1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

Engine No. 1989807500108
Amelia Island 2020 - Gooding & Co.
Friday, 6 March - Saturday, 7 March 2020
Sale Price
Lot Number
Gooding & Company
Auction House
Chassis No. 1980427500094, Engine No. 1989807500108. White gray with a brown hardtop over red leather. 2996-cc, 250-hp L-6. 4-speed manual. Hubcaps, leather straps for the hood, roll bar. Period rally instruments on a custom panel, short shifter. Dash clock, Nardi wood-rim steering wheel, Marchal driving lights, metal tonneau cover, books, tools, and jack.

Evaluation: Visually maintained, largely original | Built for Princess Ashraf ol-Molouk Pahlavi of Iran (the Shah’s twin sister) with special-order paint in Perlgrau (pearl gray), although it currently wears an old Weissgrau (white gray) respray. Next owned by aviation pioneer Thomas Foster Hamilton, who kitted it out for rallies. Original chrome has significant pitting. Thick old repaint has orange peel. Wheels are chipped. Original interior. The leather is sound for the most part, other than a large tear on the driver’s side. Unrestored but tidy and maintained underneath. Engine bay is likewise clean, complete, correct, and original. The originality and neat history offsets the ratty paint job.

Bottom Line: As we’ve noted in a previous issue, SLs can be worth vastly different sums of money based on seemingly insignificant details. Of the three 300SL Roadsters in Amelia this year, this was the most original and the most interesting, but its rally bits may not be to everyone’s taste. All three cars brought relatively modest prices, with RM’s bringing $758,500 and Bonhams’ selling for $1,028,000. This one fell in the middle, but given the cool history, the originality, and the extra goodies, it was the best buy.

by Hagerty Editor
1 February 2020
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.