By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, eBay

Price available upon request. When you see these four words in an automotive classified, it’s clear you’re looking at the top echelon of collector cars. These vehicles are so exclusive, that the majority of us cannot afford them. Moreover, they’re so exclusive, we can’t even afford to know their price.

Since the beginning, replicas have helped us mere mortals to build (what appears to be) a pricey exotic at home in our own garages. The Mercedes 540K’s exotic looks and long status as a blue-chip collector has made it a popular model in the replica community for years. Thousands of fiberglass-bodied replicas were sold in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s that echoed the 540K’s styling, and plenty of these cars are still enjoyed everyday.

This 540K listed for sale on eBay is a little different than your average replica on the market though, as the car’s body has been handmade from steel. Mercedes-Benz offered the 540K is several body configurations with a high degree of customization, and this replica echoes the two-door cabriolet styling with rear-wheel skirts. The seller reports that the steel body was constructed by a single individual over the course of one year.

As for mechanicals, the 540K replica rides on an “Adenauer chassis,” a name usually used in reference to the Mercedes 300d. The 300d was produced from 1957 to 1962 as a luxury four-door tourer, and shared most mechanicals with the 300 SL Gullwing. The sale does not include an engine, and buyers will have to do some soul searching there. Source a straight six, which would be more easily installed in the 300d chassis, or hunt down a straight eight as the original had? Personally, I’d love to see a straight eight with a 6-71 or 8-71 blower piped in, as the original had an “on demand” roots-style blower, which could be actuated by flooring the accelerator, or with a manual switch.

There’s definitely no shortage of work remaining in the construction of this 540K as it’s nothing more than a rolling body and chassis. It would be nice to get some more detail from the seller, as only 10 photos are supplied. Adding to that, is the fact that the car is located in Europe and will take roughly a month and a half to arrive.

Buyers comfortable with those risks will have to fork over $45,000 for the 540K replica. See the seller's ad here on eBay.