A 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster was named Best in Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, August 20.
The car, presented by Jim Patterson of the Patterson Collection, is one of just three long-tail Special Roadsters that survive with special covered spare bodywork. The majority of 540K roadsters feature exposed spares.
This car was bodied by Sindelfingen in Germany when new, and was delivered to the Shah of Afghanistan in September, 1937. It survived World War II in Paris, stored away at the Afghan embassy, and was later given to the Shah’s son-in-law, who drove it around London until 1952. A year later, it was in the United States, and was later restored. It came to the Patterson Collection via RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale in 2022.
The competition was a tough one, as over 216 cars took to the field this year from 18 countries and 30 U.S. states. Other contenders for Best in Show included the Auriga Collection’s 1930 Mercedes-Benz 710 SS Special Roadster, the 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Corto Figoni Cabriolet shown care of Gregor Fisken, and the 1939 Delahaye 165 Figoni et Falaschi Cabriolet owned by the Peter Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation.
“This 540K balances strength with sweeping lines and style, and its history is unique,” said Concours Chairman Sandra Button. “In talking with Jim about this car, I was impressed by the time and thought invested in this restoration. Every piece of this beautiful Mercedes-Benz was researched so carefully to honor its history.”
“In Kentucky, you know, we talk about winning the Derby. Well, there’s such a thing as winning the Triple Crown,” said Jim Patterson. “And so I’ve won this Concours twice before today. This is a Triple Crown for me.”
The 73rd Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will take place on Sunday, August 18, 2024, and will celebrate the marques of Packard and Maserati as well as the creations of Italian coachbuilder Pietro Frua—with more features to be announced in the early fall.
Headline image courtesy of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance