UPDATE 6/9/12 – The seller ended the auction early. Bidding was at $500k reserve not met.
Who the heck tries to sell a Gullwing on eBay? Well someone just listed one and bidding is already at half a million! It may seem fishy, but the story actually sounds realistic and if it is true, this could be one of the best survivors to hit the market this year. This 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL appears to be all original with only 31k miles on the odometer. It is still in the hands of the second owner and is currently located in Montreal, Canada. Take a look at the listing here on eBay.
The current owner bought the car from the original owner in 1962. In 1967 they had it resprayed in this nice silver tone and at some point added fog lamps out front. Must be a classy guy because it all looks great. Other than those changes, the car is claimed to be all original and never restored.
There is no fitted luggage, but who cares? Those nicely worn red leather buckets don’t look like they would be too comfortable for long jaunts anyway. Plus, the lack of roll-down windows in the gullwing doors and poor ventilation can make summer trips steamy. Spring and Fall rallies would be calling us though and we are sure we could take our pick of events with a car like this. A duffel bag would work fine for clothes, but you may want to pickup one of these for your golf clubs or this for your skis.
Big steering wheels can make it a pain to get in and out of a vintage car, but Mercedes had already solved the problem by making it possible to fold the wheel down. It may look strange, but I bet it made things nicer for the big boys. We would love to climb in there and just shift through the gears of that four speed transmission. Starting up the engine wouldn’t be too bad either…
This inline-six engine is good for 212 horsepower and was actually the first car engine equipped with direct injection. Along with good aerodynamics, this engine helped the 300SL earn the title as the fastest production car at the time. Unlike most cars we feature here, this one has been well maintained its whole life. With yearly checkups, it might actually be safe to take out and drive right away.
The only thing in the listing that makes us nervous is that the seller claims that the repair history and original title were stolen from the owner’s house. They do have a title and proof of ownership though. Obviously if you have this kind of money to spend, you will do your research before handing over a penny.
Supposedly the person who listed the car is selling it for the second owner. They claim that the first owner managed an airport up in a remote region of Canada and would just used the car to drive up and down the runway. Hard to believe, but you never know. I once heard that there was a Gullwing stashed at a ranch about 20 minutes from my home in Wyoming. I also know for a fact that someone in North Dakota owned a 250 GTO and would bring it down for hillclimbs in Montana not far from where I grew up. Just think if that car would have gotten parked in an old barn and forgotten… Anyway, it just goes to show you that a rare car like this may pop up anywhere.