will feed the cravings of collectors for this rare piece, or if on the contrary, its recent history discouraged to potential stakeholders.

As a vehicle for the collection of its high value there is no doubt, all the copies auctioned in the last few years have at least reached the seven-figures, its beauty and rarity is appreciated by all the specialists, although it is true that it was one of the more exclusive vehicles and advanced of their time.

The Mercedes-Benz 500K had an impressive engine eight-cylinder in-line 5.018 c. c., which, thanks to their compressor Roots was able to perform close to 160 horses, that enabled this vast volume of 2,700 kilos could surpass the then striking psychological barrier of 100 miles per hour, 166 km/h, with a maximum speed of 177 km/h. But not all of it was brute force on the 500K, the frame of this immense roadster of the thirties had delicacies such as independent suspension to all four wheels, safety glass, electric windshield wiping or even light fog. What to us today may seem something common, but that over eighty years ago were very advanced and that could not boast many models.

The exemplary rack 130949 is also in a state of simply outstanding and has been certified by Mercedes-Benz Classic, a glance at the detail shots reveal the exquisite care that has been subjected to these years, since it was heavily restored in 1991. This came out of the factory in Sindelfingen on February 6, 1935, originally with the body color green, being sent to occupy a prominent place in the stand of the brand at the motor show in Berlin that same month.


red, originally came out of Sindelfingen color green.

In April of that year it was acquired by Hans Friedrich Prym, who had it in his power until 1945, but until today have been able to know the details of your arrival to the united States. The oldest record of the model is from the seventies, when appeared in the collection of Russell Strauch, in Toledo, the city of Ohio, where it assembles the iconic Jeep Wrangler.

After the death of Strauch in 1976, the 500 K passed into the hands of Don Dickson,
who sold in 1988 to Richie Clyne for the Imperial Palace
Collection, where it was restored by Mike Fennell Enterprises,
California, in 1991. Shortly after the already red Mercedes-Benz formed part
from the collection of the family Lyon, the same that put him at the
sale in the summer of 2011 in Pebble Beach
. Moment in which it was
purchased by Frans van Haren, that when you try to expose it in the Techno
Classica in Essen the following year began this story.