Evaluation: One-off penned by Tom Tjaarda for Pininfarina. Shown at the Paris and Torino Motor Shows, then sold to German press magnate Axel Springer. Since restored to concours standards. The restoration is older but the car is still gorgeous. There is light delaminating in the windshield and one of the gauges is a bit cloudy, but it’s otherwise a flawless Mercedes. As Pagodas go (and it’s not really a Pagoda with this bodywork, is it?), this is among the most desirable of them all.
Bottom Line: Coachbuilt Benzes are not something you see every day. So seeing this and the one-off Pinin Farina Corvair offered next to it was a real treat, and walking around the car to see all the subtle differences and details was a real treat. Gooding’s estimate was “in excess of $1,000,000,” which is rapidly approaching 300SL money, but uniqueness is highly prized in the collector car world and the car handily exceeded that estimate. And how highly prized is this SL’s special one-off shape? For reference, a standard 230SL in this condition would be lucky to get a tenth of this price.