• Year of manufacture 
    1955
  • Mileage 
    62 068 mi / 99 889 km
  • Car type 
    Other
  • Lot number 
    1
  • Reference number 
    1845
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Exterior brand colour 
    other
  • Location
    United States
  • Exterior colour 
    Other

Description

Chassis No. 198.040.5500120

Engine No. 198.980.5500129

Body No. A198.040.5500143

Mercedes-Benz, in a remarkable feat less than a decade after World War II, not only supplied cars and trucks to support the German economic miracle but also created what some consider to be the first supercar. The 300 SL Coupe, a sports racing car for the road, boasted a lightweight tubular space frame, giving rise to its iconic gullwing doors. It was the world's first production car with direct fuel injection, and its sleek body was designed for sustained high speeds perfectly suited for the racetracks and the newly reconstructed German Autobahn network.

Ordered new in Germany by the Bierlein Brothers of Munich, Germany, this 300 SL Gullwing Coupe featured the traditional Silver Arrow racing colors, ordered new in Silbergrau (DB180) with a Blau Stoff (blue plaid cloth) interior as shown on the digital copy of its original Data Card. Truly a rare sight in its home country, this car is one of just 98 examples sold new in Germany from 1954 through 1957. The Gull Wing Group Registry shows that the car completed assembly on 26 February 1955 and was delivered five days later on 3 March 1955.

Eventually, the Gullwing made its way to North America, where it was owned by a Hawaiian collector by the late 1990s. The car was then the subject of a meticulous restoration by Jerry Hjeltness, owner of the renowned Hjeltness Restoration of Escondido, California. The accompanying history file includes photos of the car prior to its restoration and invoices documenting the car's complete "nut and bolt" restoration, from a well-loved example in what appears to have retained much of its original silver paint and blue interior to its fabulous present condition. The body was removed from the tubular frame to ensure the car's exacting level of finish. The color was changed to an elegant period-correct combination of the scarcely seen Dunkleblau (DB302) over a Grau Leder (955) interior, adding to its allure.

Not just a cosmetic restoration; the mechanical components were also restored to factory specifications. This included overhauling the front suspension and rear axle with its original 1:3.42 rear axle gear ratio. The interior was restored with new paint, leather, and carpeting, and the gauges were restored, including the speedometer with its increased 180 mile per hour top speed. At the same time, the wheels were upgraded with a set of color-keyed Rudge knock-off wheels, which are period correct on a 300 SL Gullwing. If the owner wishes to return the car to its standard wheels, the original wheels, hubs, and axles are included in the sale. Also included are the parts sourced from Hjeltness to install their discreet air conditioning system

Following the restoration, the car was kept largely on display, only to be awoken from its slumber by Canepa Design of Scotts Valley, California, in the late 2000s. Once the mechanical checks were completed, Canepa's detailing team spent over 100 hours thoroughly prepping the car for concours use. As a testament to not only the detailing work but the underlying quality of the Hejltness restoration, the car not only earned a Best in Class at the highly competitive 2010 Hillsborough Concours but also won the coveted Chairman's Cup.

Following its successful concours entries, the car became a star of the current owner's renowned southern California-based collection in 2011. As it is local to Hjeltness, it is only natural that the car would return there for its ongoing maintenance. Service visits are recorded in both 2013 and 2018, and in preparation for its sale at Broad Arrow's 2024 Monterey Jet Center auction in 2024, it received a complete revitalization of its braking and charging systems by Hjeltness. As a result of this thoughtful continual care, the current owner reports having the pleasure of being able to drive the car at least once a month during his 13-year tenure with the car. As presented today, this fantastic matching-numbers 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing Coupe still shines bright – perhaps even brighter – since its by impeccable Hjeltness Restoration and would be the star of any collection with its wonderful color combination, splendid condition, and desirable upgrades, making it's the perfect candidate to enter on the Mille Miglia or the Colorado Grand.


Broad Arrow Auctions
377, Fisher Road
Suite H
Grosse Pointe  48230  Michigan
United States
Contact Person Kontaktperson
First name 
Broad Arrow Group

Phone 
+1 (313) 312-0780