1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

Gooding & Company's latest online auction averages $1.28M per car
Thursday, 28 January - Friday, 5 February 2021
£935,000 ($1,282,259)
Sale Price
£900,000 - £1,200,000
Est. Range
5 February 2021
Sold Date
Lot Number
Older restoration
Gooding & Company
Auction House
Chassis no. 19804210003243. Bisquitgelb (Biscuit Yellow) with black hardtop and dark brown soft top of Cognac leather. 2996/250hp alloy engine, 4-speed, disc brakes all-round, very rare Talbot racing mirror with ambient temperature gauge built in, original hardtop with a custom transportation wood crate box, full set of boot stowed travel luggage, tool roll and jack stand, period manuals.

Evaluation: Final-year 300SL, one of just 26 roadsters built for 1963. Sold new in Germany and with its original owner until the 1990s. Restored in 2008-10. Fuel injection and rear axle overhauled in 2019. Currently has an unstamped engine block fitted early in the car’s life.

Excellent paint finish with only the tiniest of fine swirl lines. Panel fit is excellent, too. The chrome work is impressive with only the finest of swirl lines to show it’s not new. The interior is near perfection. The high-grade seat leather has the right perforations and the short tuft carpets are high quality. There are signs of hand marks in the leather. The underbody is well preserved. The wheels are mint but the tyres are old, from 2003. Very smart engine bay with slight dust in the corners, and the beginnings of surface deterioration on the manifold. All commensurate with 13 years since restoration. The ambient temperature gauge in the Talbot wing mirror is a delight. The colour is subjective but this is a sublime condition 300 SL nonetheless.

Bottom Line: The restoration may not have been done yesterday but it is holding up very well and, save for the engine number issue it’s a very desirable car with good features. This price is a straightforward reflection of all the above, and both parties should be happy.

by Andrew Newton
11 February 2021
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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.