Genewa rok 1957, na stoisku Mercedesa pojawia się młodszy i bardziej wyrafinowany brat legendarnego Gullwinga. 300 SL o odkrytym nadwoziu miał za zadanie zaspokoić rynkowy popyt na luksusowe, szybkie i piękne samochody. Już wtedy nie było wątpliwości co do osiągów 300 SL, które zostały jeszcze ulepszone w roadsterze. Z sześciocylindrowym silnikiem z wyścigowego Gullwinga, w którym moc została podniesiona o dodatkowe 20 KM, jego osiągi przyprawiały o zawrót głowy. Z poprawionym, tylnym zawieszeniem o obniżonym środku ciężkości, wyeliminowany został problem nadsterowności Gullwinga. Oszałamiająco luksusowy charakter i dobre właściwości jezdne przyciągały klientów na całym świecie. Przepiękny okaz Mercedesa 300 SL Roadster w amerykańskiej specyfikacji, z dodatkowym hardtopem, a także z radiem Becker Mexico z adapterem Reims III, dostarczony został 18 lipca 1960 roku do dystrybutora w Panamie. Samochód po pełnej renowacji, wykończony w kolorze Medium Blue z beżowym wnętrzem, jest uznawany za jeden z najpiękniejszych na świecie. Wyceniony na 1,25 – 1,5 miliona dolarów, czyli około 4,5 – 5,4 milionów złotych, wylicytowany został za 1,375 miliona USD.
18-19 August 2017
1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster
Chassis no. 198.042.10.002607
Engine no. 198.980.10.002663
Body no. 198.042.10.00118
$1,250,000 – $1,500,000
To be auctioned on Saturday, August 19, 2017
Please note that Internet bidding is not available for this lot. Interested parties that are unable to attend the sale may register to bid by telephone or place a commission bid online at rmsothebys.com.
One of the finest 300 SL roadsters available
Immaculate, documented restoration by West Coast 300 SL experts
Three-time concours Best in Class winner
Original matching-numbers drivetrain
Includes correct tool set, owner’s manual, and set of matching fitted luggage
At the 1957 Geneva Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz introduced a new version of the celebrated 300 SL wearing open coachwork, the 300 SL roadster. In an early suggestion of the increasing focus the manufacturer would place on luxury cars over the ensuing decades, the new roadster was above all a more refined car than its gull-winged predecessor.
There was no denying the 300 SL’s mechanical performance, which had decidedly improved in the roadster, with the updated six-cylinder engine receiving the competition camshaft used in the NSL racing Gullwings, good for a lift of 20 horsepower. Handling also benefited from a revised rear suspension with a lower axle pivot-point, minimizing the Gullwing’s tendency for oversteer. Despite the added weight of chassis reinforcement required by an open model, the roadster was every bit the performance car that the Gullwing had proven itself to be.
The roadster’s overwhelmingly luxurious character, however, generally obscured its performance capabilities. With a reclining soft top, the model was never subject to the stuffy cabin issues that beguiled the Gullwing, and the roadster’s redesigned tube frame afforded lower door sills, facilitating far easier access than the Gullwing’s challenging ingress and egress.
Interestingly, the Mercedes-Benz data card, which is on file, notes that this particular car was originally delivered on 18 July 1960, to the distributor in Panama! It was equipped to American specifications with English instruments, sealed-beam headlights, a removable hardtop, black soft top, and Becker Mexico radio with a Reims III adapter. Previous owners are noted in the Gull Wing Group’s Roadster Registry as Fred Di Girato, in 1974, and Ronald Kellogg of Whittier, California, in 1975. Later it was acquired by John Sorrell of Santa Barbara, then by the current owner nearly a decade ago.
In its current tenure the car was fully restored by Classic European of Vista, California, with extensive mechanical work by longtime Gull Wing Group member Steve Marx of Costa Mesa, who rebuilt the brakes, valvetrain, cooling system, transmission, rear axle, and clutch. Cosmetic work was performed by the noted Hjeltness Restoration in Escondido, including a refitted top, panel gap adjustments, and new show-quality chrome. The body is finished in Medium Blue (DB 350), with a matching factory-correct hardtop and blue soft top, and a correct beige interior. Inspection of the numbers notes that gearbox and engine both match the Mercedes-Benz data card. “Euro” headlights, widely considered more attractive than the U.S.-specification versions, were fitted.
Since completion of the restoration, the car has been very well maintained, with light driving about once a month to maintain it in good running order. A consummate showpiece, it has been exhibited three times, at the Palos Verdes Concours in 2013 and 2016, and the Los Angeles Concours d’Elegance in 2009, winning Best in Class at all three events. No expense was spared in making the car one of the best 300 SL roadsters in existence, and then to keep it that way. Further, the car is accompanied by thorough documentation of the restoration work, detailed down to receipts for many of the necessary parts. It is also complete with a correct tool set, owner’s manual, two catalogues, a tonneau cover, and a two-piece set of matching fitted luggage.
An exceptional 300 SL roadster, this car is deserving of the most distinguished collection.