Gullwings were prominent in the gorgeous Mercedes Classic Center pavilion during the Monterey Week this year. The rarely shone sole 1953 competition 300SL was among the stars.
Mercedes Classic 2012
Unique 300SLs featured
I occasionally ponder the most valuable 300SL extant. We’ve heard some extraordinary numbers this year and January’s Gooding & Co $4.6m sale of sn 198.043.5500208 quite likely stands as the highest price paid for a 300SL. My choice for the most valuable 300SL has gradually settled on sn 0011/52, an outlier in the 300SL universe and a car that remains absolutely unique. And essentially unobtainable and rarely seen.
But there it was resting within the Mercedes Classic Center’s display in Monterey nestled between it’s predecessor and successor. Silberfeils (Silver Arrows) were front and center at this year’s display adjacent to our glimpse into the the not too distant future of Mercedes-Benz mid-size segment, the Concept Style Coupe.
Leaner, lower and more aggressive than its ten 194 predecessors, 1953 300SL SN 011 features fuel injection, 16" wheels and a transaxle. Unusual, edgy nose treatment earned the car its nickname of "Hobel," German for a carpenter's plane. It's certainly the most exotic 300SL. This is the only example that exists.
Another unique if awkward appearing 300SL is this production 300SL, one of the 29 original alloy gullwings and one with very special provenance: It was sold to '50s Formula 1 icon, Juan Manuel Fangio, who competed in it once before selling to his friend Jose Maria Ibanez. Today the car resides on the breathtaking Arturo and Deborah Keller collection.
This early W194 contrasts dramatically with the stillborn 1953 competition car. Ingress and egress issues prompted the extension of the roof doors. It was a potent weapon in 1952.
The CSC (Classic Style Coupe) presents a design that we will soon see applied to mid-sized Mercedes-Benz products. This exercise continues the trend of raising the beltline of the car while compressing the side window height contributing to vastly reduced rear/sideward visibility. It's quite stylish however.
Classic Center Offerings
The Classic Center is also in the business of selling fabulous old and youngtimers and there were some spectacular cars offered this year at Pebble Beach. We present a few below.
Please contact Mike Kunz @866-622-5277 for pricing and further details on these cars.
1955 300SL - Chassis no: 198.040-55-00579
1937 320 Cabriolet B
1936 540K Cabriolet B
19?? 280SL Dark Olive w/Ivory hard top and wheel covers and parchment interior.
1968 290SL Signal Red/Black MB tex - fully restored.
1969 600 SWB 17,000 original miles.
Roy Spencer, editor MercedesHeritage.com
Photography from MercedesHeritage.com
Please comment on this article below.