Mercedes Benz 300SL Roadster
In the early 1950’s Mercedes Benz made a return to racing with their W194 series 300SL. The success of these cars prompted Mercedes Benz to build a road going version and in 1954 the incredible Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing was introduced. The Gullwing was really a race car for the road and due to market pressure the more refined 300SL Roadster was introduced in 1957. The Roadster has sat in the shadows of its ‘big brother’ Gullwing for many years, however, history shows that the Roadster with 1,858 cars built (from 1954-1963) was more popular in its day than the Gullwing with 1,400 cars built (from 1957-1963).
Today many purists prefer the Roadster over the Gullwing and an article in the December 2011 issue of Thoroughbred & Classic Cars magazine comparing the Gullwing and the Roadster John Simister states “ . . . as standard, however, the Roadster is the more readily usable, more civilised car. It is one for the road trips, while the Gullwing is for indulging in historic motorsport. Objectively the Roadster is the better machine”.
Mercedes Benz 300SL Roadster
Chassis number: 198042-10-002535
Engine number: 198580-10-02594
We are delighted to offer this absolutely fabulous matching numbers Mercedes Benz 300SL Roadster. This car has been restored to USA concours standards and is something very very special. It has a rare factory hard top, soft top, celebrity ownership, known history from new, books and tools!
This car was originally purchased in London by the famous English comedian/actor Tony Hancock. The car, then registered as YYU 565, is photographed in the book “Classic Cars – A Celebration of the Motor Car from 1945-1975” by Martin Buckley (page 188) and the caption describes Mr & Mrs Hancock’s ‘new car’ as it is being unloaded from the front of a cargo plane!
The car was then sold to a Mr Lockley-Cook in 1964 and it was purchased from his estate and imported into Australia in 1982 by one of this country’s leading car collectors. The car was then sold into Melbourne in 1991 (and at that time had travelled ~ 64,000 miles) before being acquired by the current owner on the 20th November 1995 (and at that time had travelled ~ 67,000 miles).
The current owner enjoyed the car for some two years before embarking on a comprehensive nut and bolt concours restoration. The work was completed by Sleeping Beauties in Brisbane (Queensland, Australia) a company renowned for exhibiting high quality restored cars at Pebble Beach.
The restoration was completed circa 2000 and the car today presents like new . . . period! The odometer reads 70,802 miles and the car is lightly exercised every month or so. Whilst at home the car sits under a car cover and has been so meticulously cared for the owner proudly states . . . “my car has never been driven on wet roads and never needed to be washed as its maintenance has only ever required compressed air cleaning and hand polishing”!
The car is finished in a fabulous colour combination of anthracite metallic with a burgundy leather interior. The car features a rare factory hard top, black folding soft top, original Becker radio, Michelin tyres, complete tool kit, owner’s manual and parts manual. The car is also fitted with reproduction Rudge wheels. A massive history file also accompanies the car.
The owner chose to fit a tri-spoke wooden steering wheel and a wooden gear knob to the car during the restoration, however, the original steering wheel and gear knob (both fully restored) and side mirror accompany the car.
During the restoration the car was converted to right hand drive to ensure it is a more usable classic in Australia, however, if its new owner required the car can be easily converted back to left hand drive.
The Mercedes Benz 300SL Roadster is one of the most iconic cars ever built and they are becoming highly sought after by serious car collectors and enthusiasts the world over. The recent sale of a similar car at the Gooding& Company Scottsdale Auction on the 18th Janaury 2013 for a staggering US$1.54 million is a testament to this!
It would be hard to find a better example of this immaculately maintained, highly desirable classic. There is no doubt this fabulous vehicle is one of the best presented Mercedes Benz 300SL Roadsters in the world.
This is a very rare car in Australia and hence presents a unique opportunity.
- Mercedes Benz 300SL Roadster
- 70,802 miles
- 2996 cc