1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing Owned By Maroon 5's Adam Levine Headed to Auction
The pop star and TV show host may not put on much of a Super Bowl halftime show, but he sure does have a solid taste in cars.
A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL "Gullwing" owned by musician Adam Levine is due to be auctioned off Friday, where it is expected to fetch up to $1.4 million. Automobile aficionados consider the vintage Benz to be one of the most sought-after vehicles in history, with recent hammer-prices backing that up.
Hitting the block at the RM Sotheby's event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida will be Levine's 300 SL, which is from the second year of the model's production, and one of 1,400 coupes built versus 1,858 roadsters. Derived from the successful 300 SLR race car, the 300 SL featured an ultra-stiff yet lightweight tubular steel spaceframe, one whose chassis rails ran through where the doors would've been on a traditional road car. Mercedes-Benz engineers answered the question of doors by moving the hinges to the top of the doors, into the roof, in the process inventing a style of doors we know today as "gullwings."
It wasn't only the chassis and body that were revolutionary with the 300 SL, either. It's 3.0-liter naturally aspirated inline-six was the first in a road car to use direct fuel injection, via a high-tech mechanical Bosch system. Power output varied, and in the right configuration, the 300 SL coupe was capable of a top speed today disputed to be somewhere between 160 and 162 mph. What isn't disputed is that the 300 SL had the highest top speed of any production car in history when it was new.
This example, a desirable numbers-matching car, was rolled from the factory on May 11, 1955, with a blue leather interior. It was shipped on May 17 to New York City but has spent most of its existence in California. Sometime in the 1990s, its iconic silver paint was redone, and its upholstery rewrapped in black leather, though since coming into Levine's possession five years ago, its interior has since been returned to its original specification with blue leather.
Levine is the vocalist for pop music group Maroon 5, winner of three Grammy awards, and the lead act at this year's controversial Super Bowl LIII halftime show (wherein the band was criticized for being an unambitious choice for the stage, along with accepting a gig with the increasingly divisive NFL). Clear, however, is that when not on the stage, Levine enjoys being on the road, and by that, we don't mean touring—we mean grand touring, in his 300 SL. Or at least, he did, given that he's selling the car rather than holding on to it.
RM Sotheby's says bidding opportunities won't be available online, so you'd better overnight yourself to Fort Lauderdale if you want a chance to bid on this piece of history. Odds are you can swallow the price of an emergency plane ticket if you're in the market for a 300 SL, let alone this car in particular, which is predicted to reach a hammer price between $1 and $1.4 million. Happy bidding.