Low-mileage Gullwing Mercedes leads Fort Lauderdale sale

RM Sothebys has revealed a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing from its owner of 50 years will be auctioned during their Fort Lauderdale sale on April 6-7

Following fresh from the announcement that RM Sotheby's are to auction off a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster from a long-term owner, the respected auctioneers can now confirm that a further addition to the line-up includes yet another 300 SL – a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, from its owner of 50 years.

Chassis no.7500071 is the fifth from last 300 SL ever produced and therefore carries the most sought after late-production features, alongside the optional Becker Mexico radio and full leather upholstery.

Originally delivered to 28-year old Donald H Bueermann of Portland, Oregon before landing with a young Arthur L.W True, heir to a Spokane oil fortune. He was a well-known and respected figure in Pacific Northwest sports car circles throughout the early 1960s.

True sadly passed away in 1967, his family subsequently donating swathes of his amassed car collection to the Henry Ford Museum. However, the museum patrons decided the Gullwing was outside their needs and it was sold to the current owner of Jackson, Michigan.

The 300 SL may have been enjoyed in this time, but it wasn’t maintained to the level these thoroughbred cars demanded, instead spending the last four decades on static display in the Special Interest Gallery of the ACD Automobile Museum in Indiana. Attracting thousands of visitors, it is with thanks to its care with the museum that the 300 SL has survived in exceptionally original condition, retaining much of its original Fire Engine Red factory paint.

The cabin was upholstered in now unobtainable surface-dyed back leather around 30 years ago, now presented as tear free with only minimal wear where the driver has slid in and out of the interior. The original Michelin spare tire can be found in the boot, alongside two of three original bell pans that accompanied the Benz when new. Incredibly, there is only 36,375 miles have been added to the mileage since 1968.

The current vendor has chosen to donate the entirety of sale proceeds to his chosen cause, the Jackson, Michigan YMCA. With estimates of between $1-1.3 million as a final sale price, the money raised will go towards a new state-of-the-art building.

‘There are almost no other Gullwings on the planet that have survived in the condition of this car. The fact that it has also had only three owners in its lifetime—the most recent for over fifty years—makes it a very rare, very special example’, says Gord Duff, Global Head of Auctions, RM Sotheby’s Group.

'This is a car that has reached so many in the collector car hobby and will now benefit an entire community. The originality of both the 300 SL Gullwing and Roadster on offer at our Fort Lauderdale sale is unrepeatable, and we’re honoured to have been chosen to sell this incredible pair.’

Joining the previously announced 1962 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, offered from 40 years in the ownership by a Michigan enthusiast, Benz enthusiasts will be sire to descend on the auction premises, the Greater Fort Laudersale/Broward County Convention Centre, Florida.

A late example in itself, the 1962 300 SL Roadster still holds its original alloy-block engine and also a minuscule number of recorded miles – only 36,600 on the odometer! Estimates range from $1.2-1.5 million.

Other highlights include:

  • A 1969 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider Conversion
  • A 2008 Ferrari F430 ‘Art Car’ painted for Miami Art Basel
  • A 2006 Ford GT – having covered only 10.8 miles!
  • 1959 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL

Comprising of 350 collector cars, including hot rods, European sports cars, muscle cars and custom collectibles, the 16th annual Fort Lauderdale will also see a huge number of memorabilia head under the hammer.

You can view the full listings on the RM Sotheby's website.

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