A car for the stars, owned by famous collectors such as Jay Leno and Ralph Lauren who both have 1955 300SL Gullwings in their private collections. What exactly makes this rare 4.6 million-dollar bird unique is it’s all-aluminum skin.
Auctioned off at the Scottsdale Auctions in 2012, this rare aluminum-bodied “Alloy” Gullwing sold for a record price – only 29 were built. This car was completed on April 20th, 1955, chassis number 550028 and finished in metallic silver gray over a blue leather interior and fitted with Rudge wheels. The car initially journeyed to California and in 1980 was sold to a German collector for a mere $57,000.
The car went through a careful restoration by Hill & Vaughn completed by 1982 – heralded for their restoration jobs and often winners at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours. The car was later returned to Germany and underwent numerous restorations and received a new paintjob. By 2009 it was in the hands of Ken McBride, a notable Gullwing collector and with his knowledge of the importance of this car, it was sent to 300 SL restorer Rudi Koniczek who returned the car to it’s original glory, including the proper shade of silver and appropriate blue leather interior. The restoration was complete in 2011, sparing no attention to detail. The original engine is intact, original chrome wheels adorn the car, the luggage was properly finished and the grille sports the proper “curved star”.
The Gullwing is a testament to quality engineering and lacks neither in power, torque or beauty! Arguably the most important road-going Mercedes-Benz of the post-war era and undoubtedly one of the most iconic automobiles of all time. It’s rare one of these alloy beauties goes to auction, hence the more than double price tag, a small one to pay in order to own a true piece of automobile history.