Sale Title AUTOMOBILES DE COLLECTION LE MANS CLASSIC Location Paris Sale Date Jul 08, 2006 Estimate 260,000 - 340,000 Euros Year: 1955 Chassis No. 198.040 4500 093 Engine No. 198.980 4500 113 Engine: inline six cylinder, single overhead camshaft, 2.996cc., 240bhp at 5.800rpm; Gearbox: four speed synchromesh manual; Suspension: double wishbone front with coil springs and anti-sway bar and rear swing axle with radius rods and coil springs; Brakes: vacuum assisted four wheel finned drums. Left hand drive. Coachwork: Coupe, silver with red leather interior. Model History When Mercedes-Benz returned to motor racing in 1952, they dominated the major long distance sportscar events with their futuristically styled 300SL race cars. Considerable pressure and a guaranteed 1,000 orders from the Mercedes New York agent convinced Stuttgart to produce a street version of the 300SL, duly launched at the New York Motor Show to ecstatic acclaim. It closely resembled the race cars except that, with all-steel bodywork, appropriate road equipment and larger doors, it was even more stunning. To resolve the carburetor location problems, it was the first production car to have Bosch direct fuel injection, with a resultant increase in power to 240bhp. These cars were not only sensational in appearance, but had a performance that only race drivers normally experienced. It was not surprising that such drivers were eager to buy them, and in order to extract the maximum performance, which ranged from 150-165mph depending on axle ratios, one needed their expert skills. The swing axle rear suspension and drum brakes did require considerable respect when driving on the limit. Even so, these highly specialized and very expensive cars sold amazingly well and 1,400 were hand-built in three years. Specific history The current owner purchased this 300SL in original and complete condition from Switzerland where it received a respray and retrim in 1998. Following his purchase he subsequently commissioned a complete service of the car to be undertaken by official Mercedes agents in Belgium. Since then the car has been driven sparingly and the odometer shows 60,360kms which is believed to be the original mileage from new, having spent some of its life in the Middle East when the property of the Governor of Abu Dhabi, therefore residing in a dry climate. This matching numbers car is complete with its rare belly pans which are fitted. Overall, this Mercedes-Benz 300SL is in highly presentable condition and shows only very limited wear. These spirited road cars, with speed capabilities up to 150 mph, are timeless and cherished classics with one of the most distinctive designs ever put to metal and the 300SL on offer exemplifies this in its fine condition and roadworthiness. Christie's recommends close inspection of this fine example finished in the archetypal colours of the Marque for this model.