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Lot 15

2015   |   Amelia Island 2015

1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster

SOLD $1,237,500

Estimate

$1,300,000 - $1,600,000

Chassis

198.042.7500580

Car Highlights

Outstanding Restoration by Marque Experts
Presented with Fitted Luggage, Rudge-Type Wheels, and Becker Mexico Radio
Impeccably Detailed, Low-Mileage Example
One of the Most Beautifully Presented 300 SL Roadsters in Existence
Part of a Top-Tier Collection for 25 Years

Technical Specs

2,996 CC SOHC, Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Bosch Mechanical Fuel Injection
250 BHP at 6,200 RPM
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes
Independent Double-Wishbone Front Suspension
Independent Rear Swing-Axle Suspension

Saleroom Addendum

*Please note that Gooding & Company has an ownership interest in this vehicle.

Register to Bid

Daniel and Margaret Childs, Cambridge, MassachusettsFrederick C. Childs, Cambridge, Massachusetts (acquired from the above in 1977)Peter Hosmer, Rye, New Hampshire (acquired in January 1990)Private New England Collection (acquired from the above in 1990)Current Owner (acquired from the above)

According to a copy of its factory data card, this outstanding 300 SL Roadster was completed on December 27, 1957, and dispatched in export-market trim to American shores. Originally finished in black with a red interior, the roadster came to the attention of Mercedes-Benz authority Alex Finigan in the late 1980s when it was owned by Frederick Childs and his family, of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The roadster had been in the Childs family since at least the mid-1970s and is rumored to have been parked for a time inside the family’s home. Upon their sale of the 300 SL in January 1990, it was recorded as showing 20,586 miles. The roadster was soon thereafter sold to collector Peter Hosmer.

7500580 was next purchased in 1990 by a New England enthusiast and was the very first collector car in what went on to become a truly world-class collection of high-end classics and the finest coachbuilt grand touring cars of the postwar era. A successful businessman, the owner honed his passion for vintage sports cars on this 300 SL. At the time of his acquisition, the roadster was revealed to be an extremely solid example, bearing its original paint, with just over 21,000 miles.

In 1991, he entrusted the roadster to nearby Paul Russell & Company – known at that time as Gullwing Service Company – for a sympathetic restoration. As the car was prepared for the restorative work it soon became evident that this roadster was an exceptionally intact example, bearing the cleanest body the lead restorer had ever seen. As a pristine, low-mileage car, the decision was rightly made not to separate the body shell from the chassis, preserving the all-important “factory assembly” that is lost on many restored examples.

Cosmetic work performed by Gullwing Service included changing the color to White (DB50) and the interior was expertly re-trimmed with green leather Roser hides, sourced from Germany; and color-coded seatbelts and a matching green canvas top were fitted as well. Concurrently, the brightwork was replated to a very high standard and, as personal finishing touches, a beautiful pair of European Bosch headlights were installed as well as a full set of five Rudge-type knockoff wheels. Additionally, a custom built two-piece set of pigskin luggage has been sourced and fitted to the trunk.

Mechanically, the roadster was thoroughly renewed, and this comprehensive work is documented in a volume of Gullwing Service Company receipts. Upon inspection the 21,000 mile engine was found not to be in need of a rebuild and was resealed, as was the gearbox. Electrical, cooling, steering, suspension, and braking components all received similar expert care.

Since its refurbishment was completed in mid-1992, the roadster has logged an additional 6,000 miles in the intervening years, bringing its total mileage since new to just over 27,000. Throughout its tenure as a road-going favorite, the 300 SL has received fastidious care and maintenance by Mark All in, one of the most respected Mercedes-Benz restorers in the country.

The current owner acquired the Roadster from the previous steward who cherished the car for over 25 years. Stated to drive like a well-broken-in, low-mileage car, this is an opportunity not to be missed. Considered among the finest examples in existence, this roadster will provide its next caretaker with the chance to experience a 300 SL the way it was when nearly new.