First UK appearance for the 500K commissioned by King Hussein of Jordan
King Hussein of Jordan’s replica of a famed Erdmann & Rossi Mercedes-Benz 500K is to make its first ever appearance in the UK.
The streamlined Mercedes-Benz is based on a 500K ordered by the Iraqi royal family at the 1935 Berlin Motor Show, which was delivered in 1936 with bodywork by the coachbuilders Erdmann & Rossi of Berlin-Halensee. Decades later it passed to Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein, who then lent it to King Hussein of Jordan.
The King had the car shipped to a pre-war Mercedes-Benz specialist in Germany, where its body was painstakingly replicated. The original was shipped back to Iraq before the second Gulf War, but has since disappeared from view and is presumed to be hidden away in Baghdad.
The replica body was mated to an original Mercedes-Benz chassis, number 113640, with the aim of returning the completed car to King Hussein. However, due to the conflict in the Middle East and the King’s illness (and death in 1999), the car remained in Germany.
It is now owned by the Schäfer family, and usually displayed in Germany’s Technik Museum Speyer and the neighbouring Auto & Technik Museum Sinsheim – the largest private transport museums in Europe.
However, it has just been announced that the car will appear in the UK at the St James’s Concours of Elegance in the grounds of Marlborough House, London, on 5-7 September.