1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SLSOLD

Gullwing Convertible

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1955 Mercedes 300 SL GULLWING Chassis No. 1980405500656 Engine No. 5500704 History of 1980405500656 This car was purchased new from Mercedes on August 26th 1955 by Heinrich Schmid in Germany. In 1964 George Brown in partnership with James Palmer purchased the car from Mr. Schmid. At that time the car only had 19,000K of use. Palmer and Brown dissolved their partnership in June of 1964 and Mr. Palmer became the sole owner of the car. He kept the car in Germany for the next 6 months with the intention of selling it, but fell in love with the car and had it shipped home to New Jersey. In 1982 Mr. Palmer commissioned Precision Autoworks of Camden New Jersey to undertake a complete cosmetic restoration of the car. The car was completed in 1984. It has been shown a number times since its restoration winning it's class at the 1985 Gathering of Friends Concours D' Elegance and taking 3rd in the “Show Gullwing” class at the 1989 Gullwing Group Convention in Dearborn. Mr. Palmer sold the car to a collector in 2001. The car currently has just 49,635K (30,774 miles) of total use from new. The car is a number matching car in Concours condition and includes the optional factory luggage, complete tool kit, and belly pans. This car is currently undergoing a complete mechanical inspection and service of all drivetrain, suspension, electrical and control systems. When completed it will also receive a full cosmetic detail to Concours specifications. General History of the 300SL Introduced at the 1954 New York Auto Show—unlike previous models introduced at either the Frankfurt or Geneva shows. The 300SL was best known for both its distinctive gullwing doors and for being the first-ever gasoline-powered car equipped with fuel injection directly into the combustion chamber. The gullwing version was available from March 1955 to 1957. In Mercedes-Benz fashion, the “300” referred to the engine's cylinder displacement, in this case, three liters. The “SL” stood for “Sport Leicht” or “Sport Light.” The gullwing doors, hinged at the roof and so named because the open doors resembled a bird's outstretched wings, were implemented as such to accommodate for the car's tubular chassis, designed by DBAG's chief developing engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut. Part of the chassis passed through what would be the lower half of a standard door. This tubular chassis was a necessity, as the original car was designed solely for racing and needed to be as light as possible due to the rather underpowered original, carbureted, engine, while still providing a high level of strength. This required the driver and any passengers to do some gymnastics to get in or out of the car, usually by sitting on and sliding across the wide door sill. A steering wheel with a tilt-away column made the process considerably easier. It was Max Hoffman, Daimler-Benz's official importer in the USA, who convinced DBAG management in Stuttgart that a street version of the 300SL would be a commercial success, especially in the US. Hoffman's prediction was correct since more than 80% of the vehicle's total production of approximately 1400 units were sold in the US, making the Gullwing the first Mercedes-Benz which sold in bulk outside its home market. The 300SL is credited for changing the company's image in America from a manufacturer of solid, but staid, automobiles to that of a producer of sporty cars. -
Color: Black
Interior: Red
Body Type: Convertible
Engine: V6
Fuel Type: Gasoline
Options: AM/FM

Reference Number 40511

as of 3/12/2009

Overview
Car 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL
VIN 1980405500656 
Exterior / Interior Color      Black /      Red 
Condition Pristine 
Mileage 30,774 miles 
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Known History

Preowned