1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing” Coupé (W198)SOLD
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Estimate: $550,000-$650,000 US

Offered Without Reserve

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $726,000

Specifications:
225hp, 2,996cc, overhead cam inline six-cylinder, four-speed manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension with four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 94.5"

Like most of industrial Germany, Allied bombing during the Second World War decimated Mercedes-Benz ’ s facilities. It ’ s a testimonial to the capability of the company that in just a few years after the war, Mercedes-Benz mounted a racing campaign with a brand new race car, the 300SLR. The SLR was so good that the factory team won all but a few races (and they won every important one). Their racing performance in this era was so significant that it remains the cornerstone of Mercedes-Benz ’ s performance image today.

Mercedes-Benz was involved in motor sports because of technological benefits it provided for their production cars. In order to capitalize on SL ’ s success on the racetrack, the process of transforming it into a marketable street car began immediately. With some structural changes to improve access through the doors, the addition of fuel injection and improved creature comforts, the new 300SL coupe was born. Launched at the New York Motor Show, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing was the manufacturers ’ answer to American importers ’ growing demand for a street version of their nearly invincible race car. Utilizing Bosch fuel injection and a tubular steel frame, the road version was as spectacular to look at as it was to drive. The 225hp was ample power to satisfy even the most discriminating of buyers; nevertheless, Mercedes built only a meagre 1,400 examples, all of handmade construction.

Introduced as a Gullwing coupe, the legendary 300SL was conceived as a high performance street machine with a thinly veiled racing history. It was fast, solid, and handled well, and it quickly developed an enviable reputation both on the track and in the streets. The Gullwing represents a period of design evolution; since its departure in the late 1950s, many have tried to emulate its design, but none have ever really succeeded. It was a superior car on the track, dominating in a flurry of racing events worldwide, and its adoption into a street car further showed the adaptability of its design into practical uses, which carried on with the 300SL Roadster introduced only a short time later. Some cars are fortunate enough to become icons, and in the collector car world, there is no more immediately recognizable sight than a 300SL with its doors raised. It is this combination of an impeccable bloodline, outstanding engineering and striking design that has made the 300SL so highly prized by collectors today.

The example presented here is beautifully finished in silver with a black leather interior. An inspection of Mercedes-Benz factory build records reveal that this car, serial number 198.0405500409, was order number 664 136 and was completed on June 10, 1955 and shipped to Mercedes-Benz Distributors, Inc. (New York, New York) on June 21, 1955. The original color was DB 180, Silver Gray Metallic, as it is today. The chassis, body and engine numbers are all.

Like most of industrial Germany, Allied bombing during the Second World War decimated Mercedes-Benz ’ s facilities. It ’ s a testimonial to the capability of the company that in just a few years after the war, Mercedes-Benz mounted a racing campaign with a brand new race car, the 300SLR. The SLR was so good that the factory team won all but a few races (and they won every important one). Their racing performance in this era was so significant that it remains the cornerstone of Mercedes-Benz ’ s performance image today.

Mercedes-Benz was involved in motor sports because of technological benefits it provided for their production cars. In order to capitalize on SL ’ s success on the racetrack, the process of transforming it into a marketable street car began immediately. With some structural changes to improve access through the doors, the addition of fuel injection and improved creature comforts, the new 300SL coupe was born. Launched at the New York Motor Show, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing was the manufacturers ’ answer to American importers ’ growing demand for a street version of their nearly invincible race car. Utilizing Bosch fuel injection and a tubular steel frame, the road version was as spectacular to look at as it was to drive. The 225hp was ample power to satisfy even the most discriminating of buyers; nevertheless, Mercedes built only a meagre 1,400 examples, all of handmade construction.

Introduced as a Gullwing coupe, the legendary 300SL was conceived as a high performance street machine with a thinly veiled racing history. It was fast, solid, and handled well, and it quickly developed an enviable reputation both on the track and in the streets. The Gullwing represents a period of design evolution; since its departure in the late 1950s, many have tried to emulate its design, but none have ever really succeeded. It was a superior car on the track, dominating in a flurry of racing events worldwide, and its adoption into a street car further showed the adaptability of its design into practical uses, which carried on with the 300SL Roadster introduced only a short time later. Some cars are fortunate enough to become icons, and in the collector car world, there is no more immediately recognizable sight than a 300SL with its doors raised. It is this combination of an impeccable bloodline, outstanding engineering and striking design that has made the 300SL so highly prized by collectors today.

The example presented here is beautifully finished in silver with a black leather interior. An inspection of Mercedes-Benz factory build records reveal that this car, serial number 198.0405500409, was order number 664 136 and was completed on June 10, 1955 and shipped to Mercedes-Benz Distributors, Inc. (New York, New York) on June 21, 1955. The original color was DB 180, Silver Gray Metallic, as it is today. The chassis, body and engine numbers are all.

Reference Number 11611

as of 7/24/2007

Overview
Car 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing” Coupé (W198)
VIN 5500409 
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