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  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
  • 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster


1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

Lot No. 557

Auctioned on Saturday, April 1, 2017

Sold for $1,200,000

  • Late production model with factory disc brakes
  • Restored by Miami’s noted Vantage Motorworks
  • One of just 26 built for the final year of 300 SL production


Documentation

At the behest of now-legendary American importer Max Hoffman, Mercedes-Benz engineers and designers in Germany created a road-going version of the W194 300SL racing car that dominated the 1952 racing season. Adapting the race model’s tubular space frame chassis into grand touring road use was no minor achievement, but it paid off: the ‘Gullwing’ Coupe with its distinctive top-hinged doors and bubbly body was a hit in the United States, becoming the brand’s first true overseas success story.

It wasn’t just a winner because of the way it looked. The 300SL’s lightweight chassis made the most of its inline six-cylinder engine, which was plucked from Mercedes’ Adenauer sedans but fitted with a highly advanced, Bosch-developed mechanical fuel injection system rather than Solex carburetors. At the end of its short run, the 300SL ‘Gullwing’ Coupe begat a Roadster variant, first shown at the 1957 Geneva motor show. With its folding soft top, the 300SL Roadster was a luxury compared to its counterparts.

The 300SL Roadster utilized front-hinged doors, but it was otherwise fully race-derived and included a higher compression version of the 3.0-liter six-cylinder fitted with a sports camshaft. In 1961, Mercedes-Benz fitted Dunlop’s new disc brakes to the 300SL and beginning a year later an aluminum engine block replaced the previous cast unit.

The 300SL Roadster offered here is from the final year of production, making it one of barely two dozen to leave the factory in 1963. The benefactor of a recent cosmetic restoration by noted, Pebble Beach award-winning shop Vantage Motorworks, this Roadster presents beautifully. Its correct Silver Grey metallic paint has been meticulously applied and, with its black German canvas convertible top lowered, its red leather interior exhibits not a single crease. With the top dropped, a hard red leather boot finishes its profile. European market headlights and polished wheel rims finish out its appearance.

A period Becker AM/FM radio has been fitted to its correct leather-wrapped dashboard. Englebert vintage-style tires wrap its wheels. The 300SL Roadster’s chrome has been refinished throughout and a pair of driving lights flank the enormous three-pointed star integrated into its grille. An English language owner’s manual, full vintage tool kit, jack, and spare wheel and tire are included.

Under the 300SL Roadster’s long hood, its numbers-matching straight six-cylinder engine with cast iron block has been detailed and presents well with limited signs of use. Its correct, and exceptionally rare, disc brakes remain fitted to provide stopping far better than earlier models’ drums. Benefitting from these late production upgrades, the 300SL Roadster offered here makes a rapidly appreciating investment that’s also ready to be driven and enjoyed.


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