While Mercedes-Benz 300 SL’s are not in themselves exceptionally rare cars — some 1,400 coupes were sold between 1954 and 1957 — every so often the odd unicorn crops up. It’s these such vehicles that have the best stories to tell, whether it’s because of a peculiar ownership history or some subsequent restoration work. Take the 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL pictured here, for example.
Originally purchased by a wealthy British industrialist with a taste for speed, this Gullwinged wonder is truly one-of-a-kind. For starters, while 39% of 300 SL’s were sold in standard metallic silver, this one was done up in elegant Elephant Ivory with a red tartan wool interior. What’s more, it hides a high-performance NSL engine under the hood, an upgrade featured on just 4% of these cars. But the real kicker is its lightweight alloy body handcrafted by the Mercedes-Benz racing department. For though the option shaved nearly 80kg (176lbs) of weight from the car, only 29 of such 300 SL’s were ever built. Top it off with a history of owners that includes the legendary racing driver David Piper, (as well as a not-insignificant 1,000-plus-hour restoration job) and the result is a car in a class unto itself. You can contact Schaltkulisse GmbH for pricing.