1963 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster

1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
VIN: 198042-10-003257

Second-to-last 300SL built
Rare disc-brake example – One of only 200
Aluminum alloy engine
Has every upgrade ever made to the 300SL platform
Original red leather interior
Documented ownership history
Has Mercedes-Benz Zertifikat, and Fahrzeug-Daten card
Complete with its original hardtop, books, tools, luggage, spare and jack

This particular Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster is the second-to-last example every built. With its 4-wheel disc brakes, aluminum alloy engine and benefiting from every upgrade made to the 300SL platform since 1954, making this 300SL one of the rarest surviving examples to wear the 300SL badge.

The final production of the legendary 300SL Roadster happened in January and February of 1963. Twenty-six cars would be built in those two months, with the last six built in February. This car, chassis 3257, was completed the day before the factory closed on February 7th, 1963, making it the penultimate 300SL. Because this is the second-to-last 300SL ever made, it benefits from every improvement made to the 300SL platform, with disc brakes and the aluminum-alloy engine only in the last 200 cars.

This Roadster was delivered from the factory in white over a red leather interior, optioned with a black convertible top. Its early history is immensely interesting: Fresh from the factory, it was sent to Mercedes-Benz in Salzburg, Austria, but research indicates that the 300SL did not sell on its initial outing and was returned to the factory for upgrades.

The result of this return to Stuttgart was a second build sheet for 3257, adorned with more options than before. Obviously aimed for the U.S. market, the car was fitted with sealed beam headlights, optioned with a factory hardtop, a U.S.-spec Becker Grand Prix radio, white wall tires, and gauges in English. The 300SL wasn’t converted completely from Euro spec however, as it retained its 3.64 rear differential, Euro steering column, and did not have any rear DOT reflectors. The upgrades did their magic, and the white over red 300SL was sold on February 14th, 1964, one of only three 300SLs sold in 1964.

The first known owner was Robert Lindsay of Spokane, Washington. The first repair order documenting his ownership dates to September 22nd, 1967 when the car only had 19,055 miles on the odometer. On January 2nd, 1968, at 19,365 miles, Lindsay had to replace the engine block and pistons. The engine was replaced with a factory-original aluminum block, and the original engine tag was transferred to the new engine block.

In late 1970, Lindsay sold the car to Bill Sutherland, owner of Sutherland-Marlow, Inc., a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Spokane. While his ownership was brief, he used this 300SL regularly, putting almost 10,000 miles on the car that year., His final repair order dates to November 24th, 1971 with an odometer reading of 28,547 miles.

In December of 1971, the 300Sl was purchased by Mercedes-Benz dealer Phil Smart Sr. There are numerous repair orders from Smart’s ownership at his dealership in Seattle, Washington, evident that he fastidiously maintained the Roadster. The car’s last recorded mileage under his ownership was in 1976 at 32,635 miles.

Smart kept the Roadster in his possession until the 1980s. Long time collector and entrepreneur, Gordon Apker, got a call offering him the 300SL along with other collector cars.
Apker, who paid $55,000 for the 300SL, used it as a weekend car to drive between his home on Puget Sound and his lakeside cottage in Eastern Washington. A few years later, Apker received an offer that he couldn’t refuse for the car. David Brice, an Australian collector, offered $500,000 for the car in late 1988. When a good Roadster was fetching a little over $100k, this was a staggering amount of money and most likely a record. That number wouldn’t be publicly offered for a Roadster until the mid-2000s.

Brice’s collection at the time included the very first alloy Gullwing, which coincidentally was delivered in the same color combination as this 300SL roadster. They were a “book end pair” for any series 300SL collector. The story goes that the very last 300SL was not for sale and remained with the same family for decades, and was destined to eventually take a special place inside the Mercedes-Benz automotive museum. This fact made this second-to-last 300SL the closest you could get to owning the very last 300SL in a private collection.

A California-based dealer, who to date has owned over two hundred 300SL Roadsters and Gullwings, bought this 300SL Roadster and the 300SL Gullwing from Brice in 1992. He sold this Roadster in 1995 to a German collector, who asked to remain anonymous. The customs stamping on one of the paper documents, a factory data card, indicates that it cleared customs on March 30th, 1995.

In 2000, Phil Smart Jr. tracked down his father’s 300SL Roadster in Germany and bought it back. In 2001 he commissioned Rudi Koniczek (Rudi & Company) in Victoria, BC to remove all of the paint down to the bare metal, which revealed the original factory sheet metal with no damage and free of corrosion. The 300SL was re-painted in its original Mercedes-Benz white (weiß) and given a complete mechanical service. In the same year, he gave the car to his father as a surprise present. The father and son would keep this 300SL together for 14 years, driving it less than 1,000 miles in that time and keeping it in excellent condition with regular servicing and detailing.

To see the rest of the car’s story, please visit https://canepa.com/photo-gallery/1963-mercedesbenz-300-sl5170/.

Milage in MpH

Facebook
Facebook
Instagram
Google+
https://collectorscarworld.com/listings/1963-mercedes-benz-300-sl-roadster/
Twitter
Year: 1963
Make: Mercedes-Benz
Model: 300 SL Roadster
Mileage: 38864
Condition: used
Drivetrain: Manual
Engine: 2996 CC M198 SOHC I6
Dealer: Canepa
Canepa
Vendor:Canepa
Contact:sales@canepa.com
Website:http://www.canepa.com
Canepa, headquartered in Scotts Valley, CA, is a multi-faceted automotive organization that includes Canepa, Canepa Design, Canepa Motorsports and Concept Transporters. Canepa provides exceptional automobiles to collectors worldwide, as well as performing Pebble Beach level restorations on historically important vehicles. Canepa Design is renown for expertly combining sophisticated design and superb craftsmanship in creating personalized European and American sports and luxury cars, hot rods, SUVs, and motorcycles. Canepa Design also works closely with major corporations such as Kenworth, Peterbilt, GM, Ford, and Bridgestone on concept, prototype, and production vehicles. Canepa Motorsport is the racing arm of Canepa, and is a recognized leader in mechanical and cosmetic vintage racecar restoration, preparation, and track support. Attending 6 to 8 premiere vintage races each season, their focus is on 1970's to 1980's era race cars: Can-Am, Trans-Am, IMSA, FIA, Group C, Historic NASCAR, and Historic Formula One. Concept Transporters, located in Fresno, CA, is the industry leader in "state-of-the-art" enclosed vehicle transporters, mobile showrooms, hospitality suites, and mobile emergency command centers. The company designed the industry's first aerodynamically streamlined big trucks (Kenworth) in 1983 revolutionizing big truck design and boosting fuel mileage and driver efficiency. Concept creates many different types of transport vehicles depending on the customer's specific needs. Each project is designed from the ground up creating transporters that are perfectly suited for their intended use.
Back to top
Translate »