History is a story well told and the inaugural Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance (LVCE) has an incredible line up of vehicles that have stood the test of time. More than 130 vehicles will make their way to the entertainment capital of the world this October, and this collection contains plenty of gems with astounding stories.
Making its way down from the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Ontario, Canada comes the Best of Show and People’s Choice, the 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K. The 540K, designed by Johan Oscar Olhager, is only one of three cars known to exist with coachwork by Norrmalm.
Delivered to Max Gumpel of Sweden in 1937, Grumpel modified the vehicle to prepare for the harsh roads and winters of Sweden ahead. The vehicle was built with two batteries and an oversized fuel tank for extended range of travel. Completed in 1938, Gumpel further equipped the car with Marchal headlights, spotlight and running lights. Additionally, his most obvious personalization was the oversized mascot of the goddess Diana with her bow shooting an arrow into the sky. Gumpel was said to be a close personal friend of famous Swedish-American film actress, Greta Garbo, who was nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Actress. It’s rumored that Ms. Garbo was a frequent passenger in the 540K prior to WWII. During the war the vehicle received a special “non-conscription order,” allowing the car to remain with Grumpel and not be confiscated by the Swedish Army.
Another Mercedes-Benz in attendance with an amazing history is the 1928 Erdmann & Rossi Mercedes-Benz SSK. Considered to be the epitome of German Engineering in its era, the Mercedes-Benz SSK won numerous races with the famous race car driver Rudolf Caracciola at the wheel. The SSK model identification stood for Super Sport Kurz chassis and engine displacement in the SSK had been enlarged to 7.1-liter. The model heading to LVCE started out as a 680S Tourer and was ordered new in 1927 by German industrialist Ernst Röchling. Röchling was good friends with Graf (Count) Rudolph von Platen-Hallermund, a German aristocrat and Captain of the German emperor Kaiser Wilhelm’s imperial yacht. The Count purchased the car from Röchling and had it converted to SSK specifications, which included enlarging the displacement from 6.8-liter to 7.1-liter and ultimately also shortening the chassis.
During WWII, the Count served as a fighter pilot and was killed in action. After the war, the Mercedes was confiscated by the allied forces and made its way to the United States where it was discovered in the 1980’s. This breathtaking SSK is well documented with not only the original factory-build sheet but even more important, with all of the original hand-written commission sheets showing the initial order as well as additional requests by the Count. Less than 40 SSK were built and most are no longer in existence.
“No two cars have the same history, so it’s no surprise that car enthusiasts love sharing and swapping stories about their collections,” said Stuart Sobek, founder and chairman of the Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance. “Since we’re recognizing both pre- and post-war vehicles, you’re guaranteed to hear the miraculous journeys that some of these vehicles have taken.”
LVCE will be held Oct. 25 through Oct. 28 and will feature a curated collection of approximately 130 vehicles at DragonRidge Country Club at MacDonald Highlands. In addition to the car show on Saturday, Oct. 26, the four-day event will include an opening night gala at the Keep Memory Alive Event Center on Friday, Oct. 25, a Tour d’Elegance down the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, Oct. 27 and a Concours-DragonRidge Fun Day of Golf by invitation on Monday, Oct. 28.
For additional event information, or to purchase tickets, please visit lasvegasconcours.com. To stay up-to-date with LVCE, follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @lasvegasconcours. To get a feel for what is to come, please watch here. For press inquiries or for credentials during the event, please reach out to the media contact below.
ABOUT LAS VEGAS CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE (LVCE)
In the inaugural year, the 2019 Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance brings the historic automobile show to the entertainment capital of the world. LVCE exhibits nearly 25 classes of rare and unique automobiles invited from around the world, most never before shown in Las Vegas. The four-day event will be hosted at some of Las Vegas’ most prestigious locations including, the Keep Memory Alive Event Center, Dragon Ridge Golf Course at MacDonald Highlands and the iconic Las Vegas Strip. Proceeds from ticket sales for the Opening Night Gala will benefit the Tech Force Foundation, helping techs learns skills and gain employment. Proceeds from the Concours-Dragon Ridge Fun Day of Golf will benefit the LVCE/ArtCenter Scholarship Fund. For more information, visit lasvegasconcours.com or follow LVCE on Facebook and Instagram.