Upping the ante in the 1930s horsepower race, Mercedes-Benz designers introduced the 8-cylinder 500K (for Kompressor, or supercharger) model in 1934. The supercharger boosted power from 100 hp to 160 hp, and the external exhausts set the style that would carry the company through the rest of the decade. Two years later, the 5.4-liter 540K model ...

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