Launched in 1954, the production 300 SL retained the spaceframe chassis of the racer and was powered by a 2,996cc, overhead-camshaft, inline six canted at 45 degrees to achieve a lower, more aerodynamic bonnet line. Tested by the highly respected American magazine Road & Track in 1955, the 300 SL accelerated from 0-60mph in 7.4 seconds, going on to achieve a top speed of 140mph: outstanding figures for its day. It was, arguably, the world’s first supercar.
During a Road and Track test in 1958, A 0-60mph time of 7.0 seconds and a top speed of 130mph were recorded, making the 300 SL Roadster one of the fastest convertibles of its time. The 300 SL Roadster sold well for a car that cost more than a Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder and would out-live the 300 SL Coupé, which ceased production in 1957, by several years. Roadster production ended in 1963 after 1,858 cars had been built, and today the model is both rare and highly sought after.
“Simply put, the 300 SL is high on the list of all-time greats. Its groundbreaking styling, performance and technology made it an instant success, and today it is one of the most collectible cars from the 1950s”
– Road and Track magazine, 1964 –
The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster we are offering here is chassis 198.042.10002986 and was supplied new in 1962 for the US market. The first owner was Captain M. L. Warren of Long Island who was then a Pan Am pilot. Later on, Warren sold the car in December 1970 to another Pan Am pilot, colleague of his, Philip Psomadakis from North Carolina. Over a decade later, in November 1982, third owner Norman Fineberg from Woodbridge, CT, bought 198.042.10002986. Fineberg kept the car for nearly 30 years before it got acquired by the fourth and current owner.
Recently fully appraised by one of the most prominent expert for 300 SL’s, 198.042.10002986 is undoublebly one of the very best original examples in existence. Presented in an outstanding preservation condition throughout, all numbers, with no exception, are matching, which has over the years become very uncommon for this model! This magnificent example represents a unique opportunity to acquire one of the most iconic open grand tourer from the 60s and would be an ideal entrant for multiple historic events.