7 April 2015

Classic Classified: 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

From: Car Classics

Date: December 1978

Price then: $25,000 ($89,600 adjusted for inflation - about the cost of a new 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 3LZ)

Price now: $1,100,000 - $1,800,000

Approximate dollar difference: $1,560,000 (assuming #2 condition)

Approximate annual rate of return: 8.1%

1960 Mercedes 300SL coupe/roadster. New paint, silver, Medium blue leather restored to original color - 95% perfect. Mechanically excellent. 31,450 miles. Both tops. $25,000.

If this asking price isn't motivation forsomeone to finish their DeLorean time machine, I don't know what is. Compared to today's 300SL prices, this looks like the deal of the century - even if it was expensive by 1978 stanards - if the new owner hung on to her for another 37 years. Granted, the 300SL has only recently begun to explode in value, but anyone out there who may have passed up this car because "it's just another old Mercedes" is probably kicking himself right about now.

9 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Peter Gluklick Huntington Woods, MI April 8, 2015 at 16:00
    The Delorean is to fine sports cars what the Pacer is to fine sedans. If you like a Pacer or Delorean by all means restore one, but to restore a Delorean under the guise that it will, someday, reach the provenance or desirability of the 300SL is preposterous. The Delorean was almost as bad a car as it's namesake was a person.
  • 2
    Lou Ratsos Michigan April 8, 2015 at 16:28
    Don't forget to mention the third gull wing production vehicle which came out before the DeLorean, the Bricklin SV-1.
  • 3
    Mike AuClair Rancho Mirage CA April 8, 2015 at 17:05
    High price compared to the 55 Gullwing coupe I turned down in Germany in 1967. Price was $3500 with new paint, interior and engine.
  • 4
    Joan Sacramento, CA April 8, 2015 at 17:59
    My grandfather had a white 300SL, roadster, with navy interior and a navy soft top from the early 1960's. Wish the family still had it - it was a beauty and he babied it, kept it garaged and clean always!
  • 5
    Kevin Davin Oregon April 8, 2015 at 19:42
    I consider myself a bona fide car guy. I have several nice classics in my own collection. In my view there are no million-dollar Mercedes-Benzes-new or old. Just those willing to pay over the moon prices for ancient machinery. Bragging rights, I suppose. Incidentally, there are no $100,000.00 '67 Camaroes out there either. Or Road Runners. Or anything from Motown. Just saying...
  • 6
    Paul B Lansdale, Pa April 8, 2015 at 19:44
    Top quality 1995-2006 SLs are available for $15k-25k. Buy one, drive it, love it, keep it healthy, who knows what will happen!
  • 7
    Loren Moore Michigan April 9, 2015 at 14:25
    I was looking in the used Sports car section of the Detroit News in 1967 looking for a Corvette. For several days there was an ad for a '65 Cobra 289 two seater for $3500. I thought about going to look at it, but didn't. Instead I bought a '66 Corvette Sting Ray for $3500. Which was beautiful. 12 coats of Cadillac bronze paint, 327-380 hp., four speed, side pipes, Michlins, 4.11 positraction, both tops, hardtop customized padded. Had guys tell me it was the nicest Corvette they had ever seen.
  • 8
    Dr. Tod United States April 11, 2015 at 18:36
    We toured the MBZ museum in Stuttgart October 2014. Several rare 300 SL's on display. I have a gorgeous red 95 SL500 and an "everyday driver" 98 SL500. I hope Paul B.'s prediction comes to pass.
  • 9
    Rotts OH April 30, 2015 at 08:11
    I saw a '55 Gullwing for sale for just over $5K on a used car lot in San Antonio while on a pass from Lackland AFB in the spring of 1964. Wish I'd had the $5K - but that was big $$ back then.

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