On the occasion of a sale orchestrated by Artucrial on the Monaco side at the end of last July, a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL was sold for 1.4 million euros. His estimate was between 1.2 and 1.4 million euros. Obviously, behind every classic car sold at auction there is a story behind it, and the one about this 300 SL is interesting to say the least.
This 300 SL, which is not a Roadster as you will have noticed, hence its rarity, was delivered new to Mercedes-Benz New York on July 13, 1955 before being sold to a certain Mr. Gaylord, residing in Chicago. This copy had some peculiarities, including specific "Rudge" rims with central fixing nut and an engine benefiting from a small preparation to take out more horses.
The historian Eric Lemoine clarified to the auction house Artcurial the reasons for these few small adjustments for the American client who had just bought it. In 1954, two brothers, James and Edward Gaylord, created the company "Gaylord Cars Limited" and planned to build the best sports car in the world, with extraordinary design and features.
With this objective in mind, they will order a Mercedes 300 SL with all its options, including the famous NSL camshaft which allows to obtain 20 more horsepower compared to the classic 215 horsepower version, as well as rims from the Rudge brand.
The Mercedes 300 SL, by the magnitude of its success in most international races, was in a way a benchmark that the company "Gaylord Cars Limited" wanted to exceed by building a car faster than the 300 SL. This crazy project will lead to the manufacture of three cars but which will not have the expected success since, quickly, the project will be suspended given the production costs. In 1956 the company "Gaylord Cars Limited" went bankrupt.
The car is then sold to a certain Mr. Lawrence, a collector who also resides near Chicago. He only registered the car in 1972 and hardly ever used it. It then passes through several hands in the United States before arriving in Europe in 2004 with only 35,000 miles, or approximately 56,327 kilometers.
The car will include a collection near Brussels, that of Mr. Baverey, a Frenchman living in Belgium. Despite the superb original condition of the car, the latter wanted to change the original red shade in favor of a gray. The work was carried out by Carrosserie Piémontaise in Brussels. Riding very little with it, Mr. Baverey only kept it for four years before selling it to a Belgian collector who only used it sparingly during the 14 or so years that followed.
For its auction, the 300 SL was sent to Stuttgart, to a specialist in the model, for a complete overhaul, including a refit of the injection and a tune-up. The invoice which details the work, for a total of nearly 30,000 euros, is attached to the file. The current model mileage is 37,000 miles, or 59,545 original kilometers.
In parallel with this sale, another Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, a Roadster this time, from 1957, was sold at the same sale for the sum of 858,240 euros. This is the model shown in the photo above. This 300 SL, which totals 102,200 kilometers, has a French registration card. The Roadster models being less rare than the coupes, the estimate was a little lower since it was established between 800,000 and one million euros.