Rare 300 SL Alloy Gullwing For Sale

Picture of By Rob Harvey
By Rob Harvey

Marketing Manager - Bridge Classic Cars

Regarded as a masterpiece of Mercedes-Benz craftsmanship, chassis number 5500332 stands out as one of the rarest and most authentically preserved of the twenty-nine 300 SL Alloy Competition models ever made. This particular vehicle, a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing, is now available for sale through Sotheby’s Sealed, with the bidding process concluding on March 22.

Offered for sale through Sotheby’s Sealed, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own one of the most original and significant competition-prepared Alloy Gullwings in existence.

This exceptional vehicle is currently up for auction with bidding closing at 5pm EDT (9pm UK time) today (March 22nd 2024). While nearly 1,400 300 SL Gullwings were manufactured, only 29 were made with specialised racing features and aluminium bodies. These 29 rare models are all held in significant collections around the world. However, highly original examples like this one are almost non-existent.

This incredible car is one of the exclusive 29 Alloy Gullwings made by Mercedes-Benz, separating it from the 1,371 models made with steel bodies.

Its construction, using lightweight aluminium for the body and Plexiglas for the windows, significantly reduces its weight. This makes it not only a rare car but a high-performing one too. The vehicle is powered by its original 3-litre NSL engine, which, through extensive modifications such as a competition-grade camshaft and a specialised butterfly throttle valve, achieves over 215 horsepower. Interestingly, this car also has a distinctive history; it is the only 300 SL Alloy model that was originally delivered to Casablanca, making it the sole example to be delivered to Africa.

This Alloy Gullwing’s uniqueness is developed further by its retention of many sought-after original features, including a sports suspension, a high-speed 3.42 rear axle, an uprated metric speedometer, belly pans, and Rudge wheels that came as standard. If that wasn’t enough, this example was owned for 32 years by Hyatt Cheek, the national president of the Gullwing Group and the Mercedes-Benz Club of America (MBCA).

Highlighting its exceptional authenticity, chassis number 5500332 retains its original chassis, engine, bodywork, rear axle, and front kingpins. While the gearbox has been replaced with a model of the correct type from 1957, its authenticity remains intact.

The car underwent a meticulous restoration led by the renowned Paul Russell in 1979. The car’s long-standing connection with Paul Russell’s workshop, starting in 1975, known for the exceptional restoration of classic cars, only adds to its desirability and history.

  • The 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing, one of the rarest and most historically significant variants of the Gullwing, is now open for bidding on Sotheby’s Sealed
  • Considered as one of the purest and most original examples in existence
  • Delivered new to Casablanca as the only 300 SL Alloy delivered to Africa
  • One of only 29 Alloy Gullwings made, it features a lightweight aluminium body and enhanced performance
  • Powered by an original factory-prepared 3.0-liter NSL engine delivering over 215 horsepower
  • Retains desirable competition factory features such as sports suspension, NSL engine, and Rudge wheels
  • Previously owned for 32 years by Hyatt Cheek, President of the 300 SL Gullwing Group International
  • Verified by Mercedes-Benz Classic as retaining original chassis, engine, and bodywork

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