There are those for whom sheer numbers impress, and those who take pleasure in simpler things. Count me among the latter but even I couldn't help but be staggered by the price paid for F1 impresario Bernie Ecclestone's 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster during RM's London sale. At $8.25 million (US) it was the third most expensive car ever to be sold at auction. The second was a 1962 Ferrari 330 TRI/LM, also sold by RM, for $9.3 million in Maranello, Italy earlier this year. And the all-time you-gotta-be-kidding winner? Christie's sale of a 1931 Bugatti which went for $9.8 million in 1987. Are these cars or are they examples of the ultimate automotive indulgence? Whoever purchased the 540K is not only wealthy but has a special place to keep this gem and will never drive it. Unless his name is Jay Leno. No mere roll-onto-a-platform intro, the silver pre-WW2 car was lifted onto the stage accompanied by dramatic music. I'm guessing the tune wasn't Brother Can You Spare a Dime.
[Photo: Classic Driver]