A 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL 'Gullwing' with a remarkable history is set to go under the hammer at Bonhams' Mercedes-Benz Museum sale in Stuttgart on 12 July. The estimate is undisclosed.
One of the earliest 300SLs in existence, the Gullwing was used to launch the model at the 1954 Paris Salon de l'Automobile, as well as starring at the 1955 London Motor Show before becoming The Autocar magazine's road test car.
But that was just the beginning of this Mercedes' fascinating history.
In 1955 Stirling Moss and Motor Sport journalist Denis Jenkinson won the Mille Miglia in stunning fashion at the wheel of a 300SLR. Moss attributed their victory to his navigator, 'Jenks', who had been able to warn him "of corners that could kill us, and opportunities to stay flat-out and so save time".
Their intimate knowledge of the course, which led to their ultimate victory, was only possible thanks to chassis '4500019'. It was in this car that, fully a month before the start of the race, the pair carried out hours of reconnaissance.
Following Moss and Jenkinson's victory in Brescia, the 300SL was sold to HWMotors, Walton-on-Thames, before passing on to its first private owner, Peter Woozley. A keen enthusiast, Woozley campaigned the car at club level, setting fastest lap and finishing second in the Stanley Sears Trophy at Snetterton in 1959.
Group motoring director at Bonhams James Knight, said: “This is arguably the most historic 300SL Gullwing extant and is the latest consignment to the auction at the Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart.”