Barn Find: Two Mercedes-Benz Gullwings displayed at Amelia Island

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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Barn find 300SL Barn find 300SL
Barn find 300SL chassis 43 as found Barn find 300SL chassis 43 as found
Barn find 300SL chassis 43 engine Barn find 300SL chassis 43 engine
Barn find 300SL chassis 43 interior Barn find 300SL chassis 43 interior
Barn find 300SL chassis 43 interior seats Barn find 300SL chassis 43 interior seats
Barn find 300SL chassis 43 profile Barn find 300SL chassis 43 profile

Mercedes-Benz reunited two sequentially numbered barn find 300SLs

In a weird case of serendipity, two sequentially numbered Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwings were both found dilapidated in storage; with Benz putting both on display at the recent Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

The cars rolled down the assembly line together back in 1954, and both ended up separately abandoned in storage. Chassis #44 was displayed in painstakingly restored condition and likely better than it ever left factory, conversely chassis #43 is virtually untouched as it came out of storage last year.

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When it was pulled out of its storage in May 2018, it hadn’t run for over 60 years. All of the paint had been stripped off, with all original trim packed inside the cabin. The car was originally delivered to Miami in 1954, but was only registered for ten years.

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It was deduced that the car was stripped of its original ‘mid blue’ paint sometime in the mid-60s, coated in primer, and for reasons unknown was never repainted and sat forgotten. The body, glass, grey leather interior, drivetrain and wheels was completely original.

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Cars suffer their own degradation even when not used, and after six decades, the car is still in need of a full restoration. However, given its originality Hagerty’s Tom Cotter valuated the car at USD$900,000.

Chassis #44 was also a former barn find, but has been fully restored to its original 1954-spec by the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Irvine California. ‘First-year’ Gullwings are distinguished by a number of handcrafted components (including the Mercedes-Benz star emblem), exhaust manifold, "gooseneck" shifter and magnesium-painted valve cover.

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Alongside the pair of barn-find siblings, Mercedes brought along their Vision EQ Silver Arrow concept, as well as the 1983 Paris-Dakar-winning and Jacky Ickx-driven 280GE.

 

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