Lot #44: 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (Not an Auction Lot) (Not Available)
Most likely the finest, unrestored example of an alloy engine SL in the world today
On display at Monterey for Private Treaty Sale
- Totally Original and Unrestored
- Matching Numbers
- Original DB 534 Feuerwehrrot Paint
- Original Cream Leather Interior
- Alloy Block
- Factory Disc Brakes
- Hard and Soft Top
- Tool Roll and Jack
- Original Books
Mercedes-Benz replaced the Gullwing with a more conventional 300SL roadster, which debuted at the Geneva Automobile show in March 1957. Sales of the Gullwing fell to 76 cars after the announcement of its discontinuation, but the new roadster sold 554 units the first year.
The space-frame was significantly altered to stiffen the roadster body, and the engine given a new camshaft and high compression to compensate for the extra weight. The independent rear suspension was reconfigured to a single, low-pivot point with a compensating spring to reduce the understeer and oversteer characteristics of the Gullwing. The nose was lowered, the grille was smaller and the headlights redesigned, with a handsome "cathedral window" on the European cars. A hardtop was optional, as were Rudge knockoff wheels and fitted luggage. As on most Gullwing's, the body was steel, with aluminum doors, bonnet and boot lid. The roadster remained one of the fastest sports cars at the time with top speed from 133 mph to 155 depending on the gearing.
Defined as a sports-racer by the Sports Car Club of America, the 300SL roadster was placed in Class D, against the Aston Martin DB3S, Maserati 300S and Ferrari Monza. While the other cars were lighter and nimbler, Paul O'Shea took advantage of the 300SL's reliability, ran every event he could, and won the 1957 championship. He scored three times the points of runner-up Carroll Shelby in a Maserati 300S.
The Mercedes-Benz 300SL was upgraded throughout production. The first 1,377 had Alfin drum brakes. Disc brakes were introduced in late 1961, and fitted to the remaining 479 cars. The final 210 300SL roadsters, sold in 1962-63, had an aluminum engine block and are considered the most desirable and valuable of all steel bodied 300 SL's. Number produced was only 26.
According to a copy of the original bill of sale, this car was first sold on April 26, 1963, to Martin Ganzler Jr. of New Brunswick, New Jersey. The car was originally Fire Engine Red, as it remains today, with Cream leather upholstery, and had a Becker Mexico Radio, white wall tires and a box for the cover boot. According to Frank Spellman, the car was retained by Mr. Ganzler through the mid 1970's. Brokered then through Ed Jurist of Nyack, New York, the roadster was purchased by John Sellstrom of Greenhurst, New York. In 1989, while still displaying less than 15,000 miles, the roadster was traded back to Jurist and then sold to another New York resident, Gene Albert. Albert retained the car for about five years. The car was subsequently acquired in 2000 by a collector in Texas who has now consigned the car for this Monterey event.
The car currently displays 18,452 miles with much documentation. The car also retains its hard top and soft top, tool roll, jack and owner's manual. This car is fully serviced, runs beautifully, and needs nothing done to it whatsoever.