1955 Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing Sells for World Record $4.62 Million

22 Jan

World Record 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing: Photo Courtesy Gooding & Company

It’s a good time to own a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing.  In the past few years prices for the iconic Gullwing Coupe, and its soft-top sibling the 300 SL Roadster have steadily climbed into the stratosphere of the collector car world.

The price for one of these rare and desirable vehicles reached a new zenith on Friday at the annual Gooding & Company auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., where a 1955 Gullwing sold for a record $4.62 million, far exceeding the presale estimate of $2.5 million to $3 million.

Why so much? Well, this wasn’t just one of the 867 examples that rolled off the assembly line in 1955. This particular Gullwing is number six of 29 aluminum-bodied examples that were specifically designed and built for competition racing. Modifications for the alloy Gullwing’s included reduced weight, a more powerful, high-performance NSL engine with high-lift camshaft, Rudge knockoff wheels, stiffer suspension and larger brakes.

The 1955 alloy Gullwing might have set a new world record for the vehicle at auction, but it wasn’t the only 300 SL to sell in the past two days for a world record price.

1954 Steel-Bodied 300 SL Gullwing sold for $2 million on Saturday Jan. 21. Photo Courtesy Barrett-Jackson Auctions

Only one day after the sale of the 1955 alloy-body, a 1954 steel-bodied Gullwing sold for $2 million (not including buyer’s premium) at the Barrett-Jackson auction on the other side of Scottsdale. This eclipsed the previous mark of $1,375,000 million set at the 2011 RM auction in Phoenix, Ariz. The steel-bodied example was one of only 146 built in 1954. In addition to the extremely low production numbers for that year, the vehicle rolled over the auction block with just 4,149 original miles. As if the low mileage wasn’t good enough this particular Gullwing was totally original and unrestored, minus the exterior being repainted once.

Unrestored Interior of 1954 300 SL Gullwing: Photo Courtesy Barrett-Jackson Auctions

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