Spring is here, and so our thoughts turn to spyders and cabriolets, cars whose appeal is open-air driving.
Consider if you will the 1930 Mercedes-Benz 770K. Also known as the Großer Mercedes — German for “Big Mercedes” — only 117 examples of the four-door cabriolet were built between 1930 and 1938.
The big Benz appealed to all manner of potentate: This particular car, chassis 83807, was built for King Faisal I of Iraq in 1931; a 1932 Mercedes-Benz 770 (W07) “Grosser” cabriolet was owned by ex-emperor Wilhelm II. and a 1935 Mercedes-Benz 770 limousine was favored by Emperor Hirohito. The 770 claim to infamy is its use by high-ranking Nazi German politicians during World War II, including Adolf Hitler (his 1940 Mercedes-Benz 770 is now in the Canadian War Museum), Paul von Hindenburg, Hermann Göring, Heinrich Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich, Ion Antonescu, and Axis ally Benito Mussolini of Italy.
Fitted with four-door, three-position cabriolet bodywork by Voll & Ruhrbeck of Berlin, Germany, this 770K remained an Iraqi state car during the reign of both King Ghazi and King Faisal II. A 1958 overhaul by the Mercedes-Benz in Beirut, Lebanon, was performed before the car was returned to King Faisal II in Iraq via air freight just prior to his death later that year. With the assistance of Mercedes-Benz in March 1967, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Foundation) purchased the car and it was shipped to the IMS Museum collection.
Finished in black over red leather, power comes from a numbers-matching supercharged 7.7-liter inline-eight paired with a three-speed manual transmission. Features include a three-position tan soft top with a removable forward roof as well as dual fender-mounted spare wheels, rear-hinged front doors, a left-side spotlight, a crank-operated cabin partition, rear jump seats, and a thermometer and barometer mounted on the rear bulkhead.
This W07 Grosser was auctioned last month for $2,555,555 — just shy of an online record. That belongs to a predecessor of the 770, the 1927 Mercedes-Benz 680 S Sport/4, at $2,800,000.
Source: Bring A Trailer