Rusty 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster Barn Find Sells for Staggering $800,000
Not surprising, considering these go for millions when restored.
There are crazy undertakings and then there’s this rusted-out 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster barn find that recently sold for an astonishing $800,000 by the folks at Beverly Hills Car Club. The buyer's identity wasn't disclosed, but it's safe to say that whoever it is, they're in for quite a restoration project.
The car was originally unearthed from a barn in an undisclosed location and is apparently one of just 256 ever built and one of just 101 produced in its light-blue color, which is code #354. The sale included documentation dating back to the car’s original bill of sale, the owner’s manual, and even a full stack of service records dating up to 1968 before it was reportedly shoved in a barn. According to its paperwork, it initially sold to its first owner on June 20, 1961.
As it's seen in these photos, the sad 300SL Roadster suffered from a considerable amount of decay from sitting unused and unloved for such a long period of time. But when new and in good shape, it was apparently used and driven as it was intended to be as the odometer registered approximately 75,629 miles before it was taken off the road.
The 300SL might be most recognizable in its hardtop Gullwing coupe form with its trick upward-opening doors, but the convertible is no less desirable. In fact, it embodied much of the high performance that the original coupe was known for, but with a million miles worth of headroom and improvements underneath its suave sheet metal. For instance, the Roadster's mechanically direct-injected straight-six benefited from an updated competition-specification camshaft that raised power by 20 horsepower, and revisions to the rear suspension that improved overall vehicle stability by minimizing the original coupe’s tendency towards negative camber changes, which induced oversteer.
From what we can see in the photos, the car looks mostly complete. From a restorer’s perspective, this is certainly a feasible, if not extremely expensive project, aside from its near millionaire purchase price. But given the fact that fully restored 300SL Roadsters can sell for over a million bucks, there’s little doubt that such an undertaking would result in a nice and lofty financial return.
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