1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing Coupe / 1980405500601 Chassis Information

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Coupe
Chassis #: 1980405500601
Sold for $770,000 at 2008 Sports & Classics of Monterey by RM Auctions.
Sold for $1,375,000 at 2011 Automobiles of Arizona by RM Auctions.
Success, in most cases, comes down to being in the right place at the right time. Part of the mystique of Meredes-Benz's 300SL comes down to that fact. It was the right car for the right time. The price almost didn't matter because of it. That's the way it is with most things—if people believe in it, the price, or, all that has to come together to make it happen, will not matter.

When those right moments happen, something, even just one thing, will remain in the minds and memories of those affected. In the case of the 300SL Coupe, it's the doors. True enthusiasts will be able to imagine the lines, the elegance, even the performance of the 300SL. In fact, if somebody describes the beautiful and shapely lines of the 300SL, the true enthusiast will be able to tell it is the 300SL being described. Or, all that has to be said is '300SL' and the elegant design of the Mercedes-Benz will come to mind. But so iconic is the 300SL that almost any everyday person walking down the street will be able to recollect the 300SL if all that is said is, 'It's the car with the gull-wing doors'. A truly remarkable and ground-breaking design is, by definition, one that can cause people to recognize it through description, images or imagination.

Max Hoffman was the Mercedes-Benz importer for the United States. He had taken a step of faith and determined to share his beliefs that a production car version of the 300SL sports-car would be immensely popular. After some initial objections, Hoffman was able to sell the proposition to Daimler-Benz's Board of Directors. He would sell the board on an order for 1,000 examples.

It was less than ten years after the Second World War and many Americans had become fascinated with the smaller European sports cars. They were lighter, got better performance and were much more nimble than many of the American cars of that time.

As the engineers got to work designing and refining the car, many new technological advancements would be employed to set the car apart, but also, to overcome simple practical issues. Unveiled in 1954, the 300SL was truly a technological marvel for its time.

Many car manufacturers of the day were using single, double even triple carburetors to help with fuel flow efficiency and performance. Utilizing success from its sports-car 300SL, Mercedes used a fuel-injection system on its production model. This increased the horsepower of the engine by almost double over a carburetor controlled system. With this system, the 300SL had become the fastest production car in the world at the time.

Some parts of the 300SL's bodywork consisted of steel. However, the majority of the car was made up of aluminum carefully molded and shaped to provide the 300SL its elegant styling. The car's low hoodline and tall rounded fenders sets off the classic contoured look of the SL. The gull-wing doors were incorporated to allow easy entry inside the car despite the tubular frame. Once its passengers climb over the shelf and sit down in the car, the feel of this small and light car, as well as its reputation for fantastic performance becomes readily apparent to the imagination. Sensory overload happens when the car is started. Its 215 bhp 3-liter in-line six-cylinder enabled this beautifully styled car to shed its gentle, elegant persona and let loose. The car could do just as well at the track as on the road. Its 215 bhp and four-speed, fully synchronized transmission help to propel the car from 0 to 60 in around 8 seconds!

Driving the 300SL was not as easy as some other cars of its time. The introduction of new technology meant the 300SL wasn't without its problems, especially because of the motor-driven fuel injection system. But, a classic is still just that. And, while not free of technical issues, the opportunity to drive or own a 300SL makes it still one of the more sought after 'sport-light' cars. In fact, it is one of the most desirable and longed after cars in history.

The 300SL offered at the 2011 RM Auction in Arizona was a specially ordered 300SL destined for New York City in August of 1955. The car underwent an exhaustive restoration, conducted to the highest standards. The interior has undergone a very detailed restoration of its own. Originally, the car's interior was finished in white with blue leather. Since the restoration, the interior was refinished to an all-new and beautiful red leather upholstering. Completed in a graphite grey finish, this 300SL boasts a 215 bhp, 3-liter fuel-injected inline six-cylinder engine and a four-speed manual transmission. It has four-wheel independent suspension. Its suspension comes from wishbones and coil springs and has a swing rear axle. Braking power for this 300SL comes from vacuum-assisted drum brakes at each wheel. Included on the wheels are a set of Rudge wheels. The car even came complete with a matching set of luggage.

Obviously, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL is an iconic car. It has remained on the minds and imaginations of many throughout its existence. Lost perhaps is how truly revolutionary the car was in its day. But, the lasting images in peoples' minds are a worthy testament to the value the car has had on the world since it came into being. The 300SL is so desirable precisely because it is so memorable. Thank you Mr. Hoffman.

Sources:
'Buy: Feature Lots (Lot 249: 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupe)', (http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=AZ11&CarID=r208). RM Auctions Arizona. http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=AZ11&CarID=r208. Retrieved 5 January 2011.

Wikipedia contributors, 'Mercedes-Benz 300SL', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 14 December 2010, 00:25 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mercedes-Benz_300SL&oldid=402241885 accessed 5 January 2011

By Jeremy McMullen


2011 Automobiles of Arizona by RM Auctions

Pre-Auction Estimates :
$700,000-$800,000 
Sale Price :
$1,375,000

2008 Sports & Classics of Monterey by RM Auctions

Pre-Auction Estimates :
$675,000-$800,000 
Sale Price :
$770,000

2019 6
2018 4
2017 6
2016 8
2015 5
2014 5
2013 11
2012 8
2011 11
2010 6

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1955 sales)
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Chassis#: 198.040.5500780
Sold for $1,435,000
  2019 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach
 
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe
Chassis#: 198.040.5500668
Sold for $1,352,500
  2019 Bonhams : Quail Lodge Auction
 
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Chassis#: 198.040.5500316
Sold for $1,155,000
  2019 RM Sothebys : Fort Lauderdale
 
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL 'Gullwing' Coupé
Chassis#: 198.040.55.00742
Sold for $1,370,020
  2019 Bonhams : Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais
 
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Chassis#: 198.040.5500378
Sold for $1,435,000
  2019 Gooding & Company : Scottsdale Arizona
 
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe
Chassis#: 198.040.5500548
Sold for $1,110,000
  2019 Bonhams : Scottsdale Arizona
 
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Chassis#: 198.040.5500695
Sold for $1,270,000
  2018 RM Sothebys : The Petersen Automotive Museum
 
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Chassis#: 198.040.5500800
Sold for $1,435,000
  2018 RM Sothebys : Monterey
 
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe
Chassis#: 198.040.5500543
Sold for $1,875,000
  2018 Bonhams : Quail Lodge
 
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Papillon
Chassis#: 198.040 5500696
Sold for $1,418,881
  2018 Artcurial : Retromobile
 
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Sold for $1,352,500
  2017 RM Sotheby's : Icons
 
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Sold for $1,677,500
  2017 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach
 
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Chassis#: 198.040.5500512
Sold for $1,265,000
  2017 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach
 
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing
Chassis#: 198.040.5500771
Sold for $919,600
  2017 Bonhams : Quail Lodge
 
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL 'Gullwing' Coupé
Chassis#: 198.40.5500823
Sold for $1,080,613
  2017 Bonhams : Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais
 
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Chassis#: 198.040.5500098
Sold for $1,457,500
  2017 Gooding & Co. : Scottsdale, AZ
 
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Chassis#: 198.040.5500654
Sold for $1,430,000
  2016 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing image  
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe
Chassis#: 198.04035500548
Sold for $1,155,000
  2016 Russo & Steele : Monterey
 
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Chassis#: 198.040.5500799
Sold for $1,392,160
  2016 RM Sotheby's : Monaco
 
1955 MERCEDES-BENZ 300 SL 'GULLWING' COUPÉ
Chassis#: 198.040-55 00037
Sold for $1,184,411
  2016 Bonhams - Goodwood Members' Meeting
 

Vehicles That Failed To Sell

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Custom Gullwing Coupe1S9GR11T0788790052019 Worldwide Auctioneers : Riyadh Auction   
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing Coupé198.040-55 002952019 Bonhams : The Bonmont Sale $1,100,000$1,400,000
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing198.040.55001562019 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach $1,500,000$1,800,000
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing198.040.55001542019 RM Sothebys : Scottsdale Arizona $1,200,000$1,400,000
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing198.040.55007992018 RM Sothebys : London $950,000$1,250,000
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing19804055001542018 Mecum : Monterey$1,000,000$1,300,000$1,400,000
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing198.040.55006262017 RM Sotheby's : Arizona Auction $1,350,000$1,500,000
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing Coupé008102015 Bonhams : Bond Street Motor Car Sale $1,000,000$1,300,000
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Sportabteilung Gullwing198.040.55006402015 RM Sotheby's NY Auction : Driven By Distruption $5,000,000$7,000,000
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing198.040-55001292015 Historics at Brookland $925,000$1,125,000
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing198.043.55007862015 RM Sotheby's : Monterey $5,500,000$6,500,000
1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL papillon198.040.55002782015 Rétromobile by Artcurial Motorcars $1,200,000$1,300,000
1955 MERCEDES-BENZ 300SL GULLWING 2014 Mecum Dallas$1,200,000  
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing198.040.55006742013 RM Auctions Amelia Island$910,000$1,000,000$1,250,000
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Alloy Gullwing198.043-55007862012 RM Auctions London$2,400,000  
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing 2010 Gooding and Company Pebble Beach Auctions $550,000$650,000
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupe19804045000322010 RM Auctions Vintage Motor Cars of Meadow Brook$460,000$475,000$575,000
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL GullwingGW10062009 Worldwide Auctioneers : The Houston Classic Auction $125,000$150,000
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing 2009 Automobiles of Amelia Island$375,000$475,000$550,000
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupe 2009 Collector Cars of Fort Lauderdale$510,000  
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupe 2009 Automobiles of Arizona$500,000$600,000$700,000
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing 2006 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction $400,000$500,000
1955 Mercedes Benz 300SL Alloy Gullwing19804355007862004 The Monterey Sports and Classic Car Auction$770,000$800,000$1,000,000
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Alloy Coupe19804055001732004 Vintage Motor Cars at Amelia Island$715,000$800,000$1,000,000
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe 2003 Monterey Sports and Classic Car Auction$285,000  
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing 2002 Monterey Sports and Classic Car Auction$275,000  
1955 MERCEDES-BENZ GULLWING COUPE 2001 Kruse Auction Auburn, IN$80,000  

Comparables

Similar sales to the $936,863 range.
1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Limousine
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1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster
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1938 Frazer Nash-BMW 328 Roadster
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1965 Lamborghini 350 GT by Touring
Chassis#:Chassis#:0220
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Vehicle Profiles

Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL1954 Coupe
Chassis Num: 198.040.4500080
Engine Num: 198.98.4500093
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL1954 Coupe
Chassis Num: 198.040.4500116
Engine Num: 198.980.4500136
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL1954 Coupe
Chassis Num: 198.040.4500120
Engine Num: 198.980.4500134
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing1955 Coupe
Chassis Num: 1.98E+12
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing1955 Coupe
Chassis Num: 198.040.5500368
Engine Num: 198.980.5500388
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing1955 Coupe
Chassis Num: 198.040.5500637
Engine Num: 198.980.5500630
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing1955 Coupe
Chassis Num: 198.040.5500654
Engine Num: 198.980.5500701
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing1955 Coupe
Chassis Num: 198.040.5500664
Engine Num: 198.980.5500716
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing1955 Alloy Coupe
Chassis Num: 198.043.5500208
Engine Num: 198.980.5500218
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing1955 Alloy Coupe
Chassis Num: 198.043.5500786
Engine Num: 198.980.5500728
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing1955 Coupe
Chassis Num: 1980405500229
Engine Num: 1989805500246
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing1955 Coupe
Chassis Num: 4500016
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing1955 Coupe
Chassis Num: 5500712
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL1956 Coupe
Chassis Num: 198.0406500294
Engine Num: 198.0406500290
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL1956 Coupe
Chassis Num: 1980406500233
Engine Num: 1989806500224
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL1956 Coupe
Chassis Num: 1980406500278
Engine Num: 1989806500271
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300SL1957 Coupe
Chassis Num: 198.040.7500033
Engine Num: 198.980.7500050
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300SL1957 Coupe
Chassis Num: 198.040.7500077
Engine Num: 198.980.7500072
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300SL1957 Rallye Roadster
Chassis Num: 198.042.75.00195
Engine Num: 198.980.75.00130
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300SL1957 Rallye Roadster
Chassis Num: 198.042.7500081
Engine Num: 198.980.7500097
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300SL1957 Rallye Roadster
Chassis Num: 198.042.7500089
Engine Num: 198.042.7500089
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300SL1957 Rallye Roadster
Chassis Num: 198.042.7500299
Engine Num: 198.9823/0000107
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300SL1957 Rallye Roadster
Chassis Num: 198.042.7500568
Engine Num: 198.010.1097150
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300SL1957 Rallye Roadster
Chassis Num: 198.042.7500569
Engine Num: 198.980.7500545
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300SL1957 Rallye Roadster
Chassis Num: 198.042.7500661
Engine Num: 198.980.7500691
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300SL1957 Rallye Roadster
Chassis Num: 198.042.7500666
Engine Num: 198.980.7500693
Chassis information for the Mercedes-Benz 300SL1957 Coupe
Chassis Num: 1980427 500116
Engine Num: 1989807 500115


Vehicle information, history, and specifications from concept to production.

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