he original was created in 1938 in the special vehicle production unit in Sindelfingen as a model for the efficient and high-performance luxury automobile of the future.
It was restored and reconstructed between 2012 and 2014, true to the original model, by Mercedes-Benz Classic. Lovers of the revolutionary 540 K Streamliner can now put one, in a scale of 1:43, in their display cabinet or on their desk, providing they can get their hands on one of the limited-edition miniatures.
The development and the restoration of the 540 K Streamliner are fascinating activities of technological history and demonstrate the exceptional technical capabilities Mercedes-Benz mastered then and still does to this day.
The use of aerodynamics in automotive engineering was beginning to flourish in the 1930s and in Germany especially, engineers were working on streamlined bodied vehicles. The 540 K Streamliner underlined the performance of Mercedes-Benz’s aerodynamics with a cw value of 0.36, which set a new standard at the time, like the series mass-produced coupé achieved with the cw value of just 0.57. The team working under the then head of the special vehicle production unit, Hermann Ahrens, was way ahead of its time.
The 540 K Streamliner was developed in 1938 to quickly reach speeds of up to 185 km / h and to maintain this speed over long distances. Thanks to its lightweight aluminum body with sophisticated aerodynamics, it was in its performance segment a model of efficiency, which impressed also with its elegant design, luxury and generous interior comfort.
Without the supercharger, the 5.4 litre in-line eight-cylinder engine produced 85 kW (115 hp) which, after the supercharger was added, rose to 132 kW (180 hp). It reached a maximum speed of 185 km/h, while the series-production came with a supercharger and reached a very respectable 170 km/h.
In the middle of 1938, Mercedes-Benz provided the Streamliner to the German Dunlop Tyre-plant in Hanau. The tyre company used the coupé mainly for high-speed endurance tyre testing. At the end of WWII, the vehicle returned to Stuttgart to Mercedes-Benz. Important original components were taken in the storeroom of the plant’s historic vehicle collection.
Between 2012 and 2014, the 540 K Streamliner was given its next lease on life. The restoration experts at Mercedes-Benz Classic brought the legendary car again to the street. For this they relied on existing original documents from the archives – mainly photos and engineering drawings, including a line crack in the 1:1. The specialists needed 4,800 hours just to reconstruct the aerodynamically shaped aluminium body with its flowing lines and minimal surface disturbance (that is why the star is only painted on). After their refurbishment, the engine and the transmission were put to the test on the output dynamometer in Stuttgart Untertürkheim. In the interior, walnut and the finest leather reflected the exclusive atmosphere of the streamlined coupé.
All of these details distinguish the 2,000 limited-edition model cars of the Mercedes-Benz 540 K Streamliner (1938). The car is of course painted in silver just like the original, comes in a special Mercedes-Benz Classic designer folding box, is made by the world-famous manufacturer Minimax and costs € 64.90. It is available by authorized Mercedes-Benz dealers, at the Mercedes-Benz Museum and online at http://shop.mercedes-benz.de.