As we get closer to Monterey Car Week this August, auction houses with sales during the week are continuing to lock down their star cars for the week’s events. Gooding & Company announced two of its big guns: a 1955 Gullwing coupe and a 1957 Roadster, both of which will be sold at the auction house’s Pebble Beach sale August 18 and 19.
The pair of cars comes from the same collector, a publishing executive from the Midwest. Both cars were ordered new, the Gullwing in an unconventional shade of British Racing Green and the Roadster in elegant Silver-Blue Metallic. The owner has put just 16,000 miles on the Gullwing and 38,000 miles on the Roadster, details that point to the common opinion that while the Gullwing is a more striking car visually, the Roadster is more comfortable and practical for regular use.
Both cars are in largely original, running and driving condition, and are being offered for the first time since the original owner bought them new more than 60 years ago. Mercedes 300 SLs were based on the W196 race car and utilized a strong and lightweight space frame design, hence the SL designation for Sportlich Leicht (Sport Lightweight), though current SL road cars are anything but.
The original SLs were also groundbreaking in their early use of mechanical fuel injection in an era where contemporary Ferraris, Porsches, and Aston Martins were still using carburetion. 300 SLs are powered by 3.0-liter straight-six engines producing around 215 horsepower — enough to get the 2,400-pound cars up to speed quickly for their day.
“Today, some 60 years on, it is almost impossible to find another pair of 300 SLs still in their original family ownership and unrestored,” says Gooding & Company specialist, Garth Hammers.
“I think collectors are going to be very excited to see these two particular cars come to auction at Pebble Beach.”
Gooding & Company has uploaded a video of both cars on the move, a great way to kill a few minutes at the office.
Want to know what it’s like to put a thousand miles on a 300 SL Roadster over four days of driving? Check out our drive story from the 2016 Colorado Grand vintage rally.
All images copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Photos by Brian Henniker.