While the original Mercedes-Benz 300 SL 'Gullwing' Coupe was exiting stage left in 1957, its successor, the 300 SL Roadster, was debuting at that year’s Geneva Salon. The conversion of the 300 SL to an open car meant redesigning the chassis, which was strengthened significantly to compensate for the loss of the roof structure. The headlamps were changed, the grille was smaller, and a chrome molding was added below the doors. The famed racing-derived twin-cam six-cylinder engine produced some 215 bhp, and the revised rear suspension now boasted a compensating spring, which was added to reduce the oversteering tendencies of the Gullwing. Enthusiasts who may have worried about the 300 SL going 'soft' had absolutely nothing to concern themselves about. The Roadster remained among the fastest cars on the road.
Production of the Roadster continued until early 1963, and it proved even more popular than its gull-winged predecessor, yet it still remained exclusive enough amongst the well-to-do. Like the earlier coupe, it was, in its day, the car in which to see and be seen, and it was favoured by celebrities, racing drivers, and just about anyone who appreciated fine machinery and who also had the bank account to acquire it.
RM Sotheby's will be offering this example at their upcoming Hershey auction between the 6-7th October, the estimated value is between $900,000–$1,100,000. For more information on this and other vehicles at the sale, click on the link below. Photos: Darin Schnabel ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's.