1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing


Canepa is offering this Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing for sale.

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  • Spectacular “100 Point” Concours Restoration by Expert Mark Allen of Rare Drive
  • Iconic Silver Grey Metallic with Blue interior and Tartan Plaid seats
  • Matching Numbers Chassis, Body, and Engine
  • Includes matching luggage set, tool roll, spare wheel/tire, lug wrench and owner’s manual
  • Mercedes-Benz’s most sought-after post-war sports car

Very few cars exude the same level of class, desirability, and recognizability of the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, a constant benchmark in “timeless design.” With its long swooping hood, perfect curves, iconic upward-opening doors, and a body design that is considered to be this day the epitome of style, the 300SL Gullwing has aged remarkably well. The 300SL has become a staple of many collectors “must have” items in automotive collections, despite the Gullwing starting from humble beginnings from an educated bet of a single person: Max Hoffman.

Max Hoffman was Mercedes-Benz’s authorized United States importer in the early 1950s. He also was/would become the importer for BMW, Alfa Romeo, Porsche, Volkswagen, and Jaguar. He correctly guessed that the American public (specifically those with the wherewithal) were looking for a luxury car that also had lots of performance. Max’s bet proved to be correct, with Mercedes-Benz making 1,400 examples of the Gullwing, selling nearly 80% of them to American buyers. Considered a resounding success, when the 300SL was released, it was considered the best sports car of its era.

The 300SL Gullwing succeeded because it was able to do two things well, not just one. A full-blown luxury car along with a record-breaking high-performance sports car, the Gullwing provided huge performance in a luxurious package. With its dry-sump 3.0-liter engine producing 215hp via mechanical fuel injection and its low-drag bodywork made it capable of reaching 163 miles per hour. In today’s speeds this doesn’t seem high, but this was 65 years ago where many cars barely went past 100 miles an hour! A 4-speed manual transmission kept the driver engaged, and the cabin inside was appointed like what you expected from a halo model from Mercedes-Benz. They were luxurious, designed well, and were swathed in the best materials to remind you that you were driving something special. For all of this luxury and performance, the price didn’t come cheap, with the 300SL Gullwing ringing in at $6,820 in 1954, although would be considered a bargain in 2024 money at $78,667!

One of the most unique features of the 300SL was the use of a tubular frame like many of the race cars of the era. Designed specifically for strength while reducing the amount of weight, it ensured that each car had an immense amount of stability upon high-performance maneuvers. The added plus of being able to design an entire chassis in this way was ensuring that the center of gravity was lower and towards the middle of the car, improving handling.

This Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing was completed in July of 1954 according to factory stampings throughout the vehicle. It was the 135th 300SL ever built.

It appears this was a two owner car until 2020. It was then purchased by noted car collector Chuck Wegner who commissioned Mark Allen of Rare Drive to complete a 100 point body off concourse restoration. This car was restored from a completely original 300SL showing no signs of corrosion or damage and has all matching numbers and original components. At the completion of the restoration the car was shown at The Quail. The factory-correct mechanicals and finishes, from the engine down to the smallest fasteners, all in the correct places and period-correct finishes. When you picture “concours winner”, this is an image that should pop into people’s heads.

After an initial inspection, each and every collector car that comes to Canepa, is put through an extensive and diligent process called the “Canepa Difference.” This includes a major and comprehensive mechanical inspection where all systems are checked and serviced as necessary. They also receive an award-winning concours-level detailing, a thorough cleaning of each and every surface that ensures that every car is a sight to behold. Finishing off with a foam-pad-only polish to enhance the paint finish, each and every car is a perfect example and a personification of Bruce Canepa’s impeccable attention to detail. This process helped enhance the already impressive 300SL.

Click here to watch the video about Mark Allen’s Restoration of this 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing

Sparking a number of emotions from a wide array of drivers, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing is a special automobile. A car whose style has withstood the test of time and arguably improved as the years have progressed, there is no better combination of luxury and performance from the 1950s. From its gullwing doors to long sloping hood, tube-frame chassis to its powerful 3.0-liter inline six engine, the 300SL Gullwing is and will remain timeless for years to come and continually transport its owner and driver back to a time of elegance, luxury, and performance. Those looking for an early Mercedes-Benz 300SL in fantastic condition and ready to be enjoyed should look no further.

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At Canepa you’ll find automotive nirvana in their 70,000 square foot facility in the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains where the world’s best automotive artisans work to preserve the most important road cars and competition vehicles for generations to come. Historic race car owners trust their motorsport team to deliver the expertise to restore and run their vehicles at the highest level. Investors and collectors alike have us breathe new life into cars ranging from the first Duesenberg production car ever built to the 1973 Can-Am winning Porsche 917/30. From paint and bodywork to mechanical repair and fabrication, Canepa’s work is immensely detailed, uncompromisingly correct, and certainly world-class. The Canepa experience is like none other.