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Saddam’s coachbuilt 540K needs TLC
Erdmann & Rossi Mercedes 540K Sports Cabriolet 1935

It is not the first time the American coalition in Afghanistan and Iraq finds a stash of expensive cars, tucked away by former tyrant Saddam Hussein. This time, again a part of the Saddam Hussein car-collection has come to the light, but other than the earlier finds, it now houses one very interesting vehicle.
   
It is a very unusual Mercedes-Benz of 1935-vintage with Erdmann & Rossi body. Together with some more conventional classics it was found in a hidden car park, several levels under the streets of central Baghdad.

Erdmann & Rossi Mercedes 540K Sports Cabriolet 1935

The car is believed to be a 540K with engine #123705 that was ordered on December 5, 1935 by no less a client than King Ghazi of Iraq after he’d seen a similar car build by Erdman & Rossi at the Barcelona Motor Show of 1935.

Ghazi had succeeded his father on the throne just two years earlier at the age of 21.  Unfortunately, the reign of the young king was short-lived; he died in a motoring accident only six years later in 1939. It is not known what car he was driving at the time.

The unique ‘Sports Cabriolet’ came with single headlights and closed spats. It was delivered to the Daimler Benz headquarters for onward shipment to their illustrious client. Its original color appeared to be cream with green accents.

Erdmann & Rossi Mercedes 540K Sports Cabriolet 1935

Erdmann & Rossi Mercedes 540K Sports Cabriolet 1935

Erdmann & Rossi Mercedes 540K Sports Cabriolet 1935

Erdmann & Rossi Mercedes 540K Sports Cabriolet 1935

Erdmann & Rossi Mercedes 540K Sports Cabriolet 1935

Sources: Jalopnik.com & The Cadillac Database 
 
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