1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster
Chassis no. 198.042.7500649
Engine no. 198.980.7500672
Body no. 198.042.7500575
225 bhp (DIN), 240 bhp (SAE), 2,996 cc SOHC inline six-cylinder engine with Bosch mechanical fuel injection, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with upper and lower A-arms and coil springs, independent rear suspension with coil springs and swing axles, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,400 mm
Presented in stunning original colour combination
Stunning complete restoration by 300 SL Specialists Rudi & Company
Factory build records indicate chassis 7500649 left Sindelfingen, Germany on January 10th 1958. It was destined for America and fitted with a few unusual options for a very particular customer. Both seats were upholstered 2.5 cm lower than standard, the steering column was extended, special wiring and circuits were installed for fog lamps and an extra reverse lamp was added to the car. The first owner of 7500649 must have been quite tall to need the extra reach and height and with those extra lights it is clear that intended to drive his Roadster often.
Finished in the iconic colour of Mercedes-Benz race cars, paint code DB180 Silver Gray Metallic, with a rich red leather interior, color code 1079, this SL is at once both elegant and sporty. The chassis number 7500649, engine number 7500672 and body number 7500575 all match the build records provided by Mercedes-Benz Classic. This 300SL also retains its original transmission, front axles and rear differential.
Some would argue that ownership history is as important as the car itself. For chassis 7500649 we are lucky to have three interesting sources. First we have a copy of the factory build records, which confirms the car’s original specification. Second is a register entry from the Gull Wing Group International that shows four previous owners:
The first documented owner, circa 1970 is Mr. Erich Vogl of Clawson, Michigan. Vogl noted that the car was still silver when he submitted his application to the Gull Wing Group International.
The second owner was Mr. Ronald Voss of Nashville Tennessee, who restored the Roadster to a black over red combination in the late-1980s/early-1990s in Georgia.
The third were Mr. & Mrs. Tom McCarthy of Pittsfield, MA.
The final owners were Mr. Roderick Chichester Gaines Taylor and his wife Carolyn of Morris, Connecticut.
The final piece of history is an article published about the life and passion of Rod Taylor. We have included all of these sources below.
Taylor owned the car for many years before he decided to begin a restoration. He owned three Gullwings and this one Roadster along with a 1955 190SL and was an avid member of the Gull Wing Group. Rod Taylor passed away before making any serious progress on the 300SL Roadster project. He had disassembled and stripped the car, with every part stored carefully in labelled boxes. We purchased Rod’s 300SL Gullwing and Roadster from his wife Carolyn. The Gullwing was complete and we quickly found it a new caretaker. Our plan with the Roadster, chassis 7500649, was to finish the work Rod began years ago.
We hired famed Mercedes-Benz specialists Rudi & Company of Victoria, British Columbia to give this car a complete restoration to world-class standards. The work Taylor started was not up to Rudi’s standard of excellence and he encouraged us to allow him to start at the beginning. Financially, this was perhaps not the wisest decision, but we wanted the car absolutely perfect and correct to original specification. Rudi was given a blank cheque to do as he wished. This is one of the final 300SL Roadsters to leave his shop as he plans on retiring at the height of his career. Rudi and his body/paint shop, Coachwerks, have worked together for over 25 years here in Victoria and have restored close to 100 Mercedes-Benz 300SLs.
In recent years, 300SLs restored by Rudi & Company have won numerous awards at various Concours in North America and have pulled very strongly at both Gooding and RM Sotheby’s auctions. A list of his achievements and links to stories about Rudi are attached below.
The highest level of detail preparation of the bare metal prior to expert painting and careful finishing would be expected. Exacting attention to detail such as all-new rubber, new lenses, all-new glass, show-quality chrome plating of the original trim, overhauling the door, trunk and glove box locks shows the experience of the craftsmen who worked on this restoration.
Taking a look inside reveals the seats, cushions and door panels, all rebuilt prior to receiving the correct German Roser-style leather covering. Note the seat coverings for these early 300SL Roadsters do not have the perforation found in later cars. This is a detail often missed by restorers. A new steering wheel and horn button were fitted, and the specified carpet weave was used on the floor inside and in the trunk. A correct canvas soft-top in 872 black was fitted perfectly to the restored frame.
Not all the quality and quantity of the work done are apparent at first glance. Based on information provided by Rudi & Company, the mechanical side of the restoration was as thorough as that of the cosmetic. Highlights include the balancing of all internal moving parts in the engine, with new pistons, valves, guides, timing chain, timing gears as needed, complete gearbox overhaul, rebuilding and balancing of the driveshaft, overhauled fuel injectors and injection pump, re-cored radiator and oil cooler, new motor mounts, new brakes, shock absorbers, steering damper, transmission mount, sway bar rubbers and links and bushings and seals in the front axle.
Every part used is factory-correct, supplied from Mercedes-Benz Classic, and the completed car was tested for 300 miles and given an initial service with the head re-torqued, valves adjusted, all fluids changed and any sorting done as required. Following the road test and service, this 300SL was then given a final wet sand, full polish and detail.
Mileage indicated currently stands at approximately 12,678 miles, which are believed to be 112,768 original miles. A recent road test by Rudi’s chief mechanic, Tom Munro, confirmed that the car ran and drove fantastically. It started easily, accelerated nicely and shifted through the gears very well, all of which confirmed the high calibre of restoration work.
Chassis 7500649 comes complete with a factory tool roll, set of soft-top head guards, set of fitted luggage by Taris Charysyn, full set of polished lip wheels with silver centres including a matching spare, a Mercedes-Benz 300SL jack and literature.
Please be advised that the advertised price does not include the $395 registration fee.
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