1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052

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Lot 21
Matching numbers example with well documented history
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ 300SL ROADSTER

Sold for US$ 1,485,000 inc. premium
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ 300SL ROADSTER

Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091
Engine no. 198.982.10.000052

2,996cc SOHC Alloy Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Bosch Mechanical Fuel Injection
225bhp at 5,800rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Disc Brakes

*Desirable late production, alloy block and disc brake 300SL
*Exceptional presentation with recent service by Bob Platz
*Matching numbers example with well documented history
*Presented in the Factory-delivered livery
*Offered with both hard and soft tops, books and tools



THE MERCEDES-BENZ 300SL ROADSTER

Max Hoffman rarely missed an opportunity. The impresario of imported cars on New York's Park Avenue built the U.S. presence of most European brands after World War II - Jaguar, Allard, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Mercedes-Benz and more - and when Mercedes-Benz won the Carrera Panamericana in 1952 with a W194 300SL coupe driven by Karl Kling, Hoffman seized the moment.

He approached Mercedes with a radical idea: take the racing-derived tube frame W194, with its high performance 3-liter engine, and create a road-going sports car aimed at the upper-end of the aspiring US sports car market. It was an audacious move, but Hoffman had a highly developed sense of the U.S. market and backed up his suggestion with his checkbook. He placed an order for a thousand luxury high performance coupes based on a more civilized version of the W194. Mercedes-Benz, still valiantly trying to shake off the devastation of the war and the weak European market, took him up on it and the 300SL was born.

Hoffman had proposed a relatively direct transformation of the multi-tube framed W194, retaining its characteristic roof-hinged doors, 45° canted triple-carbureted single overhead camshaft inline six cylinder engine, but the innovative engineers at Mercedes-Benz weren't satisfied with such a simple transformation. Improvements to the 300SLs usability were made throughout the car, yet it was obvious that this car was derived from a racing car. As aerodynamics played an important role in the car's speed, the Mercedes-Benz engineers would place horizontal "eyebrows" over the wheel openings to reduce drag. With fully independent suspension, a close-ratio gearbox with straight cut gears and the first fuel injection system ever offered in a production automobile, the 300SL was a technological tour-de-force. When introduced in Coupe form to the US market at the February 1954 New York Auto Show, it became an instant sensation.

After selling some ~1400 300SL Coupes, Mercedes-Benz required a solution for customers desiring an open sports car – something more user-friendly on a hot summer day. Introduced in 1957, the 300SL Roadster would effectively replace the Coupe, or "Gullwing" as it was commonly known. At a price of $11,000, the new Roadster was more expansive than the outgoing Coupe, but nonetheless a great success.

Based on the same chassis as the Coupe, the Roadster incorporated differences included larger front fenders, larger headlights, a smaller grille and an attractive chrome spear down the side. To maintain rigidity, the Mercedes-Benz engineers strengthened the tube frame chassis. The rear suspension was revised with a single-point swing axle featuring an additional spring, for better stability during high-speed cornering. The top speed would remain at 150mph plus, truly staggering in its day.

Further improvements were made throughout the Roadster's production run, most importantly the upgrade to 4-wheel disc brakes for the 1960 model year, and ultimately the change to an all alloy engine near the very end of the production run. These final cars benefited from the much improved disc brakes and a better balance overall due to the significant weight savings of the lighter alloy engine. Today, these last of the breed 300SLs remain the rarest and most collectible iteration of this hugely successful sports car.


THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

The 300SL is, if anything, a driver's car and few examples live up to this mantra more than this one. Built in the latter part of 1962, it was fitted from the factory with disc brakes, which had been introduced on the model in 1961, and the lightweight alloy block motor, which would only appear in the late 1962 and 1963 models. This would be the ultimate specification for the 300SL, continuing in this guise with greater stopping power and better balance than its older brethren, until the end of production in 1963.

Originally delivered in Fire Engine Red (DB534) over Black leather interior, this 300SL remains very original and as-built at the Stuttgart Mercedes-Benz works. The car was equipped with a both soft and Hardtops, both finished in black, adding a neat contrast to the red body color. The new 300SL Roadster was equipped for the US-market, and was soon after completion shipped off to North America.

The cars first owner remains unknown, but the car is believed to have been delivered through Max Hoffman to an Ohio-based owner when new. According to the Gullwing Group's registry on the 300SL Roadsters, this car was owned by a Mr. Robert B. Harris of Shelbyville, Indiana from 1977 until 2001, when it was brokered by renowned Mercedes-Benz specialist, Scott Grundfor of Arroyo Grande, California. At this point in time, the 300SL is believed to have been in highly original condition; having covered less than 71,000 miles since new. The most recent owner, Jack Hutton of Concord, New Hampshire, purchased the car soon after and kept it until 2015.

During Mr. Hutton's ownership, Al Poskus and his specialty shop Autobahn East treated the Red Roadster to a restoration and repaint of the bodywork. At this point the car original hardtop was still painted in the factory black color, but changed to Red to match the interior. During the same period of time, the cars mechanical systems where restored by Dave Twichell, another well-known 300SL specialist, and the interior re-trimmed in the original black color by Mike Curley. Most recently, this well-kept 300SL has been treated to an extensive service and cosmetic freshening by renowned marquee-specialist Bob Platz.

Understood to have been driven less than 93,000 miles since new, this rare, alloy block and disc brake 300SL shows extremely well. Finished in the original as-delivered color combination of Fire Engine Red over Black hides, with a black soft top, it is certainly one of the finest 300SL alloy block and disc brake Roadsters one could purchase, and retains the original drivetrain including the engine, as well as body panels and chassis. The car is offered with copies of the Mercedes-Benz factory built sheets, books and tools, and is ready for use on rallies or tours, or to be displayed at Concours events.

Footnotes

  • Please note that this car is titled as a 1963.
Contacts
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
1962 MERCEDES-BENZ  300SL ROADSTER  Chassis no. 198.042.10.003091 Engine no. 198.982.10.000052
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