Following the announcement of a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster offered from long-term ownership at RM Sotheby’s 16th annual Fort Lauderdale auction, set for April 6-7, the company has revealed it will also offer a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing Coupe for its owner of 50 years. That current owner has generously chosen to donate 100 percent of hammer proceeds from the car to his favorite cause, the Jackson, Michigan, YMCA, as a major gift toward the construction of a state-of-the-art new building for an organization that has benefitted the community for generations.
This particular 300 SL Gullwing, chassis no. 7500071, is the fifth from last example ever produced, and therefore has the most desirable late-production features, including the optional Becker Mexico radio and full leather upholstery. The car was originally delivered to 28-year-old Donald H. Bueermann of Portland, Oregon, later landing with young Arthur L.W. True, heir to a Spokane oil fortune and a well-known figure in Pacific Northwest sports car circles, in the early 1960s. Sadly, True passed away in 1967 and his family subsequently donated several of his automobiles to the Henry Ford Museum. The Museum decided the Gullwing was outside its needs, and it was sold to the current owner.
While that owner enjoyed his 300 SL, he never had a place to maintain it to the level it demanded, so for the last four decades it has been on display in the Special Interest Gallery of the ACD Automobile Museum in Auburn, Indiana, where it has been viewed by hundreds of thousands of visitors. Thanks to its museum residence, the Gullwing has survived in exceptionally original condition, retaining much of its original Fire Engine Red factory paint. The interior was upholstered in the correct, now unobtainable, surface-dyed black leather decades ago, and is tear-free, showing only wear from the driver climbing in and out. The original Michelin spare tire is found in the trunk, and two of three original belly pans accompany the car. Amazingly, all 36,375 of the miles on its odometer were recorded prior to 1968.
“There are almost no other Gullwings on the planet that have survived in the condition of this car. The fact that it has also had only three owners in its lifetime — the most recent for over 50 years — makes it a very rare, very special example”, says Gord Duff, Global Head of Auctions, RM Sotheby’s Group. “This is a car that has reached so many in the collector car hobby and will now benefit an entire community.”
The auction will feature approximately 350 quality collector cars and a selection of memorabilia across two days at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. Ranging from American classics to European sports cars, muscle cars, hot rods, customs and modern collectibles, the sale caters to all segments of the market, For complete details on this event, please visit www.rmsothebys.com