The Art Deco pontoon body from Frejat: Mercedes Benz 540k Chassis 408335
Unfortunately, as a small model car manufacturer, we do not have access to the Mercedes-Benz archive. Therefore we have to go very complex and time-consuming ways for our research. Hours don't count, perfection is impossible. Sometimes we only have a few black and white pictures to use as a model and conflicting information about the car. Not ideal, but the alternative would be not to build the model car. And that would be the worst option available. We hope that you agree.
In order to build this model car, we conducted 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 all started when our oldest customer (97 years) gave us an advertisement from a magazine (US $ 300,000) almost two years ago. Then we did research on the Internet, bought a French magazine with the interesting article and translated it, we also called the University in Stockholm and bought a Swedish-language document from Jan Molin and translated it. Google Translator was a helpful partner for us. Finally, our oldest customer gave us another sales ad from another magazine ($ 485,000). The last piece of the research puzzle was laid:
The original Mercedes Benz 540k car was shown on January 4th, 1939 at an exhibition in Brussels. On July 7th 1941 the car for Count Fredrik Wachtmeister with the registration number A 976 was registered in Stockholm. In the chaos of war the track is lost until 1947. From the archive of the French bodywork company Frejat (Pont-du-Chateau) come two black and white photos with this unique 'Art Deco Ponton body' and the registration number 9606 NH 6. Zu At this point in time, the front headlights were still integrated into the fender. Since the car only has one exhaust, it can be assumed that the 500K engine No. 113675 was already installed at this point in time. This engine comes from a 500K Mercedes Cabriolet C that was sold to Switzerland in 1935. In the post-war period, what was available was built in. Practical aspects beat perfection.
In 1947/1948 the Mercedes was sold to Venezuela. An American bought the car there and brought it to the United States of America in 1954. In the 1960s, a Florida doctor bought the Mercedes and sold it to the Drottningholm Collection in Sweden in 1989. In 1992 the Mercedes was sold to an investment company. This replaced the Frejat body with a roadster body. Whether the Frejat body survived and when and who replaced the integrated front headlights with separate front headlights - as implemented in our model - is not known. Regardless of this, the Frejat body is an absolute highlight and a unique Mercedes-Benz was created. Unfortunately, this treasure was probably 'lost' again.
One hope remains: in 2019 we launched the Maybach SW 38 Heinrich Müller, Schuco 1936 (Autopioneer 05) as a model car. In the meantime, the grandson of the last owner of this unique Maybach has contacted us and given us previously unknown and unpublished photos and information. We will soon hand over this material to the relevant archives and publish them. We hope that we can do something similar with our model car Mercedes Benz Frejat 1947. Who would have thought that a model car would help fill historical gaps in automotive history? If that's not a great motivation to tackle the next model car, what is it?