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Rarest Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing Driven by Sir Stirling Moss Is on Auction

There are people who buy classic cars, pieces of the past that will forever remind us all of a certain era with its specific atmosphere and all that. And then there are iconic vehicles, cars that have made their mark in history one way or the other.
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing 24 photos
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The Mercedes-Benz SL 300 Gullwing is pretty iconic in its own right, being one of the most recognizable cars in history even without its trademark doors open. But even among this rare species, some models are more special than others.

In December, RM Auctions will be putting under the hammer the rarest and most desirable 300 SL Gullwing ever offered in a bidding. It’s the first car of the four Factory race-prepared W198 Gullwings, which means it comes with special competition equipment such as the NSL engine.

Like any racing car worth a lot of money, this chassis no. 198.040.5500640 has a pretty significant competition record, having finished 2nd overall at the 1956 Tour de France. The best bit? It did so with a certain Sir Stirling Moss at the wheel.

All in all, this car has spent 13 months with the Factory’s competition department, during which time it was used for training and competition, which means it could have very well been driven by legendary drivers like Karl King, John Fitch, Juan Manuel Fangio, Hans Hermann and, of course, Sir Stirling Moss.

Mercedes-Benz SL 300 Gullwings were often raced during that period on both sides of the Atlantic, but entries weren’t always so carefully documented. It’s safe to say, then, that this car has had its fair share of fast driving during its heyday. After the factory had moved on to different models, the cars were usually sold to private customers.

Which is exactly what happened to this example on sale here. Ever since 1966, it’s been in the property of one single family. After a failed attempt of repairing the car in 1967, the 300 SL entered a 40-year long conservation phase during which absolutely nothing happened. In 2008, the owner’s son inherited the race car and immediately started working on it, which proved to be an easy task given the car’s excellent state and the presence of all the original equipment.

As if being one of just four steel chassis factory-bred racers weren't enough, the fact that only one more of them is still accounted for makes it even more valuable. Given its connections with some of the very resounding names in the racing world, the collectable value of this particular Mercedes-Benz SL 300 Gullwing is enough to raise the interest of any enthusiast of the Stuttgart brand.

 
 
 
 
 

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