1947 Mercedes Benz 540K Fréjat (Frankreich)

Product no.: Autopioneer 09

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Barn find: The Frejat body has been found again!


To build this model car, we did research over a period of almost two years. Again and again we were able to add a piece of the puzzle to the overall picture. It started when our oldest customer (now 99 years old) gave us a sale advertisment of the car from a magazine (US$300,000) in the summer of 2019. Then we researched on the internet, bought and translated a French magazine with an interesting article, we also phoned the University in Stockholm and bought and translated a Swedish language document and the book "Mercedes-Benz 1930-Talets Kompressorvagnar i Norden" - both by Jan Melin. Google Translator was a helpful partner for us. Last but not least, our oldest customer gave us another later sale ad from another magazine (US$ 485,000). The final piece of the research puzzle was in place: 
The original Mercedes Benz 540k car was shown at an exhibition in Brussels on 04 January 1939. On 07 July 1941, the car was registered in Stockholm for Count Fredrik Wachtmeister with the registration number "A 976". In the turmoil of war, the trace is lost until 1947. From the archives of the French coachbuilder Frejat (Pont-du-Chateau) come two black and white photos with this unique 'Art Déco pontoon body' and the registration number "9606 NH 6". At this time, the front headlights were still integrated into the wings. Since the car has only one exhaust, it can be assumed that the 500K engine no. 113675 was already installed at this time. This engine comes from a 500K-Mercedes Cabriolet C, which was sold to Switzerland in 1935. In the post-war period, whatever was available was used. Practical aspects beat perfection.
In 1947/1948, the Mercedes was sold to Venezuela. An American later bought the car there and brought it to the United States of America in 1954. In the 1960s, a doctor from Florida bought the Mercedes and sold it to the Drottningholm Collection in Sweden in 1989. Who replaced the integrated front headlights with separate front headlights - as implemented on our model - is not known. In 1992 the Mercedes was sold to an investment company. They replaced the Frejat body with a roadster body. This presumably seemed more lucrative! What happened to the Frejat body was not known until now. Until now, because suddenly we received an email: 


Hello Mr. Sabrautzky, I have just read the article on your model car. I bought the body (without chassis) about 7 years ago and it is still in my possession. You are welcome to contact me by phone. Many greetings from .......


I could hardly believe it, made a phone call, and was on my way a little later. The barn door opened and suddenly this expressive body was standing in front of me: equipped with different headlights, additional lights on the mudguards, in wine red, and without a radiator grille. The radiator grille is part of the chassis. A shiver ran down my spine. And it wasn't because of the grey-wet wind that was blowing that day. And suddenly a circle was closed. My journey was over. The new owner found an advertisement in Mobile.de about seven years ago. He is a master coachbuilder himself and immediately took the offered body into his heart. He drove to Landshut and bought this gem from the estate of an entrepreneur. At that time, he did not know that it was the Frejat body. He only found this out when he happened to come across our website www.autopioneer.de and read the story. The journey of the Frejat body will soon continue, as it is looking for a new owner. Seriously interested parties are welcome to contact me. Last but not least: I just got off the phone with my oldest customer. He was thrilled. There, too, a circle has been closed. 


Who would have thought that a model car would once again close a historical gap in automobile history? We succeeded in doing so with the Maybach SW 38 Heinrich Müller. And we succeeded with the two Opels: 1937 Opel Super 6 for Georg von Opel and 1937 Opel Blitz 1.5 - 23 COE. If this is not a terrific motivation to tackle the next model car, what is? Stay curious!

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