1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K
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1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K | The Von Krieger Special Roadster

Known as the Von Krieger Special Roadster after the German baroness who owned it, this Mercedes is expected bring at least $10 million and could break the $16.4-million record for any auto sold at auction when it goes on the block after the Concours d’Elegance car show at Pebble Beach. Experts have dubbed the car the automotive equivalent of a coveted Picasso painting.  (Mathieu Heurtault / Gooding & Company)
The Mercedes had been stored in a Connecticut barn, untouched for decades. Its current owner is selling the roadster to focus on his Ferrari collection. (Mathieu Heurtault / Gooding & Company)
The car oozes elegance. The interior is brown leather, wood and chrome. Fenders cover the front wheels and then undulate downward under the doors to serve as a footstep. A chromed Mercedes star ornament rises from the top of the hood, and a tiny Von Krieger family crest is painted on the driver’s door.  (Mathieu Heurtault / Gooding & Company)
Baroness Gisela von Krieger, shown in an undated photograph, had owned the 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K until her death in 1989. She had a prewar romantic dalliance with a mysterious Jewish Englishman and, when World War II started, refused orders from the Third Reich to return home from France. Instead, Von Krieger and her mother fled to Switzerland. The family came to the U.S. after the war, bringing the car with them.  (Gooding & Co.)
After the war, Baroness Gisela von Krieger obtained U.S. citizenship by claiming that she was stateless. She drove the 1936 Mercedes in New York and had it serviced in Manhattan before moving to Greenwich, Conn. The family moved back to Switzerland in 1958 so that her brother Henning, who became ill, could be treated by doctors there. She never returned to the U.S.  (Gooding & Co.)
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