As one of the greatest sports cars of the 1950s and virtually anyone’s top list of greatest automobiles of all time, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe is automobile royalty amongst the wealthiest celebrities of its time. Today, the car finds itself among the most valued and collectable sports cars to exist.
The Mercedes-Benz 300SL boasts a triumphant legacy of victories at world famous and distinguished races such as the Mille Miglia, Monza, the Nurburgring, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the direct descendant of the Mercedes-Benz Le Mans W194 competition coupe, race endurance was built into the DNA of 300SL.
Auto entrepreneur Max Hoffman then urged Mercedes-Benz to build a commercial sports car based on the original racing 300SL, and the 300SL Gullwing coupe was born, unveiled at the New York International Motor Sports Show in early February 1954 with production beginning that fall. The coupe iteration sported a different look from the race versions, featuring Bosch direct fuel injection. About 1,400 Gullwings were delivered to their owners between 1954 and 1957.
It Is A Time Capsule
“This exceptional 300SL Gullwing stands out and is among the finest preserved examples Bonhams have ever had the pleasure to offer.” – Bonhams
Built in July 1955, this exceptional 300SL Gullwing remains in mint condition today, with its exteriors in stealth colour DB 40 Black and interior in code 1079 Red, both of which were the same exact original finishes since its advent. Moreover, this Gullwing coupe possesses a “Special Order” factory remark, fitted with Rudge wheels.
The car was first owned by a New Yorker, who kept it in pristine condition, until 1967, when it was to come under the current ownership for the next 50 years. The current owner was to pamper the car, clocking in just 58,714 miles till today. It has never been restored, and save for a few inconspicuos door dings and light aging, 300SL experts have only been floored by the extraordinary condition of the vintage coupe.
As Bonhams put it, this Gullwing coupe is not a “Barn Find” but truly a “Time Capsule”. The outstanding Gullwing is one of the most well-preserved piece of history in its original, unrestored glory and will show in Preservation Class at the Concours d’Elegance events around the world.
The 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe will be up for bidding at the Quail Lodge Auction on 24 August 2018, and is expected to go for US$1.25-1.5 million.