Mercedes Benz 500K Special Roadster Stolen At The End of WW2 Up For Auction

The 500k is one of the rarest and most exquisite automobiles ever built by Mercedes-Benz, with examples often fetching more than $1,000,000 at auctions. This one, though, is even more special.

Built between 1934 and 1936, the Mercedes 500K carried the type W29 model designation. The K in its name highlighted its factory-installed and driver-activated Roots Kompressor (German for supercharger) that squeezed up to 180 hp from the vehicle’s straight-eight engine. Enough to take the ~2,700 kg (6,000 lb) model to a top speed of 160 km/h (100 mph).

Three different chassis and eight body styles were available for customers, with 342 units manufactured. However, only 29 examples of the 500K Special Roadster were built, and this particular model – with a rather controversial history – is one of them.

The car was tailored for German industrialist Hans Prym, but it disappeared in 1945, while he was serving a prison sentence handed to him by the Allies. Prym’s estate was used as a base for U.S. troops serving under General Maurice Rose at the beginning of the march into Germany, and the car “mysteriously” vanished during that time.

It’s believed that the American troops stole it, especially as it turned out in the USA almost a quarter of a century later. It was sold in 2011 for approximately $3.7 million to Dutch car enthusiast Frans van Haren, but in another twist of events, the car was seized by the German authorities when van Haren brought it to the Techno Classica car show in Essen, on account that the 500k Special Roadster belonged to the family of its first owner.

The Telegraph reports that in 2012, a court in Hamburg ruled that the US troops had no right to take the classic car and ordered that it should be returned to Prym’s heirs.

Now, the vehicle is once again offered for sale by Bonhams, under the rightful owners, and it’s expected to fetch between €5 million and €7 million ($5.5 million – $7.7 million) Talk about making a quick buck.



  • fabri99

    Does this mean I should drive it like I stole it? Did HE drive it like he stole it? Would I want to buy a car that was driven like it had been stolen? …

    • EyalN

      would you want to drive a Nazi car?
      i would prefer driving it stolen.

      • TheHake

        This car has no particular feelings for or against Jews…

        • EyalN

          the owner of the car was in jail for war crimes. he could have something to do with the 20 million Russians that got killed in the war or hundreds of thousands of Americans or British. i don’t know whats his story but driving his car is like buying toyota pickup from isis and be proud to have isis truck

      • fabri99

        Good point.

  • XtremWize

    My 1949 Mercedes Benz 170 Da (W136) was stolen from my garage in 2010 too,
    (Barcelona, Spain)

  • EyalN

    it is too sick driving a car with a history like this car

  • Miknik

    Such a magnificent and majestic automobile, truly deserving a “they don’t make ’em like this anymore …”

    Just hard to imagine some nowadays AMG Merc with all it’s huge air intakes, blacked out details and LEDs to look so great in 70 years or so….