Lot #17: 1954 Merecedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing (Not Available)
Formerly owned from new to 2011 by Gullwing Group Charter Member George Nixon
- Owned from new to 2011 by Gullwing Group driving force, George Nixon
- Just two owners from new; very early car – the 24th Mercedes-Benz 300 SL built
- Freshened by renowned marque expert Rudi Konicek of Victoria, British Columbia
- Outstanding color combination; features include early-type “goose-neck” shifter;
- Retrimmed interior, fitted luggage, updated with Rudge alloy “knock-off” wheels
- Document file includes copy of Wagenkarte factory record supplied by Mercedes-Benz
*post restoration mileage; TMU
Incredibly early-production example – the 24th car built – of the celebrated Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing coupe. Just two owners from new, the first being Gullwing Group charter member George Nixon from new to 2011. Professionally freshened and sorted as necessary for second owner by marque expert Rudi Konicek of Victoria, British Columbia with bare-metal repaint, engine-out detailing, retrimmed interior, fitted luggage added, and desirable Rudge alloy “knock-off” wheels installed. Concours-quality, beautifully presented, and accompanied by dossier including service records, Gullwing Group information, and copy of Mercedes-Benz Wagenkarte record.
Specifications: 2,996 CC SOHC inline six-cylinder engine, Bosch mechanical fuel injection, 215 bhp (DIN rating), 240 hp (SAE rating), four-speed manual gearbox, independent coil-spring front suspension with anti-roll bar, independent single-pivot swing-axle rear suspension with coil springs and upper compensating spring, four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes; wheelbase: 94.5”
Bravely emerging from the devastation of World War II, Mercedes-Benz unleashed its first new racing car in 1952 with the brilliant W194 300 SL. True to its “SL” or “Super Light” designation with a skeletal tubular steel space-frame chassis weighing just 50 kilograms developed by engineering legend Rudolf Uhlenhaut, the 300 SL also utilized excellent production-based mechanicals derived from the 300 ‘Adenauer’ luxury-car line. While light and rigid, the frame design dictated the 300 SL’s enduring visual signature, its dramatic upward-opening “gullwing” style doors.
Immediately, the new 300 SL took the international racing world by storm by placing second at the punishing 1,600-kilometer Mille Miglia in 1952, followed by a podium sweep at the Bern, Switzerland Grand Prix for Sports Cars, a 1-2 victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, first through fourth places at the Nürburgring, and a convincing 1-2 at Mexico’s deadly Carrera Panamericana open-road race. Body revisions and the debut of direct fuel injection defined the competition W194s for 1953 and the ultimate 300 SLR driven by Stirling Moss and masterfully navigated by Denis Jenkinson to overall victory at the 1955 Mille Miglia.
Production was reputedly spurred by the forcefully persuasive New York Mercedes-Benz importer Max Hoffman. The breathtaking 300 SL “Gullwing” road car, internally designated W198, debuted at the 1954 New York Auto Show to massive acclaim and immediately took place as the world’s fastest production car with 3.0-litre, fuel-injected power, all-independent suspension, and a 4-speed gearbox. Production continued through mid-1957 with 1,400 of these virtually hand-built coupes built in all, overlapped by 1,858 300 SL Roadsters, which continued through early 1963. Regardless of body style, the 300 SL enjoyed “instant icon” status when new and continues to do so today. In fact, no collection of the world’s finest sports cars can be considered complete without at least one top-quality example, epitomized by the car offered here.
With just two owners from new, this early-production 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL is a thrilling opportunity at auction as the 24th example of these potent and visually stunning performers ever built. With just two owners in all over the past 62 years, this 300 SL was purchased new by Gullwing Group charter member George Nixon, and as such, it is very well-known as “The Nixon Car” to legions of collectors and enthusiasts. Acquired from Mr. Nixon’s estate by the Consignor during 2011, this sound “no stories” example was nonetheless sent to Mercedes-Benz marque expert Rudi Konicek in Victoria, British Columbia and elevated to its beautiful present state. In addition to a bare-metal repaint including a color change from its original Burgundy/Grey to Silver/Blue livery, the SL’s engine was removed and detailed, the chrome restored, the interior retrimmed in blue plaid with period style fitted luggage added, and wheels were converted to desirable Rudge alloy knock-offs. An early and desirable factory-specification “gooseneck” shifter was installed, and the chrome fender “eyebrow” trim was converted from the early-production welded-on configuration to the later bolt-on type. Breathtaking and concours-quality throughout, this early 300SL has covered only an approximate 100 test miles since it was completed to ensure proper sorting and operating order. In addition to a dossier containing service invoices and Gull Wing Group information, this exceptional and early-production 300 SL is accompanied by a copy of the original Wagenkarte build sheet/production record provided by Mercedes-Benz and stands as one of the very best.
|Bid Date||Bid Amount||Bidder|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 11:10:48 AM||USD 1,050,000.00||i6485|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 11:10:48 AM||USD 1,040,000.00||i6325|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 11:10:23 AM||USD 1,030,000.00||i6485|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 11:10:23 AM||USD 1,020,000.00||i6325|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 10:48:03 AM||USD 1,010,000.00||i6485|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 10:48:03 AM||USD 1,000,000.00||i6469|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 10:18:32 AM||USD 870,000.00||i6469|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 10:18:32 AM||USD 860,000.00||i6485|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 9:02:08 AM||USD 460,000.00||i6469|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 9:02:08 AM||USD 450,000.00||i6444|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 8:58:00 AM||USD 360,000.00||i6469|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 8:58:00 AM||USD 350,000.00||i6444|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 8:49:17 AM||USD 260,000.00||i6469|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 8:49:17 AM||USD 250,000.00||i6444|
|Aug 19, 2016 - 6:49:12 PM||USD 100,000.00||i6469|