NEW ZEALAND CLASSIC CAR READERS’ WRITES Merc Memories RARE BIRD ELLERSLIE MASTERS’ CLASS–WINNING ALLOY-BODY MERCEDES-BENZ 300SL ‘GULLWING’
Ihave to start off by saying that I’m really not much of a classic-car person — I run a pretty boring Mazda saloon as my everyday car, although I do admire the sports car cars I used to see quite regularly when, as a young lad, I lived in London during the Swinging Sixties.
I also have to admit that I’d never purchased a copy of Nzclassiccar magazine until I spotted your April 2015 edition on the shelf at my local Countdown supermarket.
The drawcard for me was the cover picture of that simply gorgeous 300SL Mercedes. Once at home, reading through the article, happy memories of a time long past came flooding back.
Let me explain. Back in the ’60s, my father briefly worked as an accountant for a London-based automotive parts distributor, and he struck up a friendship with one of the company’s owners, who also happened to own a handful of interesting cars. He lived out of London, just outside Basingstoke, and on several occasions I accompanied my father on visits to his employer’s country house.
You’ve probably guessed by now that one of the cars this gentleman owned was a 300SL Gullwing — a truly sensational-looking car, resplendent in silver with a black interior. Having admired it along with my father during