Romania antebelica a fost dotata cu nu unu, ci doua, Mercedesuri 540K Special Roadster.
Aceste masini - din care numai 58 au fost construite - au fost varful de gama a firmei Mercedes-Benz, cu o caroserie enorma dar numai doua locuri.
Acest exemplar a fost surprins de fotograful Willy Pragher in octombrie 1939, pe bulevardul Bratianu din Bucuresti. Nu se stie a cui a fost. Un nume posibil, totusi, este Nae Ionescu - care a vea un Merecedes negru, sport, cu doua locuri si cu interior in piele rosie.
Important: nu este exemplarul regelui Mihai. Acest exemplar, desi tot un Special Roadster, avea o caroserie diferita, o cutie cu 5 viteze, un radio, si purta placute regale. Totusi, e interesant ca din cele sase exemplare construite cu roata de rezerva in interior, doua erau in Romania.
Nu stiu ce s-a ales de 24-B. Cete e ca intre 1948 si 1960, Mercedesul regal a ajuns un URSS - ajungand expus la vanzare in Kiev in primavara anului 1960. Drumul masinii inapoi catre vest a fost prin Astrahan si Moscova.
Am auzit ca prin 1962/63, ar fi existat un Mercedes "cu compresor", cu doua locuri, cu exterior negru si interior rosu, la Rasnov. Se spune ca ar fi fost masina regelui - fapt eronat pentru ca acea masina, cu o caroserie unicata, era deja in URSS.... Dar nu e exclus sa fie acest exemplar, care odata circula cu numarul 24-B...
These cars - of which only 58 were built - were the top of the Mercedes-Benz range, with an enormous body but only two seats.
This one was captured by the photographer Willy Pragher in October 1939, on the boulevard Bratianu in Bucharest. I'm not sure whose it was; one possible name is Nae Ionescu (the Romanian version of Lord Beaverbrook), who had a sporting, black, two-seater Mercedes with a red leather interior.
Importantly, this is_not_ King Michael's Mercedes. That was also a Special Roadster but with different bodywork, a 5-speed gearbox, a radio, and royal licence plates. But it's interesting that of the six Special Roadsters built with the spare wheel inside the bodywork, two ended up in Romania.
I've no idea what happened to 24-B. The history of King Michael's car is relatively straightforward - between 1948 and 1960, it made its way east, was on sale in spring 1960 in Kiev, and eventually came West again, after lengthy spells in Astrakhan and Moscow.
I heard that in 1962/63, there was a Mercedes convertible in the town of Rasnov. It was a black two-seater, with a red leather interior, and a "compressor". The locals at the time said it was the ex-King's - incorrect, because the royal car, with its unique bodywork, was already in the USSR. But I suppose it could be this one, 24-B...