1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL GullwingSOLD

Gooding & Company Classic Car Auctions

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To be sold at the Gooding & Company Amelia Island Auction on March 9, 2012. For further details please visit www.goodingco.com or contact a vehicle specialist at 001.310.899.1960. Engine Specifications: 2,996 CC SOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine Bosch Mechanical Fuel Injection 215 BHP at 6,500 RPM 4-Speed Manual Transmission 4-Wheel Drum Brakes Independent Double-Wishbone Front Suspension Independent Swing-Axle Rear Suspension About this Car: By 1951, Mercedes-Benz was ready to take back its place at the top of the market. After the humble four-cylinder 170 models stimulated a post-war market reentry for Mercedes-Benz, the grand six-cylinder 300 models were a return to the handcrafted luxury limousines and touring cars for which they were known. This was followed by a return to racing, where the company?s ?Silver Arrows? had performed impressively before the war. They competed in an equally successful manner, both in the new Grand Prix Championship and in sports car racing where the 300 SL swept many of the most important races of the 1952 season. Mercedes had no intention of producing their competition cars for the street, but visionary US distributor Max Hoffman had other ideas. He challenged the factory with the belief that he could sell a road-going version of the 300 SL to his wealthy American clientele and, in 1954, the 300 SL ? nicknamed ?Gullwing? for its upward- opening doors ? made its world debut at the International Motor Sports Show in New York. When introduced to a wider audience, the Gullwing not only became a hit on the boulevards of America, but on its racetracks as well. Production ran from August 1954 until May 1957, by which time the 300 SL Roadster had been introduced as a replacement. According to the Mercedes-Benz factory build sheets, the Gullwing presented here, 6500044, left the factory on February 29, 1956, destined for the Mercedes-Benz agency in Paris, France, and outfitted with desirable Rudge wheels, a rare performance-oriented factory option. It was finished in the popular color of Silver Gray Metallic over a black leather interior and gray carpets, noted on the build sheets as a special-option interior package. The new Gullwing was fitted with sealed-beam headlamps, a hazard flasher system and windshield-washer arrangement. It would have been a rare sight to see a Gullwing on the French autoroutes, as most of the 300 SLs were exported to the US when new. In 1968, 6500044 was purchased by the consignor and became part of a pioneering collection in the New York area that focused on Mercedes-Benz and other German motorcars. It has remained in the same ownership ever since, carefully maintained in a heated and dry collection facility alongside other 300 SLs and several other fine German cars. When acquired in 1968, 6500044 was still in its original Silver Gray Metallic livery and retained its original interior. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the Gullwing was used sparingly for special events. In 1985, 6500044 was entrusted to Lordship Restorations in Stratford, Connecticut, for a thorough cosmetic and mechanical overhaul, and an exterior color change to the current red. Shortly after the restoration, the newly overhauled Gullwing traveled the Northeast show circuit, winning First Place at both the New Hope, Pennsylvania, and Bridgeport, Connecticut, car shows. Today, 6500044 remains a well-cared-for example of the classic 300 SL Gullwing. The car shows an inviting patina inside and out, with good fit and finish. Inside, the correct VDO instruments, switches and trim pieces are present, as are the ivory steering wheel and gear knob. Thanks to limited ownership, good upkeep and careful preservation, 6500044 still retains its original matching-numbers engine and belly pans. Additionally, a tool kit, books and a copy of the factory build sheets accompany the car. It is undeniable that the 300 SL Gullwing is a true ?blue-chip? collectible. Their intelligent engineering and iconic design are recognized by sophisticated collectors the world over, and their eligibility in the top concours and driving events ensures ownership to be active and rewarding. Offered here is a chance to buy a Gullwing that has had only one owner for the past 43 years and, with its factory-delivered Rudge wheels and matching-numbers engine still in place, 6500044 deserves serious consideration.

Reference Number 164032

as of 3/13/2012

Overview
Car 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing
VIN 198.040.6500044 
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