Originally envisioned as a racing car and later as a sports coupe, the 300SL Roadster was conceived by Max Hoffman, the official Mercedes-Benz importer in America at the time. Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in May of 1957, the 300SL stands as one of the most significant automobiles of the 20th century, boasting numerous mechanical and technological innovations. This 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL is one of only 1,858 roadsters produced during a six-year manufacturing period and is one of just 554 first-year examples produced. Following a comprehensive restoration, it was refinished in Silver and reupholstered with factory-spec red leather. The restoration also included a mechanical refurbishment, and among its features are a 4-speed manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension with a low-pivot rear swing axle, servo-assisted hydraulic drum brakes, and a set of luggage. This 300SL is now being offered for auction by its seller out of Florida.
The 300SL traces its lineage directly back to the 1952 Le Mans W194 competition coupe. It inherits the racer's pioneering and lightweight tubular space-frame chassis, a groundbreaking feature for a production road car at the time. In contrast to the Gullwing Coupe, the Roadster underwent chassis modifications, including lower sills to accommodate conventional swing-opening doors. This Roadster has undergone a meticulous restoration process and now showcases a Silver (DB180) exterior, a departure from its original Fire Engine Red (DB534) color, complemented by a red convertible top. Additionally, the 15” wheels feature original hubcaps that have been repainted to match the body. The seller indicates the presence of a minor scratch adjacent to the driver’s door handle, detailed images are available in the photo gallery.
The interior showcases reupholstered red leather seats, a matching dashboard, and red carpeting as per its factory specification, complemented by chrome accents and analog instruments. It is also equipped with roll-up windows and a 2-spoke ivory steering wheel featuring a horn ring. The seller describes the interior as being in remarkable condition, noting only minor scratches on the driver's seat. All gauges and electronics are reported to be fully functional without any warning lights.
Power is derived from a type M198 3.0-liter inline-six engine positioned at a unique 45-degree angle, allowing for a lower hoodline. Equipped with direct fuel injection, a pioneering feature for its time, this front-mounted engine delivers 225 HP to the rear wheels, an increase of 10 HP over previous iterations. All four corners feature independent suspension, while low-pivot swing axles contribute to both a lower stance and enhanced handling. The seller notes a comprehensive mechanical refurbishment of the engine and transmission during a prior restoration, with both components remaining factory original. Furthermore, the engine and suspension numbers are reported to match the data card. Included in the sale are over 100 receipts spanning at least 15 years, documenting various maintenance and repair services, ranging from minor details to more extensive work such as fuel injection pump service.
This sale will include a clean title.
The seller would like you to know: “The 300SL Roadster is one of the most enviable convertibles in existence.”