Mercedes-Benz 500K

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Mercedes-Benz 500K
Automotive industryMercedes-Benz
Also calledW29
AssemblyUntertürkheim factory, Sindelfingen
PredecessorMercedes-Benz 380
SuccessorMercedes-Benz 540K
Automobile layoutFront-engine, rear-wheel drive layout
Internal combustion engine5,018 Cubic centimetre Straight-8
Transmission (mechanics)4-speed or optional 5-speed Manual transmission
Wheelbase2,980 mm (117.3 in) (SWB)
3,290 mm (129.5 in) (LWB)
Curb weightUp to 2,700 kg (6,000 lb)
Fuel capacity110 Litre (24.2 Imperial unit Gallon; 29.1 United States customary units Gallon)
Automotive designFriedrich Geiger

The Mercedes 500K is a Sports car built by Mercedes-Benz between 1934 and 1936, and first exhibited at the 1934 Berlin Motor Show.[1] Distinguished from the 500 Sedan (car) by the "K" in its name which denoted the kompressor (Supercharger) only fitted to the sports cars, it succeeded the Mercedes-Benz 380 which had been introduced only the previous year, using a larger, more powerful engine and more opulent Coachwork to meet customers' demands for greater luxury and performance.[2][3]

The 500K used the same Independent suspension setup as had been introduced on the 380, with a Double wishbone Front axle, double-joint Swing axle at the rear, and separate wheel location, Coil spring and damping, a world first.[1][2] Consequently it was a more comfortable and better handling car than Mercedes' previous S/SS/SSK generation of Roadster from the 1920s, and offered greater appeal to buyers, particularly the growing number of well-heeled female drivers of the time.[1]

Using a separate foot-operated pedal alongside the accelerator to engage the Roots supercharger,[1] the five Litre Straight-8 engine produced 160 Horsepower (120 Kilowatt) and was capable of over 160 Kilometres per hour (100 Miles per hour), consuming fuel at the rate of up to 30 l/100 km (9.4 mpg-imp; 7.8 mpg-US) as it did so.[1][3]

Three different Chassis and eight Coachbuilder were available for customers;[1][3] the two longer "B" and "C" four seat Cabriolet (automobile) versions rode on a Wheelbase of 3,290 mm (129.5 in), and would later be used on other Sedan (car) and Touring car models.[1] The short "A" chassis, with a 2,980 mm (117.3 in) wheelbase, underpinned the two-seater models: the Motorway Courier, and the 1936 Special Roadster which offered the highest performance.[1][4] All models featured such advanced equipment as safety glass, Hydraulic brake, and a 12-Volt electrical system sufficient to bear the load of the electric Windscreen wiper, Power door lock, and Blinker.[3]

342 500Ks were built during its two years in production, including 29 Special Roadsters, before being replaced by the even more powerful Mercedes-Benz 540K in 1936.[1] Today, they remain highly prized for their heritage and scarcity; when the car collection of Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone was auctioned in October 2007 it included five pre-war Mercedes, and his 500K Special Cabriolet fetched almost Pound sterling700,000 (United States dollar1.45 million).[5]


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