Estate sales can be a treasure hunter’s playground. Some families, especially those living in the same house for 50 years, have a lot of junk sitting around. Some items may be worth something, while other trinkets are held onto for reasons only known to the deceased. There is one family in England that chose to hang onto something very precious, an unrestored 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing. Find this one family car for sale here in the UK.
The sight of one of the world’s most desirable sports car shoved into the rafters is a shocker to say the least. The 300SL is a blue-chip investment which is rare to see in this sort of condition. Normally they have been treated to a no-expense spared restoration by a caring collector. This particular car is a desirable end of the run 1957 model, as the introduction of the 300SL roadster that same year marked the end of coupe production.
Although currently in pieces, the inline six-cylinder motor was a marvel in its day. Featuring an industry-first Bosch mechanically driven fuel-injection system, it generated 215 b.h.p. It sat in the engine bay at a 45-degree angle in order to fit inside the body’s low profile. Accompanied by a four-speed manual transmission, it was capable of reaching 135 m.p.h. Let's just hope the drivetrain is all there and salvageable.
The Gullwing was not intended to come stateside, but its success in European road racing caught the attention of New York importer Max Hoffman. After pleading with management in Stuttgart, the 300SL and its later roadster sibling were given the green light for production. The cars were hugely successful despite their enormous price tag and helped change America’s perception of Mercedes’ sedate sedan image forever.
Finding one of these in England that has been stowed and forgotten is unusual. Although, like many high-end sports cars, the maintenance costs for the 300SL could have gotten out of hand and forced the hibernation. Many of these cars were also considered weekend toys so they could be easily parked when repairs outstripped the vehicle’s worth.
The seller does not say much about this garage Gullwing, except to mention that it has been in the same family's ownership since the 1970's. With only “very substantial” offers being considered, the purchase price and restoration costs will put this one out of reach to most. The limited photos show a few rust bubbles and several missing trim pieces, not to mention the dissected motor. Unless its next owner has very deep pockets, it's likely that this priceless Benz will remain in its current condition, but lets just hope someone will be able save it from a rusty death.