Mercedes-Benz 500K Spezial Roadster, 1935

На заре свой истории автомобильный дизайн навевал скуку. После изобретения первого автомобиля, в начале ХХ века, конструкторы никак не могли уйти от стандартных кузовов с большими крыльями и массивной хромированной решеткой радиатора. Спортивные машины того времени и вовсе напоминали сосиску на колесах, и, таким образом, глаз эстета тоже не радовали. Первые яркие звезды на небосклоне автодизайна стали зажигаться в 30-е годы. Одна из них – Mercedes Benz 500K с 5-литровым 8-цилиндровым мотором. Общий тираж – 342 экземляра, в том числе всего лишь 33 кабриолета.

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Mercedes-Benz 500K Spezial Roadster, 1935

Mercedes-Benz 500K Spezial Roadster 1935 года выпуска.

Первый автомобиль с независимой подвеской, объем — 5л., 160 л.с., скорость более 160 км/ч, гидравлические тормоза, полный электропакет!!! и т.д. Подробнее на английском можно почитать далее__________

The 500 K was the successor to the 380 presented only one year earlier, and a descendant of the tremendously powerful, supercharged S, SS, SSK and SSKL sports cars – genuine muscle cars, as we would call them today, and virtually invincible in motor sport.

The first 500 K – «K» for Kompressor = supercharger, to distinguish it from the 500 sedan without supercharger – had been designed as an elegant two- or four-seater sports car with roadster and cabriolet bodies tailored at the Daimler-Benz plant in Sindelfingen. With this model, the company bid farewell to the Roaring Twenties and the Big Four mentioned earlier. The latter had still had extremely firm chassis with rigid axles and leaf springs, i.e. hardly any damping at all, and their bodies were plain and above all functional, not to say uncomfortable.

The most ravishing model of this species was the two-seater 500 K special roadster launched in 1936, a masterpiece in terms of its styling, with inimitably powerful and elegant lines. It has been filling onlookers with enthusiasm to this day, reflecting, as it does, the spirit of its day and age as well as the design perfection of the 500 K models. Its price tag – 28,000 Reichsmark – was 6,000 marks above the average price of «simpler» models. People were able to buy a generously furnished house for that money.

Mercedes-Benz 500 K special roadster, 1936.

The short-wheelbase chassis was used only for a few two-seaters with special bodies. On these models, the radiator was back right above the front axle, and the models carried the designations 500 K sports roadster, sports cabriolet and sports coupe.

The 500 K’s chassis complete with helical-spindle steering had been adopted – though in further refined form – from the preceding 380: the new double-wishbone axle with coil springs at the front and the double-joint swing axle — complemented by double coil springs and additional transverse balancing spring – at the rear. The vacuum-boosted service brake acted hydraulically on all four wheels, the mechanical parking brake on the rear wheels. The chassis weighed as much as 1,700 kilograms; the complete car tipped the scales at 2,300 kilograms and the permissible gross weight was around 2,700 kilograms.

No matter what version of the 500 K you look at, the elegance of its body sends people into raptures even today: every single one had been given its own, unparalleled personality by the ingenious coachbuilders in Sindelfingen. Only few customers opted for bodywork tailored by independent bodybuilders to their own wishes (the price lists quoted the chassis as individual items), especially since the Sindelfingers rose above themselves in accommodating the customers’ special wishes, for instance for individual fender versions, rear-end designs or interior appointments. Within two years, 342 units of the 500 K were produced.

In response to the virtually insatiable craving for performance on the part of well-heeled customers all over the world, the 500 K was replaced in 1936 by the 540 K with supercharged 180 hp engine. This model was sold to 319 motoring enthusiasts.

The history of supercharged Mercedes-Benz cars goes back to before World War II and has its roots in aero-engine production. Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft had introduced mechanical air compressors which supercharged the engines and thereby compensated for the power loss of aeroengines at higher altitudes, ensuring their stable performance.

The first Mercedes models with supercharged engines were displayed at the Berlin Motor Show in 1921 – between bicycles with auxiliary engines and mini-cars. They caused quite a stir among automotive experts. With the supercharger, an engine booster had been introduced which, from 1926, catapulted Mercedes passenger, sports and racing cars into a new dimension of performance.

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