THROWBACK: 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster Garage Find

1960 Mercedes Benz 300 Sl Roadster Garage Find

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UPDATE 6/7/2021 – To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we thought it would be fun to repost some of our favorite finds from the past decade! We featured this Mercedes 300 SL shortly after launching the site and to this day, it’s still one of our all-time favorites. Be sure to take a look at it and all the comments from the early days of the site!

FROM 8/22/2011 –  This 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster just sold minutes ago at the Gooding & Company auction here at Pebble Beach for $875,000! We just took a look at this car in person today and it was still dirty from sitting for many years. It was recently discovered in a New York garage with only 15k miles on the odometer. It had lived with the same family for over 50 years and is still in excellent condition.

1960 Mercedes Benz 300 Sl Roadster Week After

Reader John L just submitted this photo, which was taken about a week after the car was found. This sale was at the top end of the auction company’s estimated value and it displays the growing interest in unrestored original cars. Gooding & Company actually featured many survivor cars this year. The paint was chipped and the chrome was pitted, but it was great to see preserved cars sitting next to completely restored ones.

1960 Mercedes Benz 300 Sl Roadster Interior

We would take an original car over a restored one any day, because these cars still have a soul. The scars in the paint and the smell of the interior just add character and each flaw tells a story about the car’s past. Cars are much more than steel and leather. They hold memories from the lives of their previous owners. They are a time capsule which allow the new owner to take a glimpse into the past.

1960 Mercedes Benz 300 Sl Roadster

Although the majority of us could never afford a 300 SL, it is always fun to dream of finding such a rare and beautiful automobile in the neighbor’s garage. Don’t give up hope. This car shows that real barn finds are still out there just waiting to be discovered.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Dan

    I would settle for a Hillman Husky station wagon.

    Like 5
  2. sylvain

    What a beauty! I hope I will have the chance finding one of my favourite car in a garage like that one day, and yes I definitely prefers non restored cars. For the rest I have a mixed feeling thinking the one that discovered it just rush to resale it for a (very good) profit…

    Like 0
  3. Jim Derby

    Fantastic car, great to see you share the same thoughts I do. I own a 78 Cadillac Eldorado “Car Port Find” that is a 25,000 mile potential cerified “Survivor”

    Like 0
  4. mike

    Interesting it has a plate on it from the early 90’s maybe late 80’s at earliest if it’s a NY plate. Must have been driven sparingly. Cool car.

    Like 3
  5. e55

    About 15 years ago, there was a tired 300 sl roadster sitting in a carport beside a house in my neighborhood. From the looks of it, it had been there for quite a while. Everyday that I drove by it, I would always make a mental note to stop by at some point to see if they wanted to sell it. The end of the story is that I never did and one day, the car was gone. I guess everyone has woulda-shoulda-coulda stories, but a 300 sl roadster…in my grasp! Pains me to this day!

    Like 5
  6. mike

    Got my 1971 MGB by going to help a friend pull a SAAB 96 from a guy’s backyard. 2 MGBs were there also, one under a tarp in a carport. Sold the 2nd one, kept the first one, nothing like a rust free MGB that runs for under $500…

    Like 7
  7. Chris H.

    I know the whole “patina” argument is old hat, but this one needs to be left unmolested, it’s all the sweeter for having aged so gracefully.

    Like 2
  8. Michael

    Great color combo, patina just right, perfect!!!But HOW can you let a car like that sit for so long? It would drive me crazy, knowing what waits for me in the garage, and not go out there and play with it!

    Like 1
  9. CJ

    @e55: Was it a red one on the south shore of LI? If so, I saw it then as well.

    Like 0
  10. e55

    Nope! It was actually in Houston, Texas. I gather from your comment that you, regretfully, did not pull the trigger on the one you saw either…

    Like 1
  11. CJ

    No, indeed I did not…but I have no regrets either. I only hope that someone got it and is happy with it. I’ve got a worthy (ancient German) project passed to me from my dad that’s in the garage and is very slowly coming to life again. Cheers!

    Like 1
  12. Barn Finds

    Hey Dan, we just found a Hillman Husky for ya! Here it is.

    Like 0
  13. Alex

    Hey ! Perfect car and description.Unfortunately, for this kind of car , there is some id**t wanting to restore a perfectly original car as you described.The kind of crowd that hangs out @ Pebble Beach.If you cannot get tickets to an event at $2 or 300, because it’s sold out is an event I don’t want to be at.Any idea about the serial No on this car (last 4b will do.I’d love to follow what will happen nto this car.

    Like 0
  14. Lewis

    Just came across this thread and thought I’d share my story re a 300sl roadster. In the early 1970s I visited a gentleman in Seattle that had a tablesaw for sale. He took me out to his garage to look at the saw. It wasn’t anything I was interested in, but, I looked over in the corner and sitting on top of a pile of planks was a 300sl Mercedes Roadster. It had planks sitting on top of it, and the pile of planks it was sitting on top of was several feet high. I commented that it was a neat car and the fellow that was showing the saw responded: Man, you can’t afford that car– it’s a special race car with an aluminum body (I think he said there was only a dozen of them made). Of course I couldn’t afford the car, as I was and E-3 enlisted man in the Coast Guard. But to this day, I think about that car and wonder if it is still sitting in that tiny garage in Seattle. BTW, a few years ago I bought a 190SL at is sitting in my shop awaiting me to replace the floor pans and various other parts. But, periodically I still think about that 300sl (it was blue).

    Like 4
  15. dan farrell

    Thanks, I saw a couple Morris Minors but no Hillman’s.

    Like 0
  16. Barn Finds

    Sorry Dan, the auction must have ended before you visited the page.

    Like 0
  17. dan farrell

    Thanks for looking and just a note, I was joking about the Hillman.

    Like 0
  18. Paul R. Roberts

    A friend told me of a grill, with the Mercedes emblem on it, that was visible from a local highway. The car was tucked back in a tool shed on a farm. I went to look at it and found an unrestored ’57 190SL. The convertible top was in tatters, the leather upholstery was shot but the car was complete. No rust, no dents, all the engine parts there. I knocked on the door of the house and the resident told me a man had offered $3000 for the car but never showed up. I was only 16yo at the time and was unable to convince my father to loan me the money to buy it. So that is my story of the one that got away.

    Like 3
  19. TVC15

    Hey Lewis , If I were you I would be knocking on that guys door right now ! Mercedes did make a few 300sl race cars I think they called them SLSs ? and none are known to have survived , that car would be worth 5 times more than a regular 300sl , you will be getting a call from a Mr John Olsen any day now !!!

    Like 2
  20. e55

    Lewis, I agree with TVC15! In fact, if you don’t want to, I’ll do it – seriously!

    Like 0
  21. Lewis

    Guys, as much as I’d love to search for the car– and perhaps I will out of idle curiousity–here are the issues in doing so:1. it was 35 years ago that I saw the car;2. it was in a poor area of Seatte, the house and property was probably less than $8,000 total in those days–the car was totally out of place and chances are if no one that was informed of the value of it, it probably ended up badly if something happened to the original owner.3. I have an almost photographic memory for directions, but it was dark when I made the house call and I can only limit the actual house to an multi block area–and it is an area that is tough to going peaking into people’s property and not expecting blow back.

    Like 0
  22. TVC15

    But what if …….????

    Like 0
  23. e55

    Lewis, I gotta agree w TVC15 again – even though your probably right that it’s either long gone, or that you wouldn’t be able to identify the house again, but still… Alternatively, I would seriously be interested in pursuing it if you weren’t. (I bet I could even get TVC15 to do it with me – even though I have no idea if he/she is an ax murderer!) ;)

    Like 1
  24. TVC15

    I’m in ! Lewis the first thing I would do is Google Earth the area to try and see if the building is still there , 30 years is not a long time , if the car is a 300 SLS is is a very important car , the two ( ? ) that came to the U.S dissapeard in the early 60s and no trace has ever be found as I wrote before the main man on these cars is John Olsen he would be very interested to hear of a possible ” sighting ” and if you Google Images ” 1957 mercedes benz 300sls ” you will see a photos of the car , I am very interested to hear more from you , and e55 I am a male and NOT an axe murderer ( I find them too messy )

    Like 2
  25. e55

    @TVC15: Agreed on all counts – including how messy an ax can be! Seriously though, I think you’re on the right track. I would also get “on the ground” and start asking questions of the old people who live in the neighborhood. @Lewis: I can tell you t

    Like 1
  26. krash

    Back in the 70’s, I used to see a grey Gullwing around town being used as a daily driver…..The gentleman who owned it was a local attorney who drove that car every day to and from the office regardless of the weather….Being from Massachusetts, the weather could be fairly inclement during the winter months, but it never stopped him from enjoying that car. It was the first {and only} one I ever saw on the road…..It wasn’t until I went to a Mercedes showroom years later that I had the opportunity to admire a pristine example up close….

    …some models transcend time

    .what a remarkable find

    Like 1
  27. Jake

    Back in the mid 80’s I was traveling on business and in a small Louisiana town and there in the window of an old car dealership sat a 300SL roadster with hardtop. After some inquires around town, found it belonged to the older gentleman that owned the building, I believe also there was a 300 gullwing in there, and he wasn’t interested in selling! Always wondered what happened to that car, as i drove thru there several times in those days and always stopped to stare thru the windows!

    Like 1
  28. chrlsful

    yeah, there is No Other car like this one. The gull wing just a few ticks better, but forget it. Itsa 2.5 / 3 mill $ vehicle. Another same era beemer is quite amazing as well (507, 503).
    Classics like these DO spend 50 yrs w/one family. Imagine the find in that NY garage (if by some1 in the know). Ever walk dwn the st & pick up a Knox gold bar from the sidewalk? Same surprise I bet…

    Like 0
  29. PRA4SNW

    I like this idea – a blast from the past!

    Like 1
    • Joshua MortensenStaff

      We thought it might be fun to repost a few of the best finds from each year! Hopefully, everyone enjoys it.

      Like 2
  30. Kenn

    Interesting that none of the comments come from current commentators.

    Like 0
    • Jesse Jesse MortensenAuthor

      It was posted 10 years ago…

      Like 0
    • mike

      I am still here, just haven’t commented on a post in a while. But I did advertise my Porsche 914 on here about 2 years ago for sale.

      Like 0
  31. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero

    This is a great idea. I enjoyed this.

    Like 0

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