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Today's Mercedes-Benzes are certainly gorgeous, gorgeous machines, and they're on an aesthetic upswing on account of Gorden Wagener's clean take on the brand's image. That said, no modern Benz can match the grandeur of the old-school ones from the '30s through '50s. Because nostalgia is one of the most potent economic forces in the world, this means that certain old Mercedes-Benzes can fetch truly ludicrous amounts of money at auctions. Between that and the rapidly inflating prices of top-tier classic cars, prices are going up very rapidly; we're talking eight figures here.
1. 1936 540K Spezial Roadster - $11,770,000 Sold by Gooding & Company at Pebble Beach in 2012 The Baroness Gisela von Krieger of Prussia had excellent taste, and was fond of making grand entrances. That explains why she kept this car until her death in 1989. 2.
1939 540K Spezial Roadster - $4,620,000 Sold by RM Auctions at Pebble Beach in 2011 The 540K Spezial Roadster is the epitome of what a '30s roadster was intended to be. Powerful, elegant, and with a solid and lightened chassis, 25 of this improved version of the 500K were sold to the wealthy and powerful of the Depression era. Now it's highly sought after by today's rich and powerful. 3.
1955 300SL - $4,620,000 Sold by Gooding and Company in Scottsdale, AZ in 2012 The legendary 300SL is not only the most iconic Mercedes sports car of all time, but it's also the first car to ever feature gullwing doors. Rather than just trying to be flashy, however, the doors were designed to help the chassis engineers add an extra brace across the bottom of the car. 1927 Mercedes-Benz S-Type 26/180 Sportwagen - Gooding & Company 1927 Mercedes-Benz S-Type 26/180 Sportwagen. Gooding & Company 4.
1927 S-Type 26/180 Sportwagen - $5,040,000 Sold by Gooding & Company at Pebble Beach in 2011 Only five of these S-Type 26/180s with Sindelfingen coachwork is known to exist, and one of them crossed the block in 2011. It's the oldest Benz on this list, and a prime example of the popular design of the era which focused on presenting the automobile as a machine, complete with exposed piping and very utilitarian-looking venting on the engine bay. 5.
1928 680S Torpedo Roadster - $8,250,000 Sold by RM Auctions at Pebble Beach in 2013 This 680S was fitted with a custom body by Jacques Saoutchik and wond Best in Show in the 2012 Pebble Beach Councours d'Elegance; that's a surefire way to get your auction price up. 6.
1937 540K Spezial Roadster - £3,905,000 (About $6 Million) Sold by RM Auctions in London in 2007 You're about to start seeing a lot of these gorgeous 540K Spezial Roadsters on this list, and for good reason. This one was made for Sir John Chubb in England, and features a long wheelbase, high doors, and and exposed spare tire.