One of the most beautiful and desirable motor cars ever built is the latest exhibit to take its place at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu.
The distinctive Gullwing Mercedes 300SL was originally supplied by Mercedes-Benz Great Britain to His Majesty King Hussein of Jordan in August 1955. The late King Hussein competed successfully with the car in hill climbs and races in Jordan for many years. It remained one of the King's personal favourites and was displayed for several years in the Royal Automobile Museum in Amman.
Following the passing of His Majesty, the Gullwing was left to his daughter, Her Royal Highness Princess Haya, who recently gifted the car to her son, His Highness Sheikh Zayed.
Daimler-Benz undertook a comprehensive restoration of the vehicle, returning it to its original condition. This car is on loan to the museum courtesy of His Highness Sheikh Zayed.
The iconic 300SL Gullwing was developed from the successful 300SL W194 racing sports cars with which Mercedes had won the Le Mans 24-Hour race in 1952. The production 300SL incorporated a lightweight spaceframe chassis from the racing cars, combined with a new version of the inclined six-cylinder engine. Just 1,400 were built between 1954 and 1957.
Her Royal Highness Princess Haya, speaking on behalf of His Highness Sheikh Zayed, has expressed immense gratitude to Lord Montagu and the team at the National Motor Museum, alongside the dedicated craftsmen at Daimler-Benz who delivered this extraordinary restoration.
Chief Executive Jon Murden said: “We’re delighted to be able to display the Gullwing Mercedes that was driven by His Majesty King Hussein of Jordan in the National Motor Museum. The museum celebrated a landmark golden half-century last year, and we’re proud that our museum, which has such a fine history is now home to such a fine race car with royal provenance.”