Merc duo set to dazzle at auction
Unmolested 300 SL Roadster and Gullwing head for Pebble Beach sale stardom
Even by the standards of star lots at the Pebble Beach auction sales, Gooding’s latest announcement is breathtaking. Fresh from the sale of a remarkable unrestored Gullwing that fetched $1.46 million at Scottsdale in January, it will be offering not only an even better-preserved unrestored Gullwing with a mere 16,000 miles but a 300 SL Roadster to go with it, owned from new by the same father and son and showing just 38,000 miles.
The vendor took over the care of the cars from his father in 1964 and has in his own words ‘just kept ’em’. Neither has been driven much, as indicated by the mileage, but both have been stored in perfectly dry garages and started up often enough to arrive in 2017 in good running order.
The Gullwing was acquired in 1955 after the vendor’s father bought out someone else’s place in New York importer Max Hoffman’s waiting list. He paid an extra $65 to have the car painted British Racing Green, which with the tan hide trim makes this combination a one-off for a Gullwing. The marker lights that are all original, and the front bumper has never been drilled for a licence plate, and there’s even original sale paperwork from Hoffman Motors.
The 300 SL Roadster joined the family in 1957, the same year the model was announced. The open car’s greater userfriendliness prompted more miles and a little more wear, with touched-in Silverblue Metallic paint and grey leather fading to its un-dyed colour on parts of the dash and seats. It has its original set of fitted Karl Baisch luggage and, like the Gullwing, is surely enough of a survivor to be preserved rather than restored.
Sales of $1m-$1.3m for the Gullwing and $800k-$1m for the Roadster are expected at the Californian sale on August 18-19, but anyone wanting to keep them as a pair will need serious commitment and financial clout to fight off rivals whose bids could go some way beyond those figures.
Both the SL Roadster and the Gullwing will hopefully be preserved rather than restored