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1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

Girardo & Co. Ltd

1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
Girardo & Co. Ltd
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SH ID

23-0814005

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FEATURED BY SPEEDHOLICS

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In Stock

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United Kingdom

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Description

Engine number 198.980.8500259

 

One of only 28 original Rudge-wheel examples, accompanied by a rare optional hard-top and matching luggage set

 

Benefitting from a zero-compromise comprehensive restoration undertaken by Mercedes-Benz Classic

 

Certified by Mercedes-Benz Classic, as evidenced by the accompanying Expert Assessment binder

 

A fully matching-numbers example delivered new to Belgium, with only three private owners from new

 

Specified from new with Rudge wheels, a Becker Le Mans radio and a matching luggage set

 

Accompanied by copies of its original Mercedes-Benz Fahrzeug Daten card, its Mercedes-Benz Classic Expert Assessment, a generous history file, its toolkit, luggage set and two spare seats trimmed with plaid fabric

Now that our new showroom here at Belchers Farm is up and running, we’re getting more and more visitors swinging by to take a look around. For the last few weeks, this Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster has been sitting in pride of place. And we’re not over exaggerating when we say that every person who’s walked through the door has left with the gorgeous convertible at the very top of their fantasy wish lists. It got us thinking. Is there a more desirable classic all-round convertible than the 300SL Roadster? Even devoid of the coupé’s signature gullwing doors, the drop-top 300SL has so much going for it. Most obviously, it’s drop-dead gorgeous – a proportionally perfect and über-glamorous embodiment of the 1950s Jet Set. Is it any wonder why it proved such a hit among royals, pop stars and actors in the period? Then there’s the underpinnings – very similar to that of its tin-top counterpart, so retaining all of its motorsport-bred credentials, but with a number of key changes. The slight increase in power to offset the slight increase in weight, for example. The revised single-joint rear axle which made chief engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut so pleased. Or the modified spaceframe chassis, which, when coupled with the relocation of the spare wheel and the slight reduction in size of the fuel tank, made space for a magnificent bespoke luggage set. Genuinely very useful for longer trips. “Most obviously, it’s drop-dead gorgeous – a proportionally perfect and über-glamorous embodiment of the 1950s Jet Set. Is it any wonder why it proved such a hit among royals, pop stars and actors in the period?” Miraculously, neither the looks nor the way it drives are the most overwhelming attributes when you actually drive the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster (though, of course, they are nothing short of exceptional). It’s the exquisite quality of the car which shines the brightest. Every surface, touch-point and action feels reassuringly solid and of the highest possible quality. Most Ferraris, Aston Martins or Maseratis of the same era simply don’t hold a candle. It's ironic that it was a slump in demand which essentially birthed the 300SL Roadster – a car pitched directly at the sunny West-Coast US market. Today, more than six decades later, the Mercedes-Benz has matured into one of the most sought-after classics and a stalwart of the collector-car market. Chassis number 8500257 The exquisite 300SL Roadster presented here left the Mercedes-Benz factory in the summer of 1958 – one of only 267 examples produced that year. Finished in Weisgrau (white grey) over a Rot (red) leather interior, chassis number 8500257 was specified with a number of optional extras including a Becker Le Mans radio, a full matching luggage set and, most importantly, disc wheels with Rudge hubs – an incredibly rare and desirable feature for today’s collectors. Delivered new to Brussels, this Mercedes remained with its first owner in Belgium for over 20 years, before correspondence indicates it was sold to a man by the name of Jacques Ernest Marie Guegan in Pulheim, Germany. Guegan cherished chassis number 8500257 for eight years, as evidenced by the wealth of invoices, correspondence and detailed driving log, before selling it on to another German owner located in Frechen. This Mercedes’ story continues in the 2000s, when this 300SL was acquired by Daimler AG. A zero-compromise restoration was commissioned to Mercedes-Benz Classic in Stuttgart. Who better to return the car to its former glory than the very company which constructed it in 1958? Chassis 8500257’s current European owner, a man with a stunning collection of classics including a restored 300SL ‘Gullwing’, sought a great 300SL Roadster to add to his stable. He approached Mercedes-Benz Classic itself with a clear mission: to find and buy an example truly elevated by special features above its production brethren and restore it to his unique specification and to the highest possible standard. “ The extensive wonderfully compiled binder confirms the authenticity of chassis 8500257, in addition to the fact it is a fully matching-numbers example, down to the steering box and axles.” Mercedes went to work, using its unrivalled network to discover chassis 8500257, an ultra-rare matching-numbers 300SL Roadster – one of a mere 28 delivered with Rudge knock-off wheels – which had been in the same family ownership in Germany since 1987. Such was the anonymity of this car that even the most highly regarded marque experts were unaware of its existence. With the car in Daimler’s ownership, Mercedes-Benz Classic turned its focus to the zero-compromise restoration. Who better to return the car to its former glory than the very company which constructed it in 1958? It was the owner who took the decision to finish the car in the stunning colour of Anthrazitgrau Metallic (anthracite grey metallic), with the Rudge wheels in a contrasting Blau Metallic (metallic blue). The über-high-quality cabin, meanwhile, is festooned with blue leather, ivory and chrome. The owner also asked Mercedes-Benz to source a hardtop (also painted metallic blue) and two very smart spare bucket seats, which were trimmed with plaid fabric – a specification choice only available to the closed ‘Gullwing’ in period. The spectacular restoration of this 300SL Roadster has been outlined by Mercedes-Benz Classic in its ‘Expert Assessment’, which was issued immediately after the car was completed in 2012. The extensive wonderfully compiled binder confirms the authenticity of chassis 8500257, in addition to the fact it is a fully matching-numbers example, down to the steering box and axles. Today, this 300SL is accompanied by a raft of treasures which only serve to enhance its desirability, from the toolkit, portable jack and matching luggage set to the spare wheel, fabric seat covers and Mercedes-Benz picnic blanket. In addition to the aforementioned ‘Expert Assessment’, the generous history file which accompanies chassis number 8500257 includes copies of its original Mercedes-Benz Fahrzeug Daten card, period spare parts catalogue and workshop manuals, and definitive Mercedes-Benz 300SL book. Perhaps more pertinently than the above, it’s the spectacular quality of this 300SL Roadster which strikes you the most when you see it in the metal. Everywhere you look, the finishing is flawless – telling not only of the quality of the restoration, but of the quality of the manufacturer. The engineering is so exquisite. The engineering is so German. Suffice to say, from behind the large, ivory-rimmed steering wheel, chassis number 8500257 drives every bit as good as it looks.