Benefiting from a host of gradual refinements over the six-year period of production, the 1963 model 300SL roadster featured the introduction of the lightweight alloy block engine beginning with chassis number 003049, and desirable Dunlop disc brakes beginning with chassis number 002780 (offered from 1961-1963). A total of 1,858 roadsters were built from 1957-1963, however a mere 26 roadsters were constructed in the final year of production. And while just 244 roadsters were built in 1962, and several were assigned 1963 registration and title, any of these final production alloy motor cars are extraordinarily rare and continually sought after by astute collectors.
This particularly handsome example has benefited from a comprehensive restoration performed several years ago. Reportedly under long term ownership after the restoration, the former owner is said to have engaged marque expert Paul Russel to service his cars. Very nicely preserved and thoughtfully maintained by previous owners, this 300SL roadster currently displays 87,043 miles. During the restoration, a correct alloy type replacement engine block was installed and stamped with a number that matches the chassis number for the car. A recent inspection brake service was performed by local specialists at Burlingame Motors, Burlingame, CA. The front brake calipers were disassembled, cleaned, and new seals and pistons installed along with replacement of the rear axle boot. Additional brake work included rebuilding the brake booster, replacing the master cylinder, as well as replacing the front and rear brake hoses. The car has since been driven several miles and is in good mechanical order.
Today this rare and beautiful 300SL Roadster presents as a very handsome older restoration with delightful cosmetics and responsive mechanical continuity. Clearly the restoration was performed to a very high level as the quality of the materials and finishes convey excellence both in retained quality and fitment. The silver paint was formulated with the correct metallic flake and uniformly applied. The finish remains glossy and smooth with attractive presentation. The doors, hood, and trunk gaps are tidy and even throughout. The hood and trunk open and shut smoothly and the doors have properly finished jambs, also opening and shutting tightly with notable German precision.
The interior has a very handsome and settled presence which speaks well of the longevity of the finishes and quality of materials used during the restoration. The beautifully contoured leather surfaces have been properly stitched and applied with both the leather and distinctive Mercedes-Benz perforated seat insert material. The workmanship throughout the interior is of high quality with excellent feel to the beautifully fitted leather topped dash, pleated door panels, and braided leather door pulls. The black canvas top smoothly disappears into the hinged rear deck and latches into the windshield header with tight closure including a clear, taut rear window. The dashboard is simply beautiful, with vivid instruments, excellent numeric indication, clear lenses, and finely restored details including the colorful center gauge cluster. The overall visual impact of the interior is quite nice, exhibiting uniform finishes clearly enjoyed since restoration but lovingly and professionally tended to as one might expect from past dedicated owners.
Under the hood, the correctly finished fuel-injected 300SL engine is a visually captivating example of sculpted artistry and mechanical excellence. The engine compartment is clean and well-presented reflective of the quality of the restoration performed some years ago. Installed during the restoration, the replacement engine block has been stamped with the corresponding chassis number and finished with authentic components including a correct type fuel injection and rare engine parts. Correct finishes, proper fittings, and attention to detail is evident throughout the engine compartment. The correct air cleaner housing and fittings are in place along with correct engine decals. The engine is well tuned with no fuel-injection issues and delivers snappy throttle response when pressed into action. The gearbox engages easily in all gears offering smooth shifts and a properly sprung clutch. Suspension is quite pleasant on the highway with light steering, great passing power, and symmetrical braking with a nice, even bite from the disc brakes when coming down from faster speeds. The chassis and underbody components are in very good condition overall with no visible signs of structural compromise. The integrity of the restoration on all upper surfaces is reflected diligently in the underside which has been correctly finished and properly restored.
One of the most exotic cars available when new, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster was a performance leader in all respects, brimming with innovative features, many of which would become hallmarks of modern engineering. Today these fast, beautiful, and exclusive cars continue to appeal to collectors and enthusiasts for their inherent beauty, exceptional build quality, and ease of use especially when it comes to vintage road events. This beautifully finished example is ready for enjoyable driving, premier vintage road tours, or weekend travel, reflecting all the promises of superb luxury sport motoring as one of the finest Mercedes-Benz sports cars ever produced.
Chassis no. 198.042-10-003159
Engine no. 198042-10-003159 (stamped replacement alloy motor)
Body no. 198.042-10-00171
- Desirable Late Production Example
- Disc Brakes and Alloy Engine
- Originally Born in DB 40 Black
- Handsome Older Restoration