A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing in bumperless-racing configuration was announced for the RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2022 classic car auction.
A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing, estimate $7,000,000 to $9,000,000, is the first top car announced for the RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2022 classic car auction. This Alloy Gullwing in bumperless-racing configuration was the 14th of only 29 light-metal versions produced but the second one of offer at an RM Sotheby’s classic car auction thus far in 2022.
RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2022 Classic Car Auction
RM Sotheby’s flagship Monterey classic car auction during the annual Monterey / Pebble Beach motoring week: 18, 19 & 20 August 2022 at the Monterey Conference Center in California, USA.
The Monterey sale is traditionally the most important car auction of the year:
- In 2021, RM Sotheby’s earned $148.5 million at Monterey selling 43 cars for over a million dollar and an impressive 90% sell-through rate.
- RM Sotheby’s earned $30,412,810 from the Shift / Monterey 2020 online-only sale.
- In 2019, RM Sotheby’s earned $107 million, in 2018 $158 million (including $48,405,000 for the most expensive car ever sold at auction, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, and in 2017 $133 million.
- RM Sotheby’s three-day Monterey 2016 auction remains the highest-grossing classic car auction ever with $173 million earned and 35 million-dollar cars sold.
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing at RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2022
A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing (Estimate: $7,000,000 – $9,000,000) is the first star car announced for the RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2022 classic car auction. Presented in the factory-correct livery of Silver Gray Metallic over red leather and finished in handsome bumperless racing configuration, this Gullwing is the 14th of just 29 examples built and one of very few examples to retain its matching-numbers 3.0-liter NSL engine and its original alloy body. It is accompanied by a restored Karl Baisch luggage set, owner’s manual, spare parts list, and workshop manual
Formerly owned by 300 SL expert Hans Kleissl, proprietor of the respected HK-Engineering, this example received a comprehensive two-year restoration by Gullwing specialist Robert Platz, completed in 2017, and is a proven veteran of the Mille Miglia Storica and the Colorado Grand. Exhibited at the Amelia Island, Radnor Hunt, and Hilton Head Concours d’Elegance, this Mercedes-Benz is eligible for the finest and most exclusive vintage tours worldwide and it would make a splendid entry at major concourse d’elegance.
Why Are Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwings Special?
Representing the peak of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing’s roadgoing development is the Leichtmetallausführung, or Light Metal Version, produced in aluminum. Commonly known as the “Alloy” Gullwing, it is unequivocally the ultimate production version of Mercedes-Benz’s most celebrated creation.
The Alloy Gullwing boasts a special, competition-bred configuration, which differs in many ways from the standard steel-bodied production car. These rare Alloy coupes were purpose-built for competition and the changes resulted in an overall weight reduction of 209 pounds, thus making the Alloy Gullwing especially competitive against the best of the competition.
The cars also featured race-bred, high-performance NSL engines tuned to deliver in excess of 215 horsepower. Rudge center-mount wheels came standard, as did special vented front brake drums. Finally, the suspension was revised with exclusive springs and shocks, which provided better high-speed handling.
Mercedes-Benz commenced production in 1955, and factory records show just 29 examples were made available to private customers.
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing Auction Results
The whopping estimate of $7,000,000 – $9,000,000 is easily explained by the $6,825,000 paid at RM Sotheby’s Scottsdale 2022 for the 13th 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing produced. Although the result set a new Gullwing model record, it was slightly disappointing as the presale estimate was the same $7,000,000 – $9,000,000 set for the Monterey car.
A significant difference between the two cars is the bumperless racing configuration of the Monterey car. For most casual observers, the current record holder is easily confused with a standard $1.5 million Gullwing.
Monterey Week 2022 Classic Car Auctions
Monterey Week 2022 Auction Previews:
Monterey Week 2022 Pre-Auction Announcements
- Bonhams: 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante
- Bonhams: 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition (ex-Brigg Cunningham)
- Gooding: Top Bugattis (incl: Type 57SC Atalante & Type 35 Grand Prix)
- Gooding: Top Ferraris — classics and modern supercars
- Gooding: Top British Cars (incl: Bentley Blower and Eight Litre Sports Tourer)
- Gooding: Wonder Collection including 1999 Ferrari 333 SP
- Gooding: 1930s Classics from the Vincent Estate
- Mecum: Ferrari Prototypes and Marmon Classics
- RM Sotheby’s: 1955 Ferrari 410 Sport Spider by Scaglietti
- RM Sotheby’s: Schumacher 1998 Ferrari F300
- RM Sotheby’s: Masterworks of Design Collection (1924 Hispano-Suiza H6C “Tulipwood” Torpedo, 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster)
- RM Sotheby’s: 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing
- RM Sotheby’s: 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C
- RM Sotheby’s: The Oscar Davis Collection of 27 vehicles valued at $100 million
Previous Monterey Week Auction Results