The German firm Mercedes-Benz began producing the spectacular 300 SL “Gullwing” coupe in 1954 and, less than two years later, the production of a convertible version with “conventional” doors began. The latter sought to attract drivers who were dazzled by the first of them but who longed for open-air driving and, in addition, not attracting so much attention every time they got in or out of the car.
Thus was born the 300 SL Roadster, a model that involved redesigning the cabin, placing lower and thinner thresholds to facilitate access. Because Mercedes-Benz had to develop a more rigid chassis, the Roadster weighed 125 kg more than the coupe, reaching 1,420 kg. To compensate for this increase in weight, the 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine had slightly more power, reaching 240 HP.
This horsepower allowed it to achieve a maximum speed of 260 km/h. Among the changes with respect to the coupe, a smaller fuel tank was designed in the Roadster to leave more space for the trunk. Less than two thousand units of the 300 SL Roadster were released between 1957 and 1963. And one of them is the one you can see in the photographs and is the star of this article.
It was first registered in 1957 and delivered to a German customer. The original finish of the model was metallic silver gray. Although it was lost track of for years, in 1990 the vehicle was still in Germany. Three years later, the German car underwent a meticulous restoration process, to which was added a mechanical repair at the end of that same decade.
After changing owners, the 300 SL Roadster moved to Greece and, in 2013, its last owner took the car to a change of scenery to British soil, where it was entrusted to the prestigious restorer Hilton.
Other minor defects also came to light. So they decided to dismantle most of it and restore it from scratch. This process involved work of no less than 3,500 hours, thanks to which it could be said that the vehicle has come back to life with the same force as when it went out of production nearly seven decades ago.
It should be noted that, over the last three years, this 300 SL Roadster has traveled less than 400 km and has remained exposed with little to no use on the road, as is often the case with many of the collector cars that exist in the world. The German vehicle is going to be auctioned soon and is expected to fetch a high figure.
To get an idea, we must take into account that figures exceeding 3 million euros have been paid for similar units. If you are interested in observing one of these specimens in greater detail, you just have to take a look at the video that accompanies this article.