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Auction Block: 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing

Photos: Mathieu Heurtault Courtesy of Gooding & Company

The Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing is unequivocally one of the most iconic cars of all time, playing a pivotal role in the company’s early racing efforts and helping to cement the marque’s status as a producer of world-class high-performance vehicles. In total, only 3,258 examples left the factory, only 1,400 of which were coupes — a fact that makes this soon-to-be-auctioned-off matching numbers Gullwing incredibly noteworthy.

Adorned in an original factory color, this 1956 specimen still retains its original frame, engine, and bodywork — factors that make this already rare and incredibly sought-after car that much more valuable. Powering this late-production Gullwing is a Bosch fuel-injected, 3.0-liter single overhead cam inline-six engine that’s mated to a four-speed manual gearbox and good for around 220hp at 6,500rpm. The SL’s impressive stopping and cornering abilities are owed to a four-wheel servo-assisted hydraulic drum brake setup and a front-independent double wishbone suspension setup and an independent swing-axle setup in the rear — both of which are equipped with coil springs.

Originally sold on the West Coast, this Gullwing has traded hands on numerous occasions, though has also been meticulously cared for, with several owners bestowing the car with varying degrees of restoration over the course of their respective tutelage. This example has also more recently been treated to general servicing as well as a braking system overhaul. Alongside the car itself, the sale also includes the SL’s original tool roll, belly pans, manuals, and an original Karl Baisch luggage set.

This matching-numbers 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing (Chassis # 198.040.6500278) is due to cross the auction block at Gooding & Company’s upcoming London sale beginning September 3, where it’s expected to fetch between £1,100,000 to £1,300,000 (~ $1,278,000 to $1,511,000).

Purchase: $1,278,000+

Photo: Mathieu Heurtault Courtesy of Gooding & Company
Photo: Mathieu Heurtault Courtesy of Gooding & Company
Photo: Mathieu Heurtault Courtesy of Gooding & Company