Every Hollywood star should have a vehicle to compliment their personality and charisma. And what better choice could Paul Newman have made than the purchase of his gorgeous 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing in light metallic blue?
Mr. Newman purchased this beauty in 1957 from its original owner in Watsonville, CA while he was still relatively unknown. Likely he envisioned needing a special car to be ‘seen’ in when cruising around the streets of Southern California – and what aspiring star wouldn’t want to play the part? The gullwing served as a reliable yet stylish car, perfect for a star to be photographed in. It’s unclear how long exactly Newman owned the car, but he drove it for a few years and then sold it in California where it remained for a number of years.
In 1984 the car traveled across the ocean and back to its roots in Europe. It did a stint in Athens, Greece from 2007 where it became part of Theodore Charagionis collection and then was recently purchased by Classic Sports Leicht in 2012. It is there where the car underwent a grueling 6,000 hour restoration by a dedicated team of five specialists. The resulting car was brought back to its original factory specifications and is nothing short of spectacular. The restoration was of particular difficulty as the car was extra rare, being one of the first 100 gullwings built, meaning more aspects to consider and making it rather difficult and time consuming to source period correct parts.
Since completion of the restoration, the car has moved on to a new private owner who will undoubtedly enjoy the uniqueness of the car and the illustrious history that comes along with it. It is without doubt that we can say Mr. Paul Newman made a great choice early on when selecting this 1954 Gullwing.
Photos from Classic Sports Leicht