Very rare 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe (one of only 70 GW produced in 1957)
Chassis no. 198040.570013
Engine no. 198980.6500342
The 300SL Gullwing
Max Hoffman rarely missed an opportunity. The impresario of imported cars on New York ‘s Park Avenue built the U.S. presence of most European brands after World War II Jaguar, Allard, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Mercedes-Benz and more and when Mercedes-Benz won the Carrera Panamericana in 1952 with a W194 300SL coupe driven by Karl Kling, Hoffman seized the moment.
He pproached Mercedes with a radical idea: take the charismatic tube frame W194, with its high performance 3-liter engine and characteristic roof-hinged doors, and create a road car based on it. It was audacious, but Hoffman had a highly developed sense for the U.S. market and backed up his suggestion with his checkbook. He placed an order for a thousand luxury high performance coupes based on a more civilized version of the W194.
Mercedes-Benz, still valiantly trying to shake off the devastation of the war and the weak European market, took him up on it and the 300SL was born.
Hoffman had proposed a relatively direct transformation of the multi-tube framed W194, retaining its roof-hinged doors, tall, wide sills, 45 canted triple-carbureted single overhead camshaft inline six and fully independent suspension with more civilized accoutrements. The engineers at Mercedes-Benz weren ‘t satisfied with such a simple transformation and added the first direct mechanical fuel injection system ever offered in a production automobile. Introduced at the February 1954 New York Auto Show, the 300SL was an instant sensation.
Its curved doors soon brought it the nickname “Gullwing ” which has stuck for well over half a century and been copied by many lesser automobiles hoping to capitalize on the 300SL ‘s halo. The body design was refined for the street and added eyebrow moldings over the wheel wells to signal an association with Mercedes-Benz ‘s later race cars. The driving position, steering wheel location, controls and instruments ‘ visibility were carefully refined by M-B to make driving the 300SL a rewarding experience.
Over the next three years Mercedes-Benz built over 1,400 300SL Gullwings. The majority were sold through Max Hoffman in North America, validating both the reality of his vision and returning many times over the confidence he showed in backing its development.
Ever since 1954, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing has been one of the seminal cars every collector must own or experience.
The Motorcar Offered
This original U.S. market Gullwing was first delivered on January 31 1957 to its first owner Edgard W. Stewart of Fullerton California. Being one of the last cars built the has benefited from all the enhancements Mercedes had made from 1954 to 1957 is known to have been fitted with 3.25 rear axle ratio allowing the car to go to high speed with lower RPM.
In recent ownership, the 300SL was Completely restored by Mercedes Walter Quitt of Costa Mesa, California.
The car is fitted with Rudge wheels and matching luggage set and comes with full set of owers manual and tool kit.
Please feel free to call Mort at 949-335-7474 ext 1 for any questions.
Price excludes government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, vehicle preparation/accessories charge and any emission testing charge. Prices advertised are based upon a payment of cash, cashiers check, or debit ATM. Credit cards are accepted with a transaction fee. Financing terms carry current KBB Retail Blue Book Value for vehicle base price. Prices subject to change without notice. Not responsible for any typographical errors.Vehicles may be subject to prior sale. Included warranties may be offered by This dealership or by a third party company. Warranties may be limited and subject to a deductible. Some vehicles might have been a rental vehicle or have had prior accidents. we will provide you with an NMVTIS or a hiostory report discosure to view the historyof that car.