Venezuela is more of a hotbed for classic cars than you’d expect
By Nick Tragianis
Originally published: May 15, 2015 (driving.ca)
Long regarded as one of the most beautiful cars in history, a barn find Mercedes-Benz 300SL in Venezuela was saved from a bleak and rusty future.
As the story goes, former Venezuelan president and military leader Marcos Perez Jiminez ruled the country from 1952 to 1958. Turns out, Jiminez was also somewhat of a car guy, amassing a fairly impressive car collection in his six years of leadership.
This particular Mercedes-Benz 300SL was recently featured in Barn Finds. Apparently, after seeing this very car one year during the Grand Prix of Caracas, Jimenez fell in love with it and purchased it from the driver after the race. Jimenez even received racing lessons from Argentinian Formula One driver Juan Manuel Fangio and plenty of track time with the 300SL.
After Jimenez’s leadership dissolved, the 300SL changed owners. For more than two decades, Alvin Acevedo and his father kept tabs on the car, recently bringing it home and restoring it to its fullest potential. It’s even finished with period-correct paintwork and livery from its racing days.
Alvin and his father spend time tracking down and restoring gems like these before sending them off to new owners. So far, they’ve tracked down and restored a Ferrari 275 and a 330, as well as Jimenez’s personal 300SL.