Hidden Discoveries at The Scottsdale Auctions, 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster

1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL RoadsterEstimate: $1,700,000 - $2,000,000Chassis: 198.042.10.002530

CAR HIGHLIGHTS TECHNICAL SPECSAmong the Finest Unrestored 300 SLs in ExistenceIncredibly Original, Time-Capsule ConditionOne Owner for over Three DecadesEquipped with Factory Hardtop, Becker Mexico Radio, Nardi Wheel, and Hepco LuggageOffered with Original Handbooks, Tools, Literature, and Important Documents

According to a copy of the Mercedes-Benz vehicle data card, this 300 SL Roadster was completed at the factory in 1960, one of 241 examples constructed that year. Consistent with its build date, this SL Roadster was equipped with a cast-iron engine block and the now-sought-after “large” drum brakes. As the final evolution of the original 300 SL design, these brakes were the ultimate development of those derived from the 300 SLR race cars, which had enormous inboard drums and set new standards of effectiveness and reliability before the introduction of disc brakes.Originally finished in the striking color scheme of Graphite Grey (DB 190) with a matching factory hardtop, black fabric soft top, and Red (1079) leather upholstery, the 300 SL Roadster was further outfitted with fitted luggage, chrome wheels, polished hubcaps, Continental tires, and US-delivery specifications.It is believed that this car was sold new in Washington state, as it retains its original 1963-issue license plates, “CAX 065.” The 300 SL’s earliest known owner was D.P. Lindsay of Spokane, Washington, who, in late 1978 or early 1979, sold the car to Joseph Martinac Jr. of Tacoma, Washington. During his ownership, Mr. Martinac had Doxon Motors in Tacoma service the Mercedes-Benz. He drove the car on special occasions before retiring it to static storage in the early 1990s.

A remarkable find, this 300 SL has never been available previously on the open market and stands today as one of the finest original examples of the model. Not only does this car remain in exceptional unrestored condition and show just over 55,000 miles on the odometer, it possesses a nearly perfect specification, a sophisticated color scheme, extremely desirable options, and a file of supporting documentation that is sure to impress any collector with a passion for originality.

Except for some visible blending on sections of the coachwork, the elegant Graphite Grey paint appears to be the very finish applied by the Mercedes-Benz factory in 1960. Overall, the SL displays a remarkably uniform appearance and bears the distinct traces of age that speak to its minimal use and careful stewardship in the care of long-term owners. From its beautifully preserved original finishes to the charming SCCA sticker affixed to the windscreen, the 300 SL exudes an inimitable charisma and appeal that could never be matched by a restored example.

The exquisite interior, one of the true highlights of this SL, is just as well preserved as the exterior and remains in wonderfully original condition throughout. The red leather upholstery has a beautiful patina and possesses a warm, inviting feel. Beyond that, the carpets, rubber floor mats, hardtop headliner, painted dashboard, instruments, and hardware all have a consistent age and unmistakable quality. Perhaps the most telling sign of the 300 SL’s originality are the surviving chalk marks, which can be found under each seat cushion and inside the door panels.

The engine bay also remains in outstanding largely untouched order with factory stickers, clamps, and finishes present, along with the proper ancillary components sourced from firms such as Bosch and VDO. Most importantly, the chassis number stamping, engine number stamping, and original data tags all appear clear and undisturbed.

In every area of the car, one discovers fascinating new details that contribute to the unique history and presentation of this 300 SL, from the decades-old oil change stickers in the driver’s doorjamb to the seemingly unused spare KPZ wheel, still wearing its Continental tire and factory inspection markings.

All the important accessories are intact, including the tool roll, jack, optional Nardi three-spoke steering wheel, Becker Mexico radio, hardtop, tonneau, and two pieces of Hepco fitted luggage, complete with their original keys and paper tag. The handbook pouch contains the original instruction manual, spare-parts list, and service book, along with important documents such as the Becker service booklet, operation instructions, and warranty papers (stamped with the serial number of the Becker Mexico radio), as well as original Hirschmann antenna literature for the 300 SL Roadster.Beyond these important documents, the sale of this car includes a copy of the Mercedes-Benz vehicle data card, Washington state registration records, license plates, service invoices from Doxon Motors, and an assortment of valuable accessories and spares, from a period Tom Carstens Autohaus leather key fob to an unused points set still wrapped in the original Mercedes-Benz plastic bag.

The next caretaker of this fabulous 300 SL will have in his or her possession an unrestored automobile of the absolute highest order. Following a sympathetic mechanical recommissioning, this car may serve as a ticket to the finest motoring events in the world, from the very best concours to prestigious driving events.

In every respect, this is a benchmark example of the legendary 300 SL Roadster – an exclusive and important Mercedes-Benz of unrivaled beauty and sophistication, whose unquestioned authenticity, exceptional originality, and magnetic presence place it among the top tier of collectible automobiles. This 300 SL Roadster has many unique distinctions and characteristics that separate it from its brethren. Chief among them are its outstanding specifications, superb color scheme, and impressive documentation.

Sure to be admired and coveted by enthusiasts the world over, this roadster is, without a doubt, one of the most appealing original 300 SLs in existence and among the finest unrestored sports cars that Gooding & Company has ever had

Scottsdale AuctionsScottsdale Fashion Square4700 N. Scottsdale RoadCorner of N. Scottsdale Road and E. Highland Ave.Scottsdale, Arizona


Related Market and Auction Articles

4,393 articles