Auctions and Brokerage
A recurring theme of the most fascinating automotive stories from the past several years has been that of coming across a rare car that has been kept for decades in the hands of its longtime owner. Such is the case with this fascinating 300 SL Roadster. In mid-1962, Dr. James M. Mozley of Baltimore, Maryland, a pioneer of X-ray technology, became the second owner of the red roadster with approximately 24,000 miles on its odometer. After financing part of its purchase with the trade-in of a 1954 Volkswagen, the remainder of the purchase price was to be spread over 30 monthly payments of $96.82. Dr. Mozley kept his prized Mercedes-Benz for the next 50 years until his death at age 89. If not for his passing, the car would most certainly still be tucked away in Dr. Mozley’s garage.
This 300 SL Roadster was the 81st example built, placing it within the first 5% of roadster production. The car displays features common only to the early roadsters, such as the lack of an outer lock cylinder on the passenger side, and smooth leather seats with ventilation holes that appear only between the pleats.
Dr. Mozley and his wife enjoyed their 300 SL sparingly, adding just over 31,000 miles to its odometer during their half century of ownership and amassing an impressive file of documentation, including a copy of his original sales contract. At some point in its history, a second mirror was added to the left fender to increase rearward visibility. According to a note in the Gull Wing Group’s vehicle roster, the roadster was not used for decades. However, records indicate that in 2006, Dr. Mozley enlisted the assistance of his longtime mechanic to conduct a major service of the 300 SL to prepare it for a return to the road. Invoices detailing a rebuild of the upper and lower portions of the engine, as well as clutch and brake service accompany the car.
The roadster has had a partial repaint in its original color of Red (DB 534) and appears to retain its original black leather interior. The factory tool roll is present along with an owner’s manual and the often missing head protector pads for the bows of the soft top. The engine compartment exhibits a stock, purposeful look with correct ancillaries and factory markings still present. No extraneous polishing or chroming of parts has been performed, and the firewall retains the original chassis identification plates installed at the factory.
Today, the Mozley Roadster presents as a gently used, largely original car and is said by the consignor to run and drive very well. Many 300 SL experts have spoken of the elusive feel of a car that has never been fully disassembled, citing a solidness that is often lost in restored cars. Its early build date, impressive documentation, low mileage, and limited ownership history set it apart from many other 300 SLs and as such, it is worthy of close inspection and careful consideration.