Mercedes-Benz introduced a Roadster version of the 300SL at the 1957 Geneva Motor Show. It effectively replaced the gullwing coupe which was retired that year. At $11,000 is was more expensive than the outgoing coupe and it benefited from a host of upgrades.
Mercedes-Benz described it as their “response to the demand in many countries for a particularly fast, comfortable, open sports car. This automobile offers a wide range of technical achievements for even greater driving safety and motoring comfort as well as a high standard of practical everyday value for touring in real style.”
Like the Gullwing, the Roadster featured roughly the same engineering underneath, but the body was changed to incorporate regular doors. Detail differences included larger front fenders, larger ‘euro’ headlights, a smaller grille, a rounder front windscreen and a chrome accent strip running down the side of the car.
To maintain rigidity , Mercedes-Benz engineers had to add more structural integrity into the chassis. Thus the Roadster is slightly heavier than its coupe counterpart. The rear suspension was also revised with a single-point swing axle and an additional coil spring.
The engine was only slightly updated to include a sports camshaft and a higher 9.5:1 compression ratio. This helped the car achieve a top speed near 155 mph.
Like the Coupe, the Roadster was available with a wide array of options, some of the more desirable include the hardtop, knock-off Rudge wheels and fitted rear luggage.
1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster 198.042.8500091 – sold for €952,000 In more recent ownership, the car was refinished in Anthracite Metallic (DB 172) with black leather, and it is still equipped with its correct sealed-beam head- and tail-lights, as well as U.S.-specification instrumentation. According to a previous owner, it has been well-maintained and improved on with regular servicing and maintenance, which has been carried out by such specialists as O’Keefe Restorations and Gordon Dale. Auction Source: Villa Erba 2015 by RM Sothebys
This spectacular, matching numbers 300 SL Roadster left the factory on 23rd September 1957 to be sent to Studebaker/Packard in South Bend, Indiana, USA. The original colour scheme was Elfenbein (ivory) with red leather interior and black hood (see data card copy on file). The current vendor purchased the car in 2011 from a well-known collection in Northern Germany and subsequently commissioned marque expert Jürgen Swoboda to part-restore it. As the car was generally very solid, a complete restoration was not necessary. The body was repaired where necessary, using traditional ‘lead loading’ rather than modern synthetic fillers. At this time finished in silver metallic, the car received a bare metal repaint during restoration in an original 300 SL colour, Graphite Grey, which combines stunningly with the original red leather interior.
A 1962 model fitted with the desirable disc brakes, this beautiful 300 SL roadster was delivered new to Germany and comes with an outstandingly comprehensive service history reflecting fastidious care throughout its life. Chassis number ‘002973’ was delivered on 11th December 1961 to Mr Josef Binder of Scheidegg, Germany and registered in his name with the numberplate ‘Li-KN-24’. Mr Binder must have been very conscientious, always having the car serviced every 3,000 kilometres (and sometimes earlier) as recommended by Mercedes-Benz (see service book stamped by Autohaus Scheider, Lindau).
This outstandingly original 300 SL Roadster was first owned by the prominent German industrialist Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach (1907-1967), head of the family steel-making firm Friedrich Krupp AG of Essen. The car comes with the original order form, signed by Alfried Krupp, and numerous other documents. Owned by the current vendor – only its third in 55 years – since 1980, chassis number ‘2539’ has covered only 170,000 kilometres (approximately 105,500 miles) from new and is accident free. Original and un-restored, it retains matching chassis/engine numbers together with its original synthetic resin brown paintwork, beige leather interior, Becker Mexico radio and disc brakes, the latter ordered by Alfried Krupp shortly after delivery. The car comes with its original owner’s manual and folder, original tool kit, original jack and a board-mounted owner’s certificate. A steering wheel lock and plastic container for brake fluid come with it also.
1964 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster 198.042.10.003207 – sold for $2,035,000 One of the Last Delivered 300 SLs. A Desired Disc Brake, Alloy Block Roadster. European Specification Example. 80,237 KM (49,856 Miles) from New. Single Ownership from 1971 to 2013. An Exceptionally Original, Unrestored Example. Offered with Books, Tools, and Factory Hardtop. Documented by Mercedes-Benz Build Card. One of the Most Exciting 300 SL Discoveries. Auction Source: The Amelia Island Auction by Gooding & Company
1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster – sold for $1,650,000 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster on chassis 198.042.10.002562. The progenitor of the modern supercar. Charming provenance; two owners from new. Impeccable restoration to award-winning standards. Rare original accessories. Fully loaded 300SL roadster with hardtop, knock-off hubcaps, fitted luggage and toolkit. Auction Source: RM’s Art of the Automobile
1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster 198.042.7500229 – sold for $1,430,000 Single-family ownership from new until 2009. Only 42,312 original miles since new. A First in Class and People’s Choice Award at the 2012 Mercedes-Benz National Starfest Concours d’Elegance. Fresh restoration in original Ivory with Green leather interior. Full matching-numbers example accompanied by original factory and title documentation and ample restoration documentation. Auction Source: 2013 Monterey Auction by RM Auctions
Well-restored in desirable colors. Rudge wheels, fitted luggage, and factory hardtop. European headlights. As an original U.S.-delivery car with bumper guards, in addition to its “triple crown” of options, this car is equipped with a later upgrade to European-style single-lens headlamps. Many feel that this improves the overall appearance of a Roadster, and here, the lenses are fresh and beautiful. The original firewall data tag remains present on the car. The 300SL rides on sports racing tires with a period-correct appearance and shows 21,000 miles.
1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster 198.042.75.00195 – sold for $1,540,000 One of Roughly 25 Factory Rudge Wheel Examples. Matching-Numbers Roadster. Low Mileage and Limited Ownership. Restoration and Detailing by 300 SL Specialists. Class Winner at the Quail Motorsports Gathering. Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance Veteran Driven by Sir Stirling Moss. Recently Serviced and Ready for Touring. Offered with Books, Tools, and Factory Luggage. Documented by Mercedes-Benz Wagenkarte. Auction Source: The 2013 Scottsdale Auctions by Gooding & Company
This wonderful Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster presented here is certainly one of the most honest examples available and is believed to be one of three delivered in this colour combination. The car has benefitted from diligent care of only four owners from new and has been driven sparingly. It is complete with its original engine 8500164. Delivered new to a gentleman by the name of Joseph Bramlette, the car passed to a Mr. Hyatt Cheek, Jr. of Dallas, Texas in 1977. At the time Mr. Cheek acquired the car, the odometer indicated about 28,000 miles. Mr. Cheek was certainly no ordinary individual in the Mercedes-Benz world. He was the President of not only the Gullwing Group International but also President of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America.
The history file accompanying this 300SL Roadster shows that it was originally shipped on 9 January, 1958 from Amsterdam to Durban, finished in DB180 silver with contrasting red leather upholstery and destined for Mercedes aficionado Dr. John Stegman of Bloemfontein, South Africa. Together with his friend and fellow 300SL owner Walter Weis, Dr. Stegman set a record driving time with this 300SL from Bloemfontein to Cape Town, a record which is said to still stand today. After Dr. Stegman’s death his 300SL passed to Peter Manelis of Johannesburg. He undertook a general ‘going through,’ selling it in March 1995 to Ingo R. Orlop, who completed further work including overhauling the engine and gearbox and a bare metal repaint before the car toured the South African show circuit. Copies of the various awards garnered accompany the sale.
1962 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster – sold for $687,500 Matching-numbers engine; documented in the 300SL Roadster Register. Recently serviced by RM Auto Restoration. Rare disc brake example. In addition to its handsome overall presentation, high-quality finish and brightwork and matching-numbers engine, this car is also complete with competition-style lap belts, an original-type Becker Mexico multi-band pushbutton radio, a striking tan leather interior, a matching cloth top and fitted luggage. Auction Source: 2011 Monterey Auction by RM
1961 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster – sold for $852,500 Desirable Disc-Brake SL Roadster. West Coast Car from New.* Verified Matching-Numbers Example. Exacting Restoration Performed by Marque Specialists. Spectacular Factory Color Combination. Complete with Hardtop, Luggage, Tools and Manuals. Offered from Prominent Mercedes-Benz Collection. Auction Source: 2011 Pebble Beach Auctions by Gooding & Company
1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster – sold for $962,500 The 1960 Copenhagen Motor Show Car. Recently Discovered in a New York Garage. Single-Family Ownership for over 50 Years. Factory-Prepared as a Show Car. Original Finishes and Matching Numbers. Just over 15,000 Miles from New. Offered with Hardtop, Tools and Copies of Build Sheets. Outstanding Candidate for Preservation Display. Auction Source: 2011 Pebble Beach Auctions by Gooding & Compan
This wonderful example from 1961 was purchased new in Newport, California and spent most of the intervening years in Coronado, California. Approximately 10 years ago, the current enthusiast-owner acquired it from Paul Russell in Essex, Massachusetts. Since it was already a beautifully running and driving car, the 300 SL was purchased with the intention to be driven and enjoyed first and then restored later. Accordingly, it was shipped to the new owner’s home in Florida, and soon after, it was serviced, had the belts and hoses changed and was entered into the New England 1000 classic rally, as well as being driven from Florida to New England and back – a total of 3,800 miles. It performed flawlessly. Next, the 300 SL was driven in the Florida 1000 classic rally, running through Northern Florida and Southern Georgia, again performing as it should and accumulating another 1,750 miles.
The earliest recorded owner of this Roadster was William Mattlin of University Heights, Ohio, followed by Peter Ramins, who bought the exclusive sports car in August 1966. Mr. Ramins kept meticulous records on the maintenance of his prized Roadster, copies of which remain with the car today. In late 1966, the 300 SL was in need of a new engine block and refurbishing of various mechanical components. After sourcing an NOS factory-replacement steel block, Koepke Motor Sales Co. of Lakewood, Ohio, replaced the worn original power plant. The work was completed in November of that year and Mr. Ramins continued to enjoy his beloved Mercedes-Benz for the next 37 years, before finally parting with it in 2003.
1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster – sold for $572,000 In single ownership from the early 1960s into the 21st century, this 300SL roadster has been lovingly treated and regularly maintained by marque specialists. In 1998-99, a previous owner had Hyannis Restorations in Massachusetts conduct a comprehensive restoration. This involved stripping to bare metal and refinishing in white, restoring all brightwork and installing a red leather interior with matching carpets. Auction Source: 2011 Automobiles of Arizona by RM Auctions
Fastidiously prepared, properly cared for and even used for enjoyable local driving in Florida in addition to its many long-distance tours, this great 300 SL Roadster was recently described by the current owner as a “lovely, lovely car.” In addition to its timeless style and peerless driving dynamics, it is also complete with an extensive file of paperwork, as well as maintenance, restoration and 300 SL Registry documents. An extra set of floor mats and interior carpeting as well as the original radio are included with the sale of the car as well.
This striking red roadster with tan leather interior and tan German canvas top was regularly used by its owner in driving events. It has a solid, rust-free body with very nice paint and chrome. In addition, it shows evidence of having been well cared-for and regularly maintained. The trunk is lined with the correct square-weave material, and the jack and complete tool kit are included, both of which appear to be in their original bags. The 300SL today remains one of the greatest production automobiles ever produced and will be forever recognized for sheer performance, heritage, engineering and overall excellence in an automobile. This car is no exception and one that any enthusiast would be proud to own.
The 300SL Roadster presented here is finished in a beautiful shade of blue with a matching soft top as well as a very desirable and rare hardtop and the more attractive European specification headlights. All of the numbers on this car match and are correct (steering box, king pins, engine, body, chassis, gearbox) and, although the precise date and specifics are unknown, this car was fully restored at some point before seeing very limited use. The grey leather upholstery is reported to be in very good shape and it should be noted that, in its current ownership, the car has received extensive cosmetic work as well.
The white 1958 300SL Roadster presented here is an outstanding, beautifully restored example. Prior to its purchase by the current owner, this 300SL was part of a large Japanese automobile collection. The 300SL features beautiful chrome and brightwork, European-specification covered headlamps, and a set of genuine Rudge knock-off wheels, shod with period-style reproduction B.F. Goodrich Silvertown tires. Inside the cockpit, the stunning interior features flawless tan leather upholstery, along with correct tan carpeting and black rubber floor mats. In addition, a Becker Europa II AM/FM radio, as well as a heater, a dash-mounted clock, and a complete set of tan fitted luggage enhance the grand touring experience. Notably, the dash is beautifully presented, and features fresh-appearing gauges, instruments, and controls.