Inventory

$1,450,000

1960 Mercedes-Benz
300SL Roadster

Matching-numbers example desirably equipped with Rudge wheels, European headlights, luggage, and both tops.

  • VIN19804210002624
  • Exterior ColorLight Gray
  • Interior ColorBlue leather
  • Mileage118079 Kilometers
  • Engine3.0L inline 6-cylinder
  • Transmission4-speed manual
  • StatusInventory
  • StockFJ2899

Description

1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

Chassis no. 198042-10-002624
Engine no. 189980-10-002688
Light Grey with Blue Leather Interior

- One of just 241 300SL Roadsters produced in 1960
- Desirably equipped with date-coded Rudge wheels and European headlights
- Well-kept Paul Russell & Co. restoration with top mechanical preparation
- Documented long-term Northern California ownership
- Offered with hardtop, soft top, and fitted luggage

Historic Context


Among the most celebrated performance cars of the modern era, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster continues to be listed at the top of premier collector and expert vintage car enthusiasts lists. Recognized as one of the most important and iconic sports cars ever built, the Gullwing and Roadster models established numerous milestones of technical and design excellence when first released. These exceptional cars have remained eternally ensconced at center stage of virtually every premier collection throughout the world. Originally released in 1954 with production culminating in 1957, the gullwing arrived as a triumph of engineering and design, followed three years later by the roadster. Delivered with production fuel-injection (first of its kind), and achieving the world's fastest top speed for the time, the 300 SL (S-Sport, L-Light) confirmed Max Hoffman’s challenge to Mercedes-Benz engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut – to build a Gran-Prix car tailored for road use.

Despite the impressive cost when new, demand for the gullwing was high, yet the growing US market, especially on the west coast, wanted unique cars with open configurations. This demand urged Hoffman to once again challenge Mercedes-Benz to build the 1957 roadster. Far more than a topless 300SL, the roadster was entirely unique with literally every part developed separately from the gullwing. These formidable engineering specifications allowed the roadster to develop with significant improvements learned from the shortcomings of the gullwing platform. The roadster was fortified with additional structural frame members and the side structure improved for traditionally hinged doors, allowing for larger openings and a great deal more ease with cockpit entry and exit. Further structural improvements resulted in greater torsional rigidity and better handling via single-pivot swing-axle rear suspension, which improved the former gullwing bump oversteer. Other improvements such as roll-up windows, increased horsepower, and softer coil springs made for a much more enjoyable ride without compromising the sporting nature of the race-bred original.

Under the hood, the 2,996 cc SOHC engine was, like the gullwing, mounted at a 45-degree angle, allowing for a dramatically lower hood line. The in-line six-cylinder engine featured Bosch mechanical fuel-injection delivering 225bhp at 5,800 rpm. Coupled to a close ratio 4-speed manual transmission, the 300SL roadster was not only a highly capable road car, the manners and comfort of the 4-wheel independent suspension allowed for impressive touring, particularly on high-speed roads where a 300SL roadster could easily achieve 150mph, an impressive figure even by modern standards.

Offered at $11,000.00 when new (more than the gullwing), roadsters were sold to very special clientele, eventually replacing the gullwing as the premier halo sports car from Mercedes-Benz. Typical of Mercedes-Benz, ongoing improvements were made as production proceeded before the model run ended in 1963. Essentially a handmade car with every aspect of construction befitting the impressive price, a mere 241 examples were crafted in 1960.

History of this Roadster

This beautiful example was configured from the factory as a European model, and, at some point early in its life, a set of desirable date-coded Rudge wheels were fitted to the car. According to copies of the 300SL Roadster Register, this car was owned by a resident of Fort Worth, TX as early as 1973, followed by the next owner in California, and by 1986, located in Steamboat Springs, CO. In 1982, the car was restored by the premier Mercedes-Benz restoration establishment Paul Russell & Co. The restoration is confirmed by the metal firewall tag mounted above the chassis stamping indicating December 1982 as the completion date. Originally delivered to a European customer, the car is outfitted with the desirable European headlights and speedometer in kilometers.

The current owner has enjoyed this 300SL for more than 20 years as evidenced by the hand notations for accumulated mileage and services from 2004-2020, a service journal with copious notations by the owner, as well as service invoices on file engaging local Northern California specialists since 2004. Services include fluids and filter changes, ongoing services as needed, and specialized refinishing for shipped parts performed by Paul Russell & Co. In 2005, Brian Crall Company, San Ramon, CA rebuilt the brake wheel cylinders, master cylinder, and brake booster, replaced brake hoses, repaired and resealed the transmission, rebuilt the clutch pressure plate, installed a new clutch and T.O, bearing, repaired the injection pump drive-gear cover, corrected oil cooler lines, installed a battery switch, and installed a set of vintage style blue webbed seat belts. Services continued through 2020 with local vendors including new Michelin tires in 2012, fuel injection service and fuel line replacements in 2015, brake drum machining and fitting new brake shoes in 2017, and a new windshield purchased from Mercedes Benz, Walnut Creek, CA in 2019 and installed that same year by Advanced Auto Glass, Pleasanton, CA. In 2020, the oil cooler was removed and professionally cleaned, repaired, and reinstalled and in 2023 and 2024 a new battery was installed along with a new distributor supplied by 123ignitionusa, LLC.

With mechanical confidence and proven reliable miles, approximately five years ago, the owner and his wife selected the adventurous challenge to participate in an international vintage car rally held in Jordan. The car performed flawlessly covering the 1,000-mile event without incident – a tribute to the mechanical facility of the original design and ongoing stewardship from the current owner.

Current Condition and Presentation


Today this rare and beautiful 300SL roadster presents with handsome cosmetics and excellent mechanical continuity befitting a premier vehicle of this status. The restoration was performed to a high level and has aged very well over the past 40 years with careful paint touch ups performed in certain areas to preserve the finish. The paint has excellent overall continuity with all panels, inner segments, and undersides finished per factory application with the exception of the underside of the hood which is slightly more glossy than original. The exterior finish is smooth and glossy with just the right level of comfort allowing for event participation without the worry of harming a freshly restored example. The doors, hood, and trunk gaps are very nice, in keeping with the high standards of original Mercedes-Benz quality and German precision. The exterior emblems and lenses are excellent, and the chrome remains quite including the distinctive front and rear chrome plated bumperettes. A set of date-stamped 1957 matching original Rudge knockoff wheels are beautifully finished in matching body color and chrome plated knockoffs, featuring sporty Michelin 205/75 R15 black-wall radial tires. The low fender line, sculpted speed blisters, and race-inspired side vents deliver a powerful presence to this ground-breaking design. The blue canvas convertible top is in excellent condition with correct headliner material, proper fit and latching achieving a taut fit when in place and stowing easily under the hinged hard-shell cover. The car is accompanied by a rare factory hardtop that has been finished in matching body color with excellent trim, correct 300SL emblems, and correct fit when mounted in place.

The interior conveys the same quality of the original restoration with material excellence that has mellowed over time delivering a cohesive and welcoming feel to the blue leather seats, console, and dashboard. The leather seating surfaces have been properly stitched and the distinctive Mercedes-Benz perforated insert material still retains a nice feel to the tufted padding. The workmanship throughout the interior has benefited from ongoing care including the beautifully fitted leather topped dash, pleated door panels, the smoothly covered door sills, and diagonally woven leather interior door handles. The dashboard is simply gorgeous, with vividly clear instrumentation, excellent numeric indication, crystal clear lenses, and finely restored details including the colorful center gauge cluster. Correct contrasting grey square weave carpets are installed and a period Becker Mexico AM/FM cassette radio is mounted under the dashboard with a corresponding set of chrome grilled speakers mounted on the rear bulkhead. The various detailed interior switches, levers, and knobs are all beautifully finished including the light ivory steering wheel which matches the gear shift knob and horn center emblem. Inside the trunk, the condition is consistent with materials used in the interior including a beautifully trimmed set of blue leather matched luggage correctly finished inside and out, and a correctly finished spare tire.

Under the hood, the beautifully prepared fuel-injected 300SL engine is a captivating example of sculpted artistry and mechanical excellence. Here too the restoration performed still retains its luster with just the right amount of patina enjoyed from passionate use. The engine compartment is correct including the matching numbers engine, factory finishes, proper fittings, and attention to detail consistent with restoration practices of the highest levels achieved 40 years ago.

The car starts on command with expected allowances for cold engine starts and proper warm up procedure as part of prudent operation. The engine is very well tuned with no fuel-injection issues, delivering precise throttle response when pressed into service. Acceleration is progressive and the gearbox engages easily in all gears offering smooth shifts aided by a properly sprung clutch. Unlike fresh restorations with unproven miles, this 300SL operates smoothly and confidently under general road use. The chassis and underbody components are consistent, tidy, and the finishes have aged very well over recent years of enjoyable driving. The car is accompanied by the matching color hardtop, a hardtop stand, handwritten notations from the current owner, service records dating back to 2004, owner’s manuals, service booklet, a Gull Wing Group Technical Manual, a notebook with club newsletters, various pieces of period literature and magazines, Bosch literature, and ATE power brake booster literature.

One of the most exotic cars available when new, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster remains an exclusive and highly desirable sports car with broad and lasting appeal to both collectors and enthusiasts. The inherent beauty, exceptional build quality and ready acceptance to any vintage road event or world concours d’elegance further confirms their desirability as enjoyably usable performance cars. This beautiful and well-sorted example is ready to deliver on all the promises of superb luxury sport motoring continuing the iconic legacy of Mercedes-Benz for generations to come.

The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.

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Fantasy Junction  •  510-653-7555  •  1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608