The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing is a car of undeniable pedigree, boasting one of the most beautiful designs the automotive world has ever seen. It’s only natural that a number of the esteemed vehicles would eventually fall into the hands of pertinent historical figures — and this 1955 iteration of the car is no exception.
This 1955 300 SL was acquired straight from the factory in Austria, following a special order placed by the country’s virtuoso, Herbert von Karajan, who served as head of the Berlin Philharmonic for over 35 years and is widely considered one of the premier conductors of the 20th century. To Krajan’s specifications, the Gullwing was delivered with Rudge knock-off wheels, a unique DB 158 White Grey paint job, and a red plaid cloth interior. Although the maestro was fond of luxurious sports cars, the Gullwing was eventually sold to John Kinzerling after a brief tenure, where it would stay until its U.S. import sometime around 1964. The vehicle was restored in the 1970s and found a home in California, where it was exhibited for a short time in San Francisco’s Bay Area before retirement to a long-term storage facility in San Bruno. Now, the immaculate Gullwing is being sent to auction via Gooding & Company for an estimated $1,100,000.