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Extremely Rare -- Original Factory Black exterior / Red leather interior
Numbers matching: engine, trans, body, chassis, rear axle
Ground-up restoration completed in 2022 by noted restorer, Bob Platz
Including books, tools, jack, spare wheel/tire
The 300 SL made its racing début in the 1952 Mille Miglia, placing second and fourth overall, which attributed to it becoming the preferred car for many Mille rallies to come. It was developed to lead Mercedes Benz' comeback to competitiveness in the post-war era. Following victories in the Carrera Pan-Americana and at Le Mans, the 300 SL was on its way to becoming a legend in the world of motorsport. Max Hoffman, the North American importer for Mercedes-Benz, thought there would be a demand for a road-going version and was able to persuade the factory that such a car would be a hit.
The 300 SL Coupé was undoubtedly a tough act to follow, but the Roadster model, which was unveiled just three years later, managed to outperform its closed cousin's already excellent driving dynamics. The 300 SL Roadster was originally displayed at the Geneva Salon in May 1957 and became an instant favorite with the 'jet set' of the 1950s, which included royalty, celebrities, and socialites. In order to create an open 300SL, the cockpit's spaceframe had to be modified, allowing for lower sills for easier access. At the same time, low-pivot swing axles were added to the rear suspension. Although it cost more than a Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder, the 300 SL Roadster did well in sales and would outlive the 300 SL Coupé by a few years.
In its 1958 road test, Road & Track lavishly praised the Roadster's balanced steering characteristics, writing, "With the low-pivot rear suspension and stickier tires, the car handles admirably under all situations." The gull-wing vehicles, which tended to oversteer very violently if pushed too aggressively, have been greatly improved. The 300 SL Roadster was one of the quickest convertibles of its era with a 0-60 mph time just under 8 seconds and a top speed of well over 130 mph. The 300 SL Roadster is the fully evolved version of the 300 SL and is a truly superb dual-purpose sports vehicle, exhibiting drivability equally in traffic, on the open road, or on the track, according to R&T, which is still true today. After 1,858 automobiles, roadster manufacture ended in 1963, which made existing models today highly sought after and extremely rare.
For this specific example, 2016 marked the beginning of an extensive, no-expense-spared ground-up restoration that spanned over the course of 6 years by noted restorer Bob Platz (completed mid-2022). During this comprehensive process, all parts of the vehicle were assessed and reconditioned. This includes but isn’t limited to the engine, transmission, suspension, wheels, body, and interior. Over $825k of invoices detailing all aspects of the restoration are included with the sale of the vehicle.
What you have in front of you is one of the most beautiful examples of a 300 SL. Bruce Canepa said himself that when the vehicle arrived, it completely fulfilled his expectations as he is no stranger to Bob Platz’s amazing work. Even so, this 300 SL was put through our Canepa Difference process where Bruce test drove the car and had our team fully inspect every nut and bolt including a comprehensive sorting of every system. The vehicle was then taken in by our concours award-winning detail team where it was made spotless inside and out to bring it near to a factory finish.