Completed at the Mercedes-Benz works in July of 1955, this exceptional Gullwing was finished exactly as it appears today. Painted DB 534 Feuerwehrrot, or Fire Brigade Red, with an interior of fawn MB-Tex, with seats trimmed in fawn bolsters and fitted with smart L2 Gabardine checked-pattern red plaid cushions. Unlike most 300SLs, this car was not destined for the US market, but for Great Britain and the UK Mercedes-Benz agency in London. It was equipped as a special order car, with instruments in English, a 3.42:1 rear axle ratio and fitted with export license plates. All of these dates and records are neatly documented on the copies of the factory build sheets and the Mercedes-Benz Classic Zertifikat assembled in the car’s history file.
This Gullwing was delivered to its first owner, The Right Honourable Lord Terence O’Neill, Baron O’Neill of the Maine. Lord O’Neill later sold the red Gullwing to a Mr. Lee, also residing in the UK, who eventually sold the car to a Mr. Handel. The Gullwing made its way to the US sometime in the 1970s, where Los Angeles resident Mr. Max Spitznagel is believed to have been the next owner, before it was purchased by Downey, California, enthusiast Mr. Friedrich H. Wegener. At this point the Gullwing was still in remarkably original and unrestored condition, still painted red and with the old interior intact. Mr. Wegener would keep the car in dry storage, intending to use it at a later date, however never got around to it.
In 2005, the aging yet original Gullwing became known to us and we were able to purchase the car from Mr. Wegener on behalf of our client, and soon after a full restoration was begun. Photos taken prior to the restoration work are present in the car’s history file, and clearly show just how original and complete the Gullwing was. Over the next two and a half years, we went through the Gullwing rigorously, addressing all mechanical and cosmetic aspects, and finishing it in the factory delivered livery.
The 300SL’s original drivetrain, including the matching numbers engine, was naturally all retained, and since the car was in such remarkably original condition to begin with, it was not necessary to remove the body from the chassis frame, thereby not disturbing the integrity of the coachwork. In addition to the correct L2 Gabardine checked-pattern red plaid seat cushions, a second set of seat cushions was made in fawn MB Tex, and can easily be swapped as desired. A set of period correct luggage was sourced from Taris Charysin, and is neatly strapped down on the rear luggage tray, and books, history file, tools and the original belly pans accompany the sale of the car.
Having resided for the past decade in the carefully curated collection of a single and devoted Malibu, California based connoisseur of the finest collector cars, this stunning Gullwing is one of the finest examples we have ever had the pleasure to offer for public sale. Service and maintenance work has been performed by Rene Luteraan’s Van Nuys Sports Cars.