1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
VIN: 198 042 10 002509
Engine: 198 98 010002552
Mercedes Factory showcar at the 1960 Copenhagen Motor Show
Single family ownership for over 50 years
15,685 original miles
Complete mechanical and cosmetic restoration by Canepa
1st in Class and Best Open Post-WWII Car at the 2016 Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance
Originally prepared as a show car by Mercedes, this 300SL was featured at the 1960 Copenhagen Motor Show. Exhumed from long-term storage in a garage in New York in 2010, this Roadster had been in single-family ownership for over 50 years. With just over 15,000 original miles, the matching-numbers car was complete and undisturbed with its original hardtop, tools and copies of build sheets.
According to copies of the Mercedes-Benz Wagenkarte (build sheets), this roadster was completed at the Stuttgart factory on February 9, 1960, in a very rare and fashionable color combination of Blue Gray (DB 166) over a natural leather interior. Both the wheels and the optional hardtop were painted in the same shade, and the car was given some special features. As noted on the Wagenkarte, this 300 SL was delivered as a show car for display at the 1960 Copenhagen Motor Show. As a show car it differed from stock examples with polished intake runners, polished and chromed hardware in the engine bay, along with a gloss valve cover.
Needless to say the showcar was a big hit, and soon after the event, the car is believed to have been shipped to the US, and sold as a new car to Richard Altscheler of Long Island, New York who purchased the car for his wife.
The car was driven during its earliest years, but by the early 1980s the 300 SL had been retired from the road, and relegated to idle storage. For three decades, this beautiful sports car was confined to a modest two-car garage in Garden City, New York. It was purchased by its new owner in 2011 as the ultimate barnfind; wholly original, unmolested, complete, and in the home of its original owner.
The new owner engaged Canepa of Scotts Valley, CA to restore the time capsule car to its original 1960 Copenhagen Motor Show condition. Although it had been sitting for years it retained 100% of its original parts. Essentially it was the ultimate donor car for a flawless restoration. Once disassembled it was reconfirmed that the 300SL had all of its original parts down to the original tires.
The curvaceous body was carefully removed from the tube frame chassis, and every part of the 300SL, both cosmetic and mechanical, was completely refurbished and restored. Every system on the car was addressed including a rebuild of the engine, transmission, differential, brakes, suspension, cooling, heating, and electrical. Once the body was soda blasted it revealed that it had only two very small dents, and more importantly, no corrosion. The chassis was rust free and completely straight. In total more than 4000 hours went into bringing this amazing car back to life.
This stunning 300SL now presents and drives in as it did the day it wowed the crowds at the Copenhagen Motor Show, and most recently returned to the show lawn at the Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance where it won both 1st in Class and Best Open Post-WWII Car.