The discovery of the 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Aktion P (chassis # 408377) from WWII is straight out of Indiana Jones lore. A mere 419 samples of the 540K chassis have been developed by Daimler AG (Now called the Mercedes-Benz Team AG), and only 20 of all those ended up Aktion P styles with all but 1 getting been lost to background.
Some consider the 540K a masterpiece of the coachbuilder and the high point of Mercedes-Benz’s individual ‘Special Auto Output Unit’. Mercedes-Benz 540K vehicles are held in esteemed collections as centerpieces and hardly ever occur to marketplace. Each time they do occur up for auction, they are not likely to have led as mysterious a daily life as the Aktion P.
All through the summer of 1992, Richard Reuter (3rd era automobile restorer and President of Reuter’s Coach Will work) gained a contact from a female in Oklahoma with a guide about a special vehicle from WWII. Soon after verifying the info, three Us residents- Richard Reuter, Dick Fritz, and Ben Blake went on the adventure of a life span, but right until now, the epic ‘barn find’ tale of the hunt for Aktion P has under no circumstances been absolutely documented.
“There was a second – the moment we flew out with the Aktion P properly loaded – that made the total factor worth it to me. It was just an unbelievable adventure,” mentioned Richard Reuter. “We would hardly ever be equipped to get the Aktion P out of Estonia and back to the United States now,” he extra.
John O’Leary was initial introduced to the Aktion P saga by his father-in-regulation Richard Reuter. O’Leary has used more than a decade looking into this special vehicle from WWII.
As archivist for the Reuter’s Coach Works Archive, O’Leary has cataloged the initial Daimler AG paperwork (Kommissionbuch entry, order range, and invoice) as properly as receipts, videotapes, photo negatives, and other things that chronicle the origins, survival, and discovery of the 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Aktion P (chassis # 408377).