The mythical concours d'elegance takes place in Pebble Beach, Monterey, California, USA. Monterey Automobile Week is an event that celebrates the feats of the powerful automobile industry from around the world.
The Elegance Contest consists of several parallel events, which include presentations of sports cars and competition cars on the Laguna Seca circuit, auctions, an exhibition with a very limited number of vehicles and visitors. Only 3000 tickets were sold, all at exorbitant prices.
This year, still somewhat atypical, 230 vehicles divided into various classes were admitted. The overall winner was the magnificent and beautiful 1938 Mercedes 540K Autobahn Kurier. The next classifieds were the 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Corsica Drophead Coupé, the 1966 Ferrari 365 P Pininfarina Berlinetta Speciale and the 1956 Maserati A6G Zagato Coupé.
The Mercedes 540K Autobahnkurier was designed by Friedrich Geiger, it is a development of the 500K. First presented at the Paris Motor Show in 1936, followed by the Berlin Motor Show, its name refers to the famous highways without speed limits, which began to be outlined in Germany a few years earlier.
Built at the Mercedes Untertürkheim factory in Sindelfingen, on the outskirts of Stuttgart, Germany between 1936 and 1940, the last one completed in 1944. The 540 K has a 5.4 liter in-line 8-cylinder engine and a Roots-type mechanical compressor plus 180 hp of power. The mechanics, associated with the manual gearbox with four ratios, allowed over 180 km/h of speed, which was a lot more than 80 years ago.