- Photos by Bring A Trailer

This legendary classic Mercedes has me at full mast

2w ago

25.5K

Imagine being the eccentric guy or gal who thinks, "Man, f**k recessions," and wins the bid on this 64-year old piece of vintage motoring. It's gonna happen quite soon as this 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing hits the virtual auction block on Bring A Trailer over the next several days, and I'm honestly ecstatic to see it happen.

The W198 300SL Gullwing was a two-seat sports car produced from 1954 to 1957 and succeeded by a roadster variant from 1957 to 1963. During its time, it was one of the fastest cars in the world with a 3.0L, 215 hp, mechanically fuel-injected inline-six propelling it to a top speed of 163 mph. Based on the W194 race car and built on a light tubular frame, the 300SL became a road racing icon participating in the Mille Miglia and Carrera Pan-Americana. In December of 1999, it was voted as "Sports Car of the Century," by a collective of auto journalists... Or so Mercedes says.

This has to be one of the most beautiful designs of all time.

This has to be one of the most beautiful designs of all time.

This beautifully-restored example is one of approximately 1,400 Gullwings produced with the current seller having acquired it in 2014. Originally painted in Grauphitgrau (graphite gray), the car was once repainted in silver. A restoration project spanning from 2014 to 2016, however, saw the car repainted in its original gray color. Color-matched 15" knock-off wheels on Michelin tires were also added. The restoration was reportedly done by Rudi & Company and Coachwerks Restoration of Victoria, British Columbia where the car currently resides.

The metalwork glistens like jewelry, and the plaid seats are a charming touch.

The metalwork glistens like jewelry, and the plaid seats are a charming touch.

The interior can reportedly be had with two sets of seat cushions, one set upholstered in light gray leather and one in red plaid cloth. The dash was reupholstered in leather and accented by body-colored inserts. A neat piece of modernity that is sure to infuriate some classic car purists, the Becker Mexico radio is said to also feature a Bluetooth adapter.

This stout inline-six enabled the 300SL Gullwing to become the fastest production car of its time, perhaps the McLaren F1 of the 50s.

This stout inline-six enabled the 300SL Gullwing to become the fastest production car of its time, perhaps the McLaren F1 of the 50s.

The 3.0L M198 six-cylinder engine was rebuilt during the extensive restoration with Rudi & Company said to have performed a subsequent 700 kilometer break-in and Coachwerks Restoration to have performed the maintenance. The motor is mated to a four-speed manual, and the original 3.64:1 final-drive was changed to 3.25:1. The shops performing the work appear to have done an impeccable job during the two-year restoration, and the engine bay, undercarriage, and suspension components show no signs of wear or sloppy craftsmanship.

Those who say cars can't be art are probably mouth breathers that pour their milk before their cereal.

Those who say cars can't be art are probably mouth breathers that pour their milk before their cereal.

At the time of writing, there stands nine days left on the listing with the current bid at a totally affordable $1.3 million. Matching luggage, a build sheet, and extra wheels are included in the sale. One of the most beautiful designs and coveted cars of all time, it's surreal to even see one in pictures let alone watch it come up for sale. The miles racked on the odometer, although small, and the need for restoration imply this car lived its life as a driver's tool, not some mere showpiece. An honorable way to treat a sports car legend, and one can only hope the next owner will have the same philosophy. Gullwings were built to be driven after all.

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Comments (15)

  • it must be sell a gullwing year.

    I know of at least 5 of these on the market right now.

    One is an all original all documentation to new for $1m so that would be my first choice.

    Maybe the market is expected to crash so richies are unloading assets right now?

      11 days ago
  • The one real-world image I have of a 300SL Gullwing, was the Summer of 1979, driving my recently acquired Scirocco west on Ventura Blvd in Encino, SoCal.

    Out of the heat haze

    (It was probably close to 100) I see this apparition...

    a Gullwing driving west....with the driver’s door full open. Unusual even for LA.

      8 days ago
    • I am equally as intrigued by a Scirocco. I don’t see those around either.

        8 days ago
    • Not many 42 year old cars still on the road. Mine, sadly, was T-boned by a pickup truck that blew a stop sign. Totaled.

        8 days ago
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