1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL 'Gullwing' Coupe

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Highlights

  • Numbers-matching SL with European registration documents
  • One of only 108 examples of the 300 SL produced in black
  • Only 4,500 kilometers covered since full restoration in 1996
  • Extensively restored at HK-Engineering in 2024

Technical Data

Chassis No: 198.040.5500214
Seller:
HKEngineering
Seller Type:
Dealer
Exterior:
Black
Interior:
Tan with green tartan
Lot#:
12
Location:
Weilheim, Bavaria, Germany
Mileage:
33,900 Kilometers
Engine:
3.0L, Inline-Six
Vehicle Make / Model:
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL 'Gullwing' Coupe
Engine No..:
198.980.5500220
Transmission Model:
4-Speed Manual
Drive Orientation:
Left

Description

Offered for sale is this 1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing Coupe. 

When it was introduced in 1954, the 300 SL featured the now iconic gullwing doors - a door design picked primarily due to the SL's innovative design and engineering considerations. The car's chassis bracing was quite high due to its tubular frame, which made conventional doors impractical. Gullwing doors allowed for easier access to the cockpit while also providing structural support to the chassis, enhancing rigidity and overall performance. That creative engineering solution to the problem became a defining signature element, forever linked to what is arguably the first modern supercar.

So the 300 SL was blending that cutting-edge technology with the industry-standard level of engineering that Mercedes-Benz were already bringing to even their most ordinary sedans in the 1950s. That commitment to quality and modern capability was what put them back on the map, but it was also the unwavering commitment to motorsports as the ultimate test that led them to campaign factory-backed efforts in Le Mans.

It’s almost impossible to fully articulate what a show-stopper and technological game-changer this car was in its era - the cutting-edge technology with features like like mechanical fuel injection, liberal use of weight-saving aluminum, and then just the sheer performance metrics achieved by the machine.

While most classic car enthusiasts tend to frown on any modifications to the true rare icons, HK Engineering is a notable exception. Hans Kleissl’s company is world-renowned for the ability to improve on the essential goodness of the 300SL, augmenting what it is, as opposed to reinventing it. It’s their ability to integrate these changes and improvements in a way that doesn't change the essential nature, and enhances the car as opposed to changing its intended mission or feel, that has solidified their reputation. The company is internationally recognized and lauded for its expertise with these rare machines, and often perform restoration work at a concours level in addition to the significant mechanical improvements. 

According to the Mercedes-Benz card and delivery note, this 300 SL left the Sindelfingen plant on April 7, 1955, and was then delivered first by rail and then by ship from Antwerp to the Mercedes-Benz sales organization in New York, USA. The additional equipment included a special paint finish in high-gloss paintwork, instruments with English lettering, sealed beam headlights, bumpers with horns, as well as a windshield washer system.

According to available records, it was one of only 108 coupes produced in the delivery color of black, originally equipped with a red plaid interior in combination with cream-colored Texleder.

The available register excerpts show that the car had only three owners in the USA until 1996, and in the same ownership for 25 years. After being imported from the USA at the end of the 90s, it was then completely restored, with an overhaul of all components. Particular care was taken retaining and restoring all of the original matching number parts, including the chassis, body, and engine, as well as the front axle, rear axle, gearbox, and steering gear.

When this 300 SL arrived at HK Engineering, it had only 4,500 kilometers covered since the full cosmetic and mechanical restoration.  

Upon receipt of this restored example, HK Engineering refinished the body in the delivery color, paint code DB 40 in black, and then fitted green checkered seat cushions with a fully reupholstered interior. In all, improvements and upgrades totaling €250.000 in parts and labor were performed, resulting in this incredible example available with us for auction. 

Auction summary

Auction ends: 25 April 5:04 PM
Auction views: 19.96K
Favorited: 75
Location: Weilheim, Bavaria, Germany
Seller: HKEngineering
Unsold
Ended 25 April 5:04 PM
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