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    United Kingdom
  • Exterior colour 


See UK Registration/Import Status Guide in catalogue.

Built from 1954 through early 1963, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing and Roadster stand, after more than six decades, as the first production cars worthy of the now-ubiquitous term, “supercar.” Clearly derived from the highly successful W194 series of race cars created by racing-team manager Alfred Neubauer and chief engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut, their release to the public was a calculated stroke of genius. As Mercedes-Benz sought to establish a greater presence in the all-important American market, the 300 SL, with its lofty price, limited availability, exotic looks, and headline-worthy performance, was an unbridled success.

A prototype of the Roadster was spotted during testing by a reporter from Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport magazine in 1956, and production began in 1957 as the last few of the 1,400 Gullwings were being constructed. Featuring a revised rear suspension yielding more predictable handling, the 300 SL Roadster was produced through 1963 with 1,858 built. The model was steadily improved during its production run, with one of the most significant updates being the upgrade to four-wheel disc brakes in 1961. Approximately 270 disc-brake 300 SL Roadsters were built before the introduction of the alloy-block version of the fuel-injected inline six-cylinder engine. To many Mercedes-Benz aficionados, these rare Roadsters represent the ideal specification, combining the improved stopping power and greatly reduced unsprung weight of four-wheel disc brakes, with the proven iron-block engine.

This Roadster, a desirable disc-brake, iron-block example, is handsomely presented in its factory-delivered color combination of Ivory (Elfenbein, DB 608) with a black hardtop over a dark red leather interior, and was sold new to Frederick T. Hiller, a trucking industry executive in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in April 1962. Correspondence on file with Mr. Hiller on Mercedes-Benz letterhead memorializes the order, his eventual purchase of the 300 SL, and its shipment to the US. It remained with Mr. Hiller until 1988, when it was transferred to his daughter and son-in-law who lived nearby. It continued to be sparingly enjoyed by the Hiller family before being sold via German-based marque specialists, HK-Engineering, in March 2012 to an enthusiast residing in London. According to a document on file, the car showed approximately 30,000 miles at that time.

The 300 SL’s interior was treated to preservation work beginning later in 2012 by the Sturge Conservation Studio in Northampton, UK, employing their painstaking, conservationist approach to the work. In 2013, the Roadster was sent back to HK-Engineering for a comprehensive review, plus some necessary service, which included work to the braking, charging, cooling, and fuel-injection systems.

In 2016, the current owner acquired the 300 SL and has enjoyed it for about 5,000 miles around Europe; it has been fitted with reproduction seats to allow the original seats to be preserved. These are supplied with the car along with its two-piece set of original Karl Baisch fitted luggage, as well as its hardtop, complete with its original transport crate. The vehicle currently shows just over 39,000 miles.

Never comprehensively restored, this 300 SL Roadster presents as a long-cherished, uncommonly original example with an irreplaceable and consistent patina. As one of a dwindling number of 300 SLs that have never been fully disassembled and refinished, its well-preserved condition is sure to be appreciated by sophisticated and knowledgeable collectors.

Considering its striking color scheme, desirable accessories, and expertly attended finishes, one would be hard-pressed to improve upon the credentials of this highly desirable disc-brake 300 SL Roadster. For the devotee who demands the best, Gooding & Company encourages close inspection and serious consideration of this exquisite Mercedes-Benz.

Gooding & Company
1517 20th Street
Santa Monica  90404  California
United States
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+1 (310) 899-1960