Mercedes-Benz 540K and Ferrari 335 S Win Amelia Island Concours Best in Show Honors

Jacksonville, FL — A 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn-Kurier owned by The Keller Collection of Petaluma, Calif., and a 1957 Ferrari 335 S owned by Cavallino Investments of Cortland, Ohio were crowned Sunday (March 10) as Best in Show at the 24th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. And blue skies and sunshine also prevailed!
Automotive Photography by Deremer Studios LLC – 2019 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

In his recap below, D. Randy Riggs shared details about the Ferrari, and here’s some history on the Mercedes…in March 1934, a new Mercedes debuted at the Berlin Car Show: Autobahnen Kurierwagen 8-Zylinder Kompressor Typ 500. Only one model existed, built on the existing W29 chassis; promotional brochures explained that the car was designed for incredibly high speeds on the autobahns. Mercedes’ conservative clientele purchased only 761 W29 cars between February 1934 and November 1939. Of those, 342 were equipped with a 5-liter engine and 419 with a 5.4-liter engine as found in this car. The remaining 70 chassis were sent to outside firms that would construct specials to meet individual client wishes.

The Concours d’Elegance trophy-winning 540K was purchased new in 1938 by Professor Ignacio Barraquer of Spain who initially took his new acquisition on a tour through his home country and into North Africa. The Barraquer family retained possession of the car until 2003, when it sold to an American collector.
Restored shortly after that sale, this 540K coupe has also won first-in-class honors at Pebble Beach in 2006, Best of Show at Villa d’Este in 2008, Best of Show at the Louis Vuitton Classic Concours d’Elegance in 2011, and Best of Show at the Concours d’Elegance of America in 2011.