A 1955 Mercedes 300 SL with chassis series 198.040.5500128 is for sale at a Bonhams auction on October 1, starting at $ 1.3 million.
During the pandemic, more and more Mercedes 300 SL models were put up for auction and prices began to rise slightly from an average of $ 1 million to $ 1.2-1.3 million and even more if the model belonged to a star. It is interesting to note that this model with the body series 5500128 is produced before the model with model series 5500129 which was bought by Adam Opel.
The model offered at The Audrian Concours auction organized by Bonhams on October 1 in Newport, Rhode island has the body series 198.040.5500128 and the engine series 198.980.5500104.
It is owned by the Academy of Art University Classic Automobile Museum which owns 100 collectible cars.
Academy of Art even owns two Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing Coupe models and explains why they want to break up with one of them. They want to buy a Ford GT with the money obtained from the sale of a Merdeces 300 SL Gullwing Coupe.
The model offered for sale was delivered by Mercedes-Benz Salzburg, Austria on March 3, 1955, being a model from the first production series and being equipped with factory Rudge Wheels, a feature that has been one of the most sought-after options available on Gullwings since their inception.
Being a model for the European market the car features the more sporting bumpers without the heavy over-riders featured on most U.S. specification cars. Model with body series 5500128 was originally painted in DB 534 Fire Engine Red over 1068 Natural Leather.
According to the 300SL registry, the car was later exported to the USA and one of the owners was Bruce Trenery of Fantasy Junction in Emeryville, California. He bought the car from the first owner in the early 1970s for $ 9,500.
The car was painted silver but Bruce decided to repaint the car in Fire Engine Red even though he had a preference for silver. Bruce then sold the car to a doctor in Mansfield, Ohio and then bought it back, after which Bruce sold it again to Peter Thomas in Phoenix, Arizona, in the late 1980s.
It is not known who took care of the restoration and repainting in silver, but the operations were performed to the highest standards. The car was later purchased by a collector on the East Coast where it was maintained and serviced by expert Paul Russell and Company in Essex, Massachusetts.
In 2009, the 300 SL Gullwing Coupe with body series 5500128 crossed America again and came to the West Coast in the possession of Richard Stephens, becoming part of the Academy of Art University collection.
Since then, the car has been maintained by Academy of Art University staff and produced an excellent impression thanks to a high-quality paint job finished atop a straight body with very good fit and finish. The red leather interior is equally impressive, as is the balance of the cockpit, featuring the original VDO gauges and switchgear. The original chassis and ID plates are intact and prove the origin of the car.