1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupe
Chassis No. 6500215
Commission No. 806 471
Engine No. 6500190
Body No. 6500212
Fourteen hundred 300SL Coupes were produced from 1954 to 1957, and each was assembled by hand. Notable for its multi-tube construction resulting in a unique means of entering the cockpit, it was nicknamed Gullwing due to the upward opening doors.
In 1996 we completed an authentic body-off restoration on this coupe. Every single component was inspected and returned to its original configuration. The car was restored to its original color scheme of DB534 fire engine red with 1060 cream leather. Notable features include a sport camshaft, dual point distributor, ATE brake booster, Nardi steering wheel, and the original Becker-Mexico radio. Extra care was taken with some of the less visible details, such as the installation of a 'new old stock' gas tank.
One of the exciting facets of our work is the opportunity to replicate exactly the car's original details, including factory options such as the pigskin luggage designed to fit the contours of the coupe's rear package shelf. In order to get the correct look, we had nails made to the original specification for head diameter and shape. We also duplicated the original lining fabric, and made our own three part die-cut handles, harness straps, and pads.
For this car we reproduced the racing-style seat belts, a lap belt with a quick release buckle attached to a wide leather panel, in the color originally offered. The wheels are fully painted as done by the factory, and even the wheel weights are original.
As the restoration neared completion, this gullwing was invited to compete in the inaugural Postwar European Sports & GT Class at the 1996 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. At Pebble Beach, it was judged to be First in Class. After final testing and sorting back in our workshops, the owners took their extraordinary coupe on a road tour to view New England's fall foliage, and then drove it home to Mississippi, a total of over 1600 miles.