Water-cooled eight-cylinder series motor, camshaft at the side, actuated by spur gears, 100 hp (or 160 hp with actuated dual lobe Roots blower), capacity of 5,018 ccm, maximum speed of 160 km/h, wheelbase of 3,290 mm, front and rear gauge of 1,535/1,547 mm respectively, total length of 5,000 mm, kerb weight of 2,250 kg, consumption of 27 l per 100 km.
When it made its début in 1934, the Mercedes-Benz 500K Special Roadster was like a car from another planet. For the sales price of the Roadster – initially 26,000 Reichsmark, rising to 28,000 Reichsmark from 1936 – you could also purchase a spacious villa in a good location. There was only one word to describe the design of the two-door car with its folding seats, recessed radiator and tiny disc: breathtaking. The elongated bonnet, the flowing lines of the mudguards and the interior – perfectly integrated into the car‘s overall shape – with its fine materials and harmonious shape were all part of this amazing design.
Among the different versions of the already luxurious 500K model that were developed, the very rare Special Roadster was, in many ways, the jewel in the automotive crown. In total, Mercedes-Benz manufactured just 25 of these ultimate luxury vehicles. Thanks to the Roots-type supercharger, which could be actuated from the accelerator pedal, this open-top sports car was capable of reaching speeds few other series production cars of its time could manage. In 1934, 100 kilometres per hour was considered to be the sound barrier for all regular series car models – the Special Roadster was about to raise the bar to 160 kilometres per hour. In just 20 seconds, the „Teutonic Beast“, as one English journalist called the car, could accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour.