The Mercedes Benz 540K made its debut in l936, replacing the 500K series. It was considered to be Mercedes-Benz's best touring car at the time. The 540K is one of the most luxurious and high performing vehicles of the post-vintage era. It became a status symbol for the affluent, such as Hollywood stars, royalty and the aristocracy. Its
power unit is a straight 8-cylinder OHV 5.4 litre, and can easily reach 115ps. When accelerating hard, the Roots supercharger kicks in, creating an engine noise known as "the roar of Valkyrie", enabling the car to achieve l80ps. Mercedes chose to finish the coachwork of most of the 540K production at their factory in Sindelfingen, selling very few rolling chassis to coachbuilders, uncustomary for luxury cars back in those days. The quality of Mercedes-Benz's own products - with their brilliant design and exquisite detailing, was the equivalent to a prestigious coachbuilders' work.