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Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster

December 12th, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments


Model of one of the most beautiful cars of the 30’s. Features drive, steering, working steering wheel and lights. Update: full building instruction available in Downloads section.


Completion date: 11/12/2012
Power: electric (8878 battery)
Dimensions: length 54 studs / width 18 studs / height 16 studs
Weight: 1.266 kg
Suspension: none
Propulsion: 1 x PF L motor geared 1:1
Motors: 1 x PF L, 1 x PF Servo

Ever since I’ve seen the One Ring from the LEGO Lord Of The Rings sets, I wanted to use is as a Mercedes bonnet emblem. Once I won the ring from Gollum, I decided to go for an astonishingly beautiful car from early years of motorization: Mercedes-Benz 540K in the Super Roadster version.

The Mercedes-Benz 540K was first shown at 1936 Paris Motor Show, in several body variants, and with a great deal of customization options available (typical for times when cars were manufactured manually by skilled craftsmen rather than using an assembly line). Despite the fact that it was created just a few decades after invention of the car, its look, its craftsmanship, and the luxury it offered can still rival pretty much any car. Its performance wasn’t left behind: below the beautifully crafted Β bonnet, there was a 115 HP engine and a supercharger that could increase that power to 180 HP for short periods of time, allowing top speeds of 170 km/h. There was a 580K variant of the car in the working, with the engine bored-out for greater power, but its production was aborted with the outbreak of World War II.

Sometimes, when testing car in the wind tunnel, a power of 180 horses and 1 hamster was achieved.

The model was actually kind of a leisure build after long and tenuous work on my Tumbler Batmobile model. Moreover, it was an interesting opportunity to see if it could top my very similar model of the Morgan carΒ built nearly four years earlier. It was very simple mechanically, with no suspension whatsoever – as the look of the model was my top priority – and with the rear axle’s differential driven by a single PF L motor with no gear reduction. The front axle was steered by a PF Servo motor, which was also connected to the steering wheel. Using this motor negated the need for any substantial gear reduction and for limiting the steering lock, while providing a return-to-center function. It was interesting to see how well a single, ungeared L motor handles this not exactly lightweight model. The model proved that the L motor’s inner gear reduction is probably minimal, because it was very easy to backdrive it, and the model was severely affected by inertia when stopping, to the point where it was almost impossible to brake with the motor. Despite all that, the model was surprisingly agile, which shows that the L motor is a very interesting alternative for the much bigger XL motor.

The look of the model was not modeled after any particular version of the Super Roadster (which vary a lot due to the aforementioned customization options), but rather combined details from several versions that caught my attention. There was a number of elements I did not particularly like, such as the pieces holding the windshield, the bottom line of the front fenders, the rear line of the rear mudguards, the “break” on top of the trunk and the lack of chrome bars on the trunk, but all in all, the model turned out looking much better than I anticipated. It was great fun to drive it despite its simplicity, especially with a hamster behind the steering wheel. The only thing I really regretted is the lack of LEGO whitewall tires, and the difficulty in trying to make some. I have experimented with paint and stickers, but to no avail.

Work in progress photos:

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Media coverage:

8 studs (Polish)

Categories: Cars Tags: , ,
  1. Ev3fan
    August 15th, 2014 at 20:41 | #1

    Wow it’s so beautiful! I think the one thing that indicates a builders expertize the most is the ability to build really beautiful models.

  2. Witherley
    April 23rd, 2014 at 09:22 | #2

    Now all we need is suspension! πŸ˜€

  3. July 5th, 2013 at 17:55 | #3

    I’ve said that least 4839249 times. SCK was here

  4. Jake
    June 27th, 2013 at 20:04 | #4

    I wish I had all the lego I wanted so I could make awesome models like this

  5. Jake
    June 27th, 2013 at 19:59 | #5

    Awesome. I saw the video about it. Ur hamster was funny I like it when u use him/her in your videos. Overall nicely detailed too

  6. Sariel
    April 7th, 2013 at 20:35 | #6

    Wow, it does look good in black πŸ™‚

  7. efjie
  8. efjie
    March 27th, 2013 at 11:02 | #8


    work in progress πŸ˜‰

  9. Sariel
    March 25th, 2013 at 21:23 | #9

    Thanks! Looking good πŸ™‚ I’m still hoping to see a black version.

  10. efjie
  11. Sariel
    March 21st, 2013 at 22:28 | #11

    Thank you. Feel free to share some pics of your build, for example at Eurobricks.

  12. efjie
    March 21st, 2013 at 21:36 | #12

    wondeful car!
    much more beautiful in reality than in picture: I made it with your instructions ! it’s amazing !
    thanks merci

  13. Sariel
    March 4th, 2013 at 10:58 | #13

    Use short sections of pneumatic hose. You can see these on photos, I missed then in the instruction, sorry.

  14. Kurt
    March 4th, 2013 at 09:30 | #14

    Hi Sariel, well done! But how did you build the windshield? I can’t find out how you connected the window bars at the sides although I carefully watched the video and studied the parts list and the manual. Thank you for your answer!

  15. Sariel
    February 18th, 2013 at 19:41 | #15

    Can’t you just use standard LEGO piston and engine pieces? You know, like these: http://img.auctiva.com/imgdata/1/5/2/2/2/0/0/webimg/460051167_o.jpg

  16. February 18th, 2013 at 18:38 | #16

    Absolutely divine. I have one question also. Do you know how to make a inline three cylinder out of normal lego engine pieces?

  17. Sariel
    February 15th, 2013 at 12:22 | #17

    Thank you. This is a complete list of parts, there are no “other ones”. Yes, there are 3 motors in the first WIP photo – and not in the video – because they were later removed. If Work In Progress photos shown 3 motors and final photos show 2, I think it’s clear what happened.
    All the information you need is either in the video or in the instruction. Just read & watch carefully.

  18. Filipe
    February 15th, 2013 at 11:42 | #18



    Thank you for your reply. Yes of course the remote is obvious, but for a rookie like me a list of parts “essentially complete” is not enought to build a monster like this one. I really would like to have a Complete list of parts” and I dont mean with remote πŸ™‚ but the other ones… Do you have one complete?

    The part with the tape design I must had confused with another one When I was creating my wanted list on Bricklink…

    About the motors I was mention your first photo on “Work in progress photos” section. It seems to have 3 motors…

    Thank you for the Chrome information.

    Apart this, I would like to tell you that this is one of the most beautifull models I saw in Lego and that you are in fact a master builder.

  19. Sariel
    February 14th, 2013 at 23:52 | #19

    The parts list is essentially complete. I don’t know where you’ve seen some tile with a tape design – sure there is none in this model, and using the remote is kind of obvious, isn’t it?
    There is no way any video shows 3 motors in this model, because there are just 2.
    As for chromed pieces – kindly read 3:17 in the video.

  20. Filipe
    February 14th, 2013 at 23:38 | #20

    Congratulations on this model. It is really a beauty piece of art.
    I was trying to build it and to begin I download a part list I found on your website. File name is “Parts List for mb540_BI_partslist_mpd”.

    Can I ask you, this part list is complete? I analyze it and it seems to miss some parts as for example the light bluish gray 3069 tile with the tape design. And where is the remote control?

    Also you have a video where you use 3 motors on this model but the instructions on PDF just show two motors.

    Other thing is the chrome bricks. O know we can substitute some of them by gray color, but I would like to have them all chrome like the original model. The fact is that I cant find them on Bricklink or in any other part of the world… did you chrome them yourself?

    Can you help me on this? I need to do it :))

  21. Sariel
    February 1st, 2013 at 22:48 | #21

    @Chris Bolton
    Yeah, thanks, but I’m afraid that no contest is going to make me start using Flickr.

  22. February 1st, 2013 at 22:46 | #22

    I would like to encourage you to enter the Tennessee Valley LEGO Club’s February 2013 contest of “Rides, Roads and Rods: A Tribute to Car Culture!” (http://www.flickr.com/groups/tnvlc_feb2013_contest). You obviously have an eye for cars and detail and we would love to see what you come up with for the contest.

  23. Sariel
    January 27th, 2013 at 09:07 | #23

    @tony stone
    Yes, probably.

  24. tony stone
    January 27th, 2013 at 04:27 | #24

    oh, ok. well say if you were able to, would you?

  25. Sariel
    January 26th, 2013 at 08:48 | #25

    @Tony Stone
    No, it’s too small.

  26. Tony Stone
    January 26th, 2013 at 05:54 | #26

    Hey, is it possible to make the car have full or even pendular suspension?

  27. Sariel
    January 19th, 2013 at 20:47 | #27

    That’s because the platform isn’t part of the model.

  28. January 19th, 2013 at 19:41 | #28

    The video features this car on an awesome rotating platform, but I didn’t see that part in the instructions PDF. Are there instructions for this somewhere else, or more pictures or information? Thanks, and great builds!

  29. Sariel
    January 14th, 2013 at 16:58 | #29

    @Tony Stone
    Read 3:17 in the video.

  30. Tony Stone
    January 14th, 2013 at 16:01 | #30

    Where did you get the chrome peices? Also, do you know of any problems with the PF reciever

  31. December 25th, 2012 at 03:58 | #31

    cool! hope lego make this to real set!

  32. Spitfire Fan
    December 17th, 2012 at 17:21 | #32

    On of the best things you ever builded! Good Job! I LOVE it πŸ˜€

  33. Sariel
    December 16th, 2012 at 09:59 | #33

    At Bricklink, you can purchase anything separately.

  34. December 16th, 2012 at 00:19 | #34

    You did a nice job on the car! I noticed in the pics you integrated the new PF motors. Do you know if I can purchase the motors “separately” from the set 9398, or do I have to buy the actual set to get the NEW motors? I am really looking forward to getting my hands on them! You are lucky to have the set and motors:)

  35. Sariel
    December 15th, 2012 at 08:21 | #35

    I got them at Bricklink, and I used the right pieces for the body.

  36. December 15th, 2012 at 03:50 | #36

    love it all your projects – in this roadster – where did you get these cool wheels also how to make Curved body design?

  37. jimmy3
    December 14th, 2012 at 02:36 | #37

    well a 1930’s model. wow interesting body style!

  38. Motor
    December 14th, 2012 at 02:36 | #38

    it sure is fast with the L motor it looks good with the chrome pieces.

  39. Mike
    December 14th, 2012 at 00:16 | #39

    πŸ˜€ Noodles
    The car looks so… elegant while driving.

  40. Mike
    December 14th, 2012 at 00:07 | #40

    Astonishing πŸ™‚
    I noticed in the last picture (blueprint) that the original had independent from suspension? In the thirties. Wow.
    Great build on great inspiration.
    Gotta love the hamsters πŸ™‚

  41. gabry
    December 13th, 2012 at 19:18 | #41

    Well, simply… awesomeness!! Great job Sariel, you’re a “BOSS”!!

  42. Sariel
    December 13th, 2012 at 16:31 | #42

    No, the differential position does not have an effect. There are real-life cars where differential is moved to a side too: http://www.allpar.com/photos/dodge/trucks/power-wagon/differential.jpg

  43. grag
    December 13th, 2012 at 15:12 | #43

    hi, love the mercedes, i noticed that the differential is not mounted in the center of the rear axle, it is to one side (the right side i believe) this means the axles from the differential are different lengths, i was wondering if this affects the vehicles turning circle? does it turn in a smaller radius in a right turn than a left turn? or does the differentials position have no effect at all? thank you!

  44. Sariel
    December 13th, 2012 at 09:15 | #44

    That’s a typo, I corrected it.

  45. Qwertyuiop
    December 13th, 2012 at 02:45 | #45

    Also, in the datasheet you said there is two PF L motors for propulsion, but in the description and video there is only one. Did you originally plan to use two or is that a mistake?

  46. Qwertyuiop
    December 13th, 2012 at 02:39 | #46

    Great work, as per usual! I love seeing such detailed bodywork made with studded pieces – it really shows that there are truly no limits to LEGO.

  47. JJ
    December 12th, 2012 at 23:37 | #47

    Wow! Thats a fantastic design!

  1. December 13th, 2012 at 09:46 | #1
  2. January 23rd, 2014 at 12:39 | #2