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1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster

RM Sotheby's

1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster
RM Sotheby's
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SH ID

23-1025010

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FEATURED BY SPEEDHOLICS

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Sold

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United Kingdom

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Description

Engine number 198.980.7500289

 

Documents German Fahrzeugbrief

 

A striking 300 SL Roadster tastefully customised in an ‘Outlaw’ style

 

Subject to a €400,000 restoration by Lars Rombelsheim from 2016 to 2017

 

Retains its matching-numbers engine block

 

Benefits from upgrade to a ZF five-speed manual gearbox, high performance radiator, and other modern components

 

Fitted with chrome Rudge wheels and SLS-style sports seats

 

Accompanied by its colour-matched hardtop, a four-speed gearbox, bumpers, and other selected spare parts

This Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster was destined for the United States and was delivered to New York on 3 October 1957 prior to being distributed by Studebaker Packard. It was finished in Graphite Grey over a matching Grey leather interior and Light Grey soft-top. The car is known to have passed through the hands of at least two US owners in 1973 and 1975, both based in California, before being acquired by the consignor in 2016 at auction as a restoration project and subsequently imported to Germany. While in the care of the consigning owner, the 300 SL was subject to a complete restoration at the hands of marque specialist Lars Rombelsheim from 2016 to 2017—documented by 10 invoices totalling more than €400,000—during which it was customised in an ‘Outlaw’ style. The bodywork was fully repaired and refinished without bumpers, the engine was rebuilt with a replacement cylinder head and converted to run on unleaded fuel, while other major mechanical components including the petrol tank, front and rear axles, and shock absorbers were all overhauled. The car was also upgraded with a five-speed ZF gearbox, front disc brakes, and converted for use with Rudge central-lock wheels, in addition to an uprated ignition system with a modern alternator and high-torque starter, and a switchable stainless-steel exhaust. Furthermore, a modern radiator and oil cooler were fitted along with an “R8” injection pump and injectors, while the US-spec 3.89:1 rear axle ratio was changed to a European-spec 3.64:1 for more comfortable cruising. The cabin, meanwhile, was outfitted with “SLS”-style seats made from aluminium, and the instrumentation was converted to European specification. A full list of all work carried out is available to view on file along with selected photographs of the restoration, while the 300 SL Roadster retains its matching-numbers engine block. The car is offered with a matching-colour hardtop in addition to a raft of spares removed from the car during its restoration, including a four-speed gearbox, re-trimmed seats, cylinder head, brake drums and stub axles, steering wheel, and bumpers (re-chromed prior to being stored). It is also accompanied by its original US title, and several invoices and insurance cards from its time in the United Sates. The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster is one of the most accomplished sportscars of its generation and an icon of a glamorous era in automotive history. This example has been thoroughly restored and beautifully finished by a leading marque specialist at great expense, with a number of modern components—not least its five-speed manual gearbox—that only increase its usability. Tastefully customised, this 300 SL Roadster offers an elegant and refreshing take on one of the greatest automotive designs of all time.
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