Sensational Mercedes set to smash world records

| 14 Jun 2012

Experts are predicting a new world record for the marque when one of the world's most extraordinary Mercedes goes under the hammer at Gooding & Co's Pebble Beach auction in August.

The 1936 540K von Krieger Special Roadster was bought new in 1936 by an aristocratic Prussian family and used extensively by one of the world's most beautiful women Gisela, Baroness von Krieger.

Styled by Hermann Ahrens, the car was shipped to Switzerland during the war and then on to New York when Gisela and brother Henning emigrated when the hostilities ended.

After the death of her mother and brother, however, Gisela moved back to Switzerland to live a reclusive life before dying in 1989.

Little did anyone know when she returned to Europe that her remarkable car was still stashed away in her Greenwich garage and there it rested for nearly 40 years.

When it was rediscovered it was a time capsule (above), with items such as the Baroness’s driving maps, lipstick-stained cigarette butts and silk gloves intact. 

When the estate was settled, it moved on to the current owner who had it restored to its former glory by Chris Charlton.

David Gooding, president and founder of Gooding & Co, said: "As one of Mercedes-Benz' ultra-rare 540 K Special Roadsters, the von Krieger Special Roadster is already a special car, yet it ranks superior to other examples because of its unrivalled condition, history and provenance.

"Its complete restoration, beautiful story and thoroughly documented history make it absolutely extraordinary and perhaps the finest 540 K Special Roadster in existence. It is the most exciting pre-war Mercedes-Benz I've ever known."

Photos by Peter Harholdt except Baroness Gisela von Krieger and the car as found (both provided by the owner and courtesy of Gooding & Company)