Auctions and Brokerage
This magnificently finished 300 SL Roadster is stated to have left the factory in the final days of 1957, the inaugural year for the open 300 SL. Dispatched to Los Angeles, and originally finished in Elfenbein (DB 608) with a red leather interior, the 300 SL Roadster was no doubt bound for a glamorous existence. Though the earliest ownership history is unknown, by the early 1990s, the 300 SL Roadster apparently came into the care of Northern California Gull Wing Group member William Alff. At the time that he purchased the car in San Francisco, a non-300 SL driveline had been adapted to the car. Mr. Alff then began a restoration on the Mercedes-Benz along with his son Jon, having sourced and completed a rebuild of a period-correct, replacement 300 SL engine and transmission for the car. Upon the senior Alff’s passing, the as-yet-unfinished Mercedes-was sold in 2003 to another local Gull Wing Group member. The new owner then retained the expert services of the renowned Jurgen Klockemann to complete the restoration.
All body and paintwork, along with restoration of the frame was performed – prior to its powder coating – in the Klockemann workshops, while the proper square-weave carpets and the smooth pleated leather were expertly trimmed by Mario Robleda of Mario’s Fine Upholstery in Southern California. The 300 SL’s instruments were rebuilt by Palo Alto Speedometer. The brightwork was refinished by Sherm’s Custom Plating of Sacramento, and Rhode Island Wiring supplied a new custom wiring harness. Final assembly of the engine was performed by respected Mercedes- Benz engine maestro Mark Nissen.
Finished in 300 SL factory color Hellgrün or Light Green Metallic (DB 274) and complemented by a dark green leather interior, this roadster is truly elegant in its presentation, and the quality of the work performed is readily apparent. Following completion of the restoration, 7500592 was twice exhibited at the Palo Alto Concours d’Elegance and has appeared on Gull Wing Group tours and various social outings both in the Bay Area and in Southern California.
The majority of collectors believe that driving a 300 SL Roadster provides one of the most all-around satisfying experiences of any 1950s road car. The Gull Wing Group, having recently celebrated 50 years since its founding, is one of the strongest model-specific car clubs of all time. The club provides technical support as well as countless opportunities to enjoy 300 SLs as they were originally intended. Today, 7500592 stands ready to please its next caretaker, whether on the show field or as an entry at one of the myriad rallies and tours, which its 1957 build date will help to assure.
The 300 SL Roadster
Introduced at the Geneva Auto Show, the glamorous Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster entered production in May 1957. Retaining the purposeful appearance and basic mechanical specification of the Gullwing, the 300 SL Roadster was a master ful development combining a redesigned and strengthened chassis, conventional side-opening doors, and revised headlamps and grille area. To improve the 300 SL’s performance, its powerful three-liter six received a new camshaft profile and higher compression to deliver another 20 bhp. The welcome addition of a compensating spring to the rear suspension brought more predictable handling and reduced the Gullwing’s tendency to oversteer in fast corners.
Offering stellar performance, legendary Mercedes-Benz build quality, and competition- derived engineering, the new 300 SL delivered an incomparable open-air driving experience and remains a “must-have” for any serious collector today.