1959 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster. PARIS 1 FEBRUARY 2023 (1959)




1959 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster
France | Paris, France
Chassis No.
Engine No.
Gearbox No.
Quite simply one of the finest examples of its type
Subject to an exhaustive €700,000 restoration between 2016 and 2021
Full matching-numbers chassis, differential, engine, gearbox, steering box, suspension, and hardtop
Finished in the rare and highly desirable combination of Hellblau over Creme leather
• A North American example, first registered in the United States on 1 March 1959
Accompanied by a factory hardtop, fitted luggage set, owner’s manuals, toolkit, and workshop manual, plus two binders of restoration documentation
Please note this lot has entered the EU on a temporary import bond, which must be cancelled either by exporting the lot outside of the EU on an approved Bill of Lading with supporting customs documentation or by paying the applicable VAT and import duties to have the lot remain in the EU.
Veuillez noter que ce lot a été introduit dans l'UE avec un cautionnement d'importation temporaire, qui devra être soldé par réexportation hors de l'UE avec un connaissement (bon de chargement) accompagné de ses documents douaniers, ou par paiement de la TVA et des droits de douane applicables s'il doit demeurer dans l'UE.
When the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL first broke cover in 1954, it presented a blinding vision of the future. A technological marvel, the revolutionary machine set a new performance benchmark that sent shockwaves through the automotive industry. From its bold yet beautiful aerodynamic styling to the cutting-edge mechanical fuel injection that afforded its straight-six such power, the incredible ‘Gullwing’ blew its competition out of the water. But perhaps what is most remarkable was that it achieved such performance while also proving to be one of the most elegant, chic and desirable automobiles of the decade—a car often hailed as the first true supercar.
The Gullwing quickly found favour with wealthy enthusiasts and automotive cognoscenti, but the 300 SL only fully captured the imagination of Hollywood’s elite with the arrival of the open Roadster variant in May 1957. Powered by the same 2,996-cc straight-six engine that drove the coupé, the Roadster was tuned for greater power to help offset a 125-kilogram increase in weight. The rear suspension, which in the Gullwing presented such a challenge to drivers when pushed to the limit, was modified with single-pivot trailing arms with a lower pivot point that offered more consistent handling. The car’s trademark “gullwing” doors, meanwhile, were changed to more conventional units allied with lower sills, that allowed for more a more elegant entry and exit—a must for any silver screen starlet arriving for a premier at the Egyptian Theatre.
As well as being more practical that its tin-top sibling, the 300 SL Roadster had greater longevity, remaining in production until 1963. Just 211 examples were built in 1959, among them chassis 9500070, which was destined for delivery to the United States. Finished in the deeply attractive yet rare combination of Hellblau over a Blau leather interior, the car was delivered via Studebaker-Packard of South Bend, Indiana, and was first registered in the United States on 1 March 1959. It would go on to be owned by John Hwang of Garden City, New York, and later one Sigi Benzl.
By 1985, the 300 SL Roadster is noted as having entered the stewardship of Liong Liem of Fairfield, Connecticut. While in Mr Liem’s care the car underwent a lengthy restoration by Precision Autoworks of New Jersey, with dozens of invoices on file detailing work carried out between 1986 and 1993, the sum of which amounts to more than $115,000. A further $50,000 was spent with Pennsylvania-based James Garttmeyer Automotive Services between 1994 and 1998. In 2013, while still owned by Mr Liem, the Mercedes-Benz underwent recommissioning at Vintage Motorsports, Inc. of Malvern, Pennsylvania, when it was noted that the car had been sitting for more than 12 years. Accompanying invoices from November 2013 to November 2014 outline work amounting to more than $35,000.
In 2016, the car was sold at auction prior to being bought by the consignor, who immediately commissioned a second no-expense-spared restoration that was carried out by AutoRiparazioni Stefano Coratelli and Kessel Classic in his native Switzerland. A staggering €700,000 was lavished on the 300 SL Roadster between 2016 and 2021 to bring the car to concours standard, including full restoration of the engine and all mechanical components, complete replacement of the electrical system to factory specification, and sourcing of all correct spare parts and materials. A further €49,000 of upholstery work carried out by Selleria Santarelli, including a full re-trim in Creme leather—one of four possible combinations for the 1959 model year—and replacement of the hardtop headlining with correct light grey material, perforated exactly as the original.
The car is accompanied by a factory hardtop, a full set of books, a Karl Baisch luggage set, a sales brochure, and toolkit, in addition to samples of the materials used in the restoration.
Finished to an impeccable standard, with full matching-numbers chassis, differential, hardtop, engine, gearbox, steering box, and suspension—not to mention a highly desirable and rare colour—this Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster sits comfortably among the best examples of its type.

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  • Year: 1959
  • Doors: 2
  • Body type: Convertible
  • Transmission type: Manual
  • Fuel type: Petrol
  • Colour: Blue

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