300 SL ROADSTER
- Retains its numbers-matching engine, chassis, body, rear axle, steering gear, and original Rudge wheels
- Restoration completed circa 2010 with assistance from the technicians at Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Fellbach, Germany
- Coachwork and interior restored by Quality Cars s.r.l. in Pianiga, Italy
- Stunningly presented in black over tan leather
- Subject of over €115,000 in further sorting by Jürgen Kassen in Oerlinghausen, Germany from 2015-2023
- First in Class IX (60th Anniversary Mercedes 300 SL) at the 2017 Zoute Grand Prix in Belgium
- Eligible for a variety of concours and touring events including the Mille Miglia
- Among the most collectible and iconic sports cars ever produced
- Offered with a rare body-color hardtop
In the three years after its appearance at the 1954 International Motorsports Show, the road-going version of the W194 race car had earned the adoration of an emerging jet set clientele for its cutting-edge performance and outrageous gullwing doors. Not ones to forfeit an opportunity for improvement, the engineers in Stuttgart were already developing a worthy successor to the Gullwing, breaking cover as the 300 SL Roadster in 1957. The new model replaced its coupe sister car, and in doing so featured numerous technical and cosmetic upgrades while retaining the athletic character that had made it a sensation.
Despite the visual similarities to its predecessor, the open-body Roadster received considerable enhancements under the skin in the interest of creating a more polished and usable grand tourer. The welcome introduction of conventional doors and wind-up windows necessitated a redesign of the Uhlenhaut-engineered spaceframe, which now incorporated lower door sills for ease of access. The new architecture crucially allowed for a folding soft top, alleviating the tight cabin conditions of the coupe. As a final touch of practicality, the spare was relocated to underneath the trunk and the fuel tank downsized, affording a generous storage area for fitted luggage, if so optioned. The Roadster retained the race-derived six-cylinder engine with a bump in horsepower thanks to a competition camshaft pioneered on the alloy-bodied W194. The rear suspension was redesigned to feature a low-point swing axle geometry with softer, transversely mounted coil springs to address oversteer without sacrificing ride quality. All told, the Roadster had no trouble exceeding 150 miles per hour, claiming the title of the fastest production car in the world.
Rallye equipment could be had at special dealer request, while leather upholstery and an outside Talbot mirror on the left fender became standard equipment on the Roadster. Also a desirable option for 1957 were a set of motorsport-derived Rudge wheels with steel centers mated to aluminum rims and featuring knock-off hubs. Equipped on approximately only nine percent of Gullwings, the option was even more uncommon on the Roadster, and is thought to have been specified on only 27 examples in 1957 before they were made unavailable after that year due to a change in German law for safety considerations.
Built in 1957, chassis number 7500286 is one such example that rolled off the assembly line on Rudge wheels. A delivery note dated 14 October 1957 indicates that the car was originally finished in 180 Silbergrau-Met. (Silver Grey Metallic) over a 953 Led. Schwarz (Black leather) interior with a matching 872 Schwarz (Black) soft top. It was subsequently displayed by Daimler Benz AG at the 1957 Turin Motor Show. The car is believed to have been purchased new by an Italian nobleman directly from the Motor Show, and to have remained in Italy until being imported to Germany in 1980. A registration document dated 7 March 1980 shows Mr. Horst Frankenberger of Lübeck, Germany as the Roadster’s first German owner, registering the car under the registration number “HL-L 300.” In May 1986, the car entered the long-term care of Mercedes-Benz enthusiast and active member of the 300 SL Club Mr. Hans Peter Pusch, who would keep a hand-written record of his nearly three decades with the Roadster which has been preserved and is on file.
Passing to one of Germany’s most discerning collectors in 2005, chassis number 7500286 was subject to a multi-year restoration from 2007-2010. After careful disassembly, its Uhlenhaut tube frame chassis was shipped to the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Fellbach, Germany where it was measured by Mercedes-Benz technicians and determined to be correct to factory specifications. Shortly thereafter, the car’s original body panels were entrusted to Quality Cars s.r.l. in Pianiga, Italy where they were professionally repainted in elegant black, while the interior was retrimmed in tan leather hides. Mechanically, the Roadster was overhauled by the specialists at Mechatronik in Pleidelsheim, Germany, as well as by the previous owner’s own mechanics.
Since being acquired by the consignor in 2015, chassis number 7500286 has undergone in excess of €115,000 in further sorting by renowned restorer Jürgen Kassen in Oerlinghausen, Germany. This included sending the original, numbers-matching engine – which had been retained with the car but was substituted for a Gullwing unit at some point during its life – to an engine specialist for a total rebuild and subsequent installation in 2019. A new five-speed transmission was installed for a much-improved driving experience, and a rare hardtop was sourced and painted to match the car’s wonderful black finish. Other items included refurbishing the brakes (2019), overhauling the rear axles and differential (2020), and adjusting the fender “spears” running along the upper edges of the wheel well openings (2021) among various other improvements detailed in the service invoices on file. The car’s outstanding cosmetic and mechanical condition is indicative of the excellent level of service and care rendered by the current owner – bolstered by its participation in numerous European rallies and over 6,500 kilometers traveled under current ownership.
Today, the Roadster remains correct to its original European-specification form, which includes its asymmetric headlights, lack of rear quarter-panel reflectors, horn ring directionals, steering column-mounted high beam flasher, and metric instrumentation. Importantly, the chassis, body, engine, rear axle, and steering gear are all recognized to be original and numbers-matching according to a copy of the car’s original delivery note on file and available for review. While the car currently rides on reproduction knock-off wheels, it will be sold with its original set of 5.5-inch wide Rudge wheels and spare with black-painted centers and chrome outer rims mounted to the car.
This striking matching-numbers 300 SL Roadster is documented by a delivery bill with its original build specifications as well as numerous service invoices and is eligible for a host of Concours d’Elegance and touring events all over the globe, including the Mille Miglia as a 1957 model-year 300 SL and the Colorado Grand. Restored by renowned Mercedes-Benz specialists, this is a spectacular example of one of the era’s best-engineered and aesthetically pleasing automobiles and remains arguably one of the most collectible cars to this day.
We offer this vehicle for our partner company Collectors Garage from Michigan, USA. Collectors Garage is a subsidiary of the Broad Arrow Group.
The car can be viewed at our premises in Germany, 33415 Verl at any time by arrangement. A lifting platform is available for this purpose.
Please contact us if you are interested in further information.
We prepare our descriptions and advertisements very conscientiously and carefully. Nevertheless, we ask for your understanding that the details given here are non-binding descriptions which do not represent guaranteed properties. We are not liable for errors, input errors and data transmission errors and reserve the right to make changes prior sale.
In this case, the sale is carried out on consignment without display of the sales tax and without warranty.