von Krieger 540 K Special Roadster up for auction
There's always a stunning array of cars at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach Auctions each year, and the 2012 will be no exception, conformed by the news today that one of the lots will be the Mercedes-Benz von Krieger 540 K Special Roadster.
This particular Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster was purchased in 1936 by the von Krieger, an aristocratic Prussian family. Initially it was Henning von Kreiger who claimed possession of the car, before his sister Gisela became the very lucky owner. At the time she was considered to be one of the ten most glamorous women in the world, so at the very least she had a fabulous car to enhance that reputation.
During World War 2 Gisela and her mother defied instructions to return to Germany, instead being interred for a time in Val les Bains, and then upon their release living variously in Cannes, Cap d'Antibes and Monaco. Somewhat remarkably, the car was not impounded or stolen while it was kept in a German garage, and in 1942 Gisela was able to have the car shipped to Switzerland.
The von Kriegers waited out the war in Switzerland, before Gisela and her brother moved to the USA, living in New York, with a holiday home in Connecticut. With the 540 K Special Roadster along for the ride.
While Gisela moved back to Switzerland before passing away in 1989, the car remained in storage in Connecticut. After being in storage for almost 40 years it was purchased by Lee and Joan Herrington. Lee Harrington has said of the condition of the car at the time, that it "was in remarkable, entirely original condition, although the black paint was peeling off in large patches. In the ashtray, we found cigarette butts with Gisela’s lipstick still on them, and one of her white gloves was under the front seat.”
The Herringtons recently had the car restored, with the work carried out by Chris Charlton, whose restorations have previously been awarded Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. And cut to today, with the announcement of the inclusion of the Mercedes-Benz von Krieger 540 K Special Roadster in this year's Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auctions.
“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,” says David Gooding, President and founder of Gooding & Company. “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.”
The von Krieger 540 K Special Roadster, along with the other lots in the 2012 Pebble Beach Auctions catalog, will there for someone to bid and win on August 18 & 19 at the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center.
Anyone care to join me in a little pre-event envy?