1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing” Coupé (W198)SOLD

RM Vintage Motorcars in Arizona - Biltmore Resort & Spa, Friday January 19, 2007

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ESTIMATE: $400,000 - $450,000

$451,000 Sold

240hp 2,996 cc overhead cam inline six-cylinder engine with four-speed manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 94.5"

Like most of industrial Germany, Allied bombing during the Second World War had decimated Mercedes-Benz ’ s facilities. It is a testament to the capability of the company that in just a few years, Mercedes mounted a racing campaign with a brand new race car, the 300 SLR, that was so good the factory team won all but one or two races (and they won every important one). It is this record that is responsible in large part for 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 race track, 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.

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.

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. Born as a solution to a constraint imposed by the car ’ s light tubular frame, the Gullwing doors became the car ’ s visual signature. It is this combination of an impeccable bloodline, outstanding engineering and striking design that has made the 300SL so highly prized by collectors today.

At a time when most sports cars were flimsy handmade affairs, the 300SL felt as if it was carved from a solid block. Where others had quirky styling, the 300SL Gullwing was beautiful from any angle. When others had carburetors, solid rear axles, and pushrod engines, the 300SL offered fuel injection, independent rear suspension and an overhead camshaft.

The 300SL Roadster we have the pleasure of presenting at the 2007 Arizona Biltmore auction is an outstanding car that was ordered from the factory with the special “ Sport ” or “ NSL ” engine, which developed approximately 240 horsepower utilizing a special camshaft, increased timing as well as an R3 Bosch Fuel Injection pump. Additionally, records indicate this Gullwing was also equipped with Rudge wheels, a 3.64 rear axle and a Nardi tilt wood wheel and was originally finished in DB 534: Fire Engine Red with black leather interior. This unique special order example was first purchased by racing enthusiast Mogie Adams, who reportedly campaigned the Gullwing in Club and SCCA sanctioned events throughout the late 1950s. The current vendor reports the car to be only three owners from new and has owned the car for a number of years. Prior to his ownership, the Mercedes underwent a full restoration in which the car was repainted in the original color scheme and trimmed with the appropriate black leather interior. At the time, the car was mechanically restored by Reimschuessesl ’ s with work including all new belts, hoses, NOS Koni shocks, a complete brake system rebuild, new tires, restored wheels and a new racing harness. Notably, the Gullwing retains its original belly pans and has been equipped with a new set of fitted luggage. The vendor also reports the Gullwing shows approximately 74,000 miles, which is believed to be from new.

The lovely Gullwing we have the distinction of offering here is a highly desirable and rare model that has benefited from sympathetic and thoughtful care throughout its ownership and it shows. As a very correct example complete with many of the hard to find amenities and options, we encourage close inspection and consideration of this exemplary German sports car.

Reference Number 5852

as of 1/10/2007

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Car 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing” Coupé (W198)
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