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1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster Barn Find!

Hard to believe, but this 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster has somehow gone less than 15,000 miles since new and remained hidden away in a private collection in Indiana for years. It has been repainted, but the original colors are worth the cost of a repaint, and the dusty 300SL comes with the factory hard top, soft top, and jack. The numbers matching drivetrain is also present, and it is said to be one of just 249 300SL Roadsters built in 1960. This incredible barn find is listed here on the Gullwing Motorcars’ website with an asking price of $1,095,000, which is (sadly) the going rate for survivor 300SLs these days.

Gullwing has had quite a week, as we covered their discovery of a 300SL Gullwing in similar long-term ownership. This roadster kicks it up a notch with its low mileage reading, however, as unrestored 300SLs with off-lease mileage just don’t turn up anymore. Of course, given the limited use, it’s even more of a shame that it was previously repainted. The original color was Blaugrau with blue leather which had to have been absolutely striking when delivered new. Not only was the Mercedes repainted silver, but its leather bucket seats were dyed from blue to black. Silver over black is downright commonplace these days, so returning to the original colors will truly set this 300SL apart.

Sadly, the interior and engine bay photos don’t seem to reflect that of a low-mileage specimen. Certainly, I understand how even time-capsule cars can deteriorate when neglected, but gander at the center console surfaces – doesn’t that look particularly tired / ugly for a sub-15,000 mile example? Of course, there’s such a thick coating of dust everywhere that it’s hard to get a crystal-clear look at what’s really hiding underneath. According to the listing, the previous owner wanted a 300SL of his own after driving his brother’s car, and even though this roadster was the model he coveted, it still went into l0ng-term garage slumber not long after he acquired it.

No details are offered on the health of the drivetrain other than confirming it is numbers-matching. I don’t suppose you have to go into a ton of detail, as anyone dropping over a million on a barn find-grade example has likely already budgeted for a frame-off restoration that includes an engine rebuild. The market for these gullwing and drop-top 300SLs has seemingly been hot for years at this point, with few of them changing hands for less than a million. If the low mileage claims can be verified, it might help to eliminate any doubt that the marginal cosmetics are more of a result from sitting rather than an erroneous odometer reading,

Comments

  1. Avatar photo bobhess Member

    If they weren’t pure art from the beginning they wouldn’t be so high priced and have so high of a demand. Don’t know what the reaction to the design was when they were introduced but I bet it was a shocker to most folks. Beautiful cars!

    Like 17
    • Avatar photo Cal

      Read Thorstein Veblen’s “The Theory of the Leisure Class”. It explains this better. Still, a beautiful car.

      Like 6
      • Avatar photo Ike Onick

        WINNER! I would be amazed if anyone has ever mentioned Thorstein Veblen in a BF comment. I know need to figure out a way to get John Maynard Keynes or Benjamin Disraeli into the mix here. Bravo!

        Like 8
  2. Avatar photo Rick

    A million bucks and only 6 photos… yep, typical Gullwing ad.

    Like 21
    • Avatar photo Mike

      At a million bucks, you’re not going to base your purchase on 6 pictures or even 600 pictures. You’re going to fly-in your Mercedes restorer/expert to check it out.

      Like 25
      • Avatar photo Tom Bell

        Yup, this is when you put Wayne Carini on retainer.

        Like 4
      • Avatar photo JudoJohn

        Wayne Carini and his buddy pulled an exact twin of this out of a garage about 3-4 years ago.

        Like 2
  3. Avatar photo DavidH

    I went to high school with a girl in the seventies whose father owned a silver gullwing that was parked in a part of the garage that was converted to include the car in the house. I remember going to a party at the house and we sat on the fenders of the Mercedes drinking beer. Obviously the parents were out of town that day or there would not have been a party. No disrespect on my part toward the Mercedes, I was just young and dumb and had more respect for motorcycles at the time which were made to sit on. Live and learn.

    Like 16
    • Avatar photo Nate

      That’s a cool story. I can picture it in my head.

      Like 3
    • Avatar photo Cal

      Rich people, how much did they pay you to baby sit?

      Like 2
  4. Avatar photo ccrvtt

    My mother was an antiques dealer and estate appraiser. She once said, “If it wasn’t exceptional to begin with age isn’t going to make it better.”

    Which is why 300SLs are worth so much – and why Camrys and Civics never will be.

    Like 34
    • Avatar photo glen

      if I found a 300sl, I’d sell it, and buy something I could use everyday, with confidence, you, know, like a Camry or Civic!

      Like 9
      • Avatar photo Cal

        I’m with you. Toyota or Hondas just make sense. What they will never have is snob appeal. Little minds with big fat wallets have self worth negated by status. Fine, not me, I live my own life. I judge a man on character, not how much he was granted in life.

        Like 6
      • Avatar photo ccrvtt

        I don’t disagree with Cal or Glen on a philosophical level. You’re absolutely right. There are those among us who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

        But Bob Hess nailed it in the opening comment – 300 SLs are pure art.

        Like 10
      • Avatar photo Cal

        @ccrvt, You are right, an awesome car. The price unfortunately has deteriorated to a more primitive level.

        Like 1
      • Avatar photo david

        Why are you here?

        Like 0
      • Avatar photo triumph1954

        Nice car. Darn! We should get a law passed. NO MORE- Little minds with big fat wallets and Fancy pants flippers in the old car hobby and on BarnFinds. I’am gonna have to get me one of them Honda Camrys or a Toyota Civics.

        Like 1
  5. Avatar photo Joe Haska

    OMG, what a car and story, just when you think you have seen it all, something like this pops up. This is one of the reasons I am such an avid reader of Barn Finds.

    Like 7
  6. Avatar photo chrlsful

    this along w/the ’56/60 vette, some 30s bugattis, cords, & delahaey, etc top my list w/’73/9 F250,4WD stepside short box for ‘eye candy’.
    A mill +? sure, Y not?

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo BobinBexley Member

    Drain & change the oil & filter, feed some gas to the rail & fire up. See what we got.

    Like 1
  8. Avatar photo Frank Sumatra

    “Hidden from the public eye” That must be what added the $95,000 to the price. Can’t have the Great Unwashed casting their lonely eyes on this prize. Next thing you know, they will want to touch it. What a “Richard”

    Like 4
  9. Avatar photo Chuckster

    Hidden away for years ! Where ? Under a pile of dirt ?

    Like 2
  10. Avatar photo DETROIT LAND YACHT

    Gorgeous…even covered in dust. I would give it a electric conversion.

    Like 1
  11. Avatar photo Dave

    If this is a 15k mile car, then I didn’t really father all these kids running around my house. It might have sat 40 years, but only after 20 balls-out years.

    Like 3
  12. Avatar photo PAUL

    i dont believe this came out of this barn. barn is way to clean just look around. ask yourself. if it,s this clean on the outside. why would it be that dirty on the inside. and tractor in background is clean

    Like 4
  13. Avatar photo moosie

    Please bring back the thumbs DOWN icon.

    Like 7
  14. Avatar photo Steve Feld Member

    One of these, a white one, was in my Matchbox collection, along with a green Ferrari Berlinetta and a red E-Type Jaguar. I saw the difference in the good stuff as a wooden go-kart producing adventurer in those carefree days.

    Like 2
  15. Avatar photo Skippy

    So….here’s an observation. Classic cars often get much more attention (and bring higher prices) if they are left in a barn for a period of time and are then pulled out and restored. I have several cars that are essentially barn finds that I have completely restored. When I took them to shows, I would get notables but never win. Then I realized that what was winning was not the other cars themselves but the story of the car. So I put a couple of foamcore storyboards together that showed the car as found and then being restored. BINGO! Started winning awards the first time I did this. Moral of the story? “Cool story bro” actually has value when it comes to winning awards and setting pricepoints for classic cars. If you have a cool story with your classic car, be sure to bring it to shows.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo chrlsful

      ‘this car won such’n such race’, “this car belonged to xxx.” This never appealed to me. BUT…I think ur correct Mr. Skippy.

      No matter, I’m w/SF – the SL300, Buzz’n what’s his name’s Vette, I too had the lill electric cars on the race track (?HO train size?) rather than matchbox (they came out bu the time I wuz wrenchin).

      Like 0
  16. Avatar photo skibum2

    Low miles?.. oh please…..do I look that stupid?.. No, don’t answer that.. Hahahahahaha.

    Like 0
  17. Avatar photo James A. Mogey

    Interesting, in the same way a story about a local bloke winning a huge lottery prize is interesting. This is not, however, a barn find in the tradition of barn finds. To me, a barn find is an affordable alternative to buying from a used car dealer, a diamond in the rough that mostly aficionados will covet. The discovery of a million dollar junker is a curiosity, not a barn find. Who among us could ever afford such a thing?

    Like 4
  18. Avatar photo Maestro1

    Just stay with me on this: Let’s assume you buy the thing at close to the Seller’s price which is absurd. You then restore the car, bringing it back to its original self. One adds $200,000 easily to the investment in restoration costs. You are now in the car after owning it for two years, one year for careful restoration and one year for enjoyment if you have the courage to drive it with all the idiotic juveniles out there driving computers on wheels.
    Then you take it to Barrett Jackson and the car gets sold for between a 25% loss or a breakeven point due to external conditions. So you tied up that much money for that brief period of enjoyment. What is the point of all of it?

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo Queequeg

      chicks

      Like 2
  19. Avatar photo moosie

    If it has to be explained to you , you probably wouldn’t understand.

    Like 4
  20. Avatar photo jwaltb

    I strongly doubt there were any “leased” 300 SLs. Maybe that was a joke.

    Like 0
  21. Avatar photo jwaltb

    I babysat for a family one street over in the late 50s/early 60s. In their garage was a Gullwing. When the baby was asleep I’d go down, open the door, and sit inside. I was only about 15, but what a thrill that was.

    Like 4
  22. Avatar photo TimM

    You think they would take an even trade for my 2009 Prius??? It’s got new tires!!!

    Like 1
  23. Avatar photo Frank Lehto

    The writer calls this an unrestored car and maybe that’s accurate, but it has certainly been altered with new paint and dyed interior. He also says the 300 SL was a low production vehicle built for only a few years in the 50s and early 60s. Tell my 1992 300 SL roadster that. Sure, it might not have the same sexy lines as the one featured in this article, but nontheless it is a 300 SL. Instead of a 1 million dollar price tag, they can be found now for a few thousand. A true drivable dream!

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo John

      There’s no commonality between a 60s and a 90s 300SL except the name. I’m glad you enjoy yours…

      Like 2
  24. Avatar photo Peter Atherton

    Back in the mid ’60’s I used to pick up new Mercedes from a warehouse on the Hudson River,and drive them back to Boston to the dealership.The warehouse had been a Ford Motor Company assembly line at one time in the past,so it was cavernous; ideal location for storage of new cars.When I picked up the new car,I looked around to see what else might be there, and lo and behold,covered in layers of dust, bird droppings, etc.There were two brand new 300SL roadsters dating back to 1959!I can’t imagine how the MB distributor forgot about them;I knew Max Hoffman personally, and questioned him about the cars.He apparently was in a dispute with MBNA regarding these cars, since they were an unusual color of metallic green that he hadn’t ordered, so he wouldn’t take delivery for his inventory.I’d love to know the outcome of those cars!

    Like 1
  25. Avatar photo Kenn

    Hey Triumph1954, let’s pass a law NO MORE assumption that folks with “..big fat wallets..” have “..little minds…”. Little minds are owned by jealous losers. And Maestro1, the “purpose” is enjoyment of owning and driving the machine. As moosie implied.

    Like 0
  26. Avatar photo Tex260Z

    The smell of Rattus Rattus here, look at the seats! knackered.

    Like 0
  27. Avatar photo Stan Marks

    I don’t think I’m nitpicking here. But if you wanna put a price tag, of over a million, common “cents” tells you to at least give it a wash & clean the interior.
    It will show the value much clearer. Who knows what surprises lurk, under all that dust & dirt. Especially since the car was repainted & seats dyed. That alone would bring the price down. JMO.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo moosie

      I agree, wash it and maybe even get it detailed. yup

      Like 1
  28. Avatar photo Stan Marks

    BTW…. That steering wheel wrap has got to go. Tacky…..

    Like 0

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