1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL with Canadian roots sells for $1.9M

1954 mercedes 300sl
  • Image Credit: RK Motors Charlotte
  • 1954 mercedes 300sl
  • 1954 mercedes 300sl three quarters
  • 1954 mercedes 300sl front
  • 1954 mercedes 300sl profile
  • 1954 mercedes 300sl rear three quarters
  • 1954 mercedes 300sl engine
  • 1954 mercedes 300sl interior
The Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing remains one of the most collectible sports cars of its era, and RK Motors Charlotte just sold a 1954 example with some interesting Canadian provenance for $1.9 million in a private sale. The company believes this is the highest paid for a '54 since one went for $2.2 million at a Barrett-Jackson auction in 2012.

The 300SL was a supercar of its era, combining huge performance and a look like nothing else on the road. This beautifully restored example was also somewhat responsible for growing Mercedes into parts of Canada. A lumber industry magnate named Leopold Bentley imported the car with every option but the Rudge wheels, according to RK's listing. He also believed there was a greater market for the German brand's cars and set up Mercedes-Benz Distributor West to bring them into Vancouver. The 300SL served as the demonstrator for the business until someone bought the car in 1956.

The new owner left the high-performance coupe at a summer home and covered just 45,887 miles with it over the decades. A restoration in the early '90s included a new coat of paint and interior improvements, but the 300SL remained mechanically original. As the gallery shows, it's quite a beauty.

Sale prices for the 300SL can vary widely depending on the car's specification. A '55 Gullwing owned by Clark Gable sold for $1.85 million at a Barrett-Jackson auction in 2013. However, the rare alloy-bodied cars have sold for millions more, including one for $4.62 million in 2012.
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RK Motors Charlotte Records Its Largest Sale in 2015, As 1954 Mercedes-Benz Gullwing Sells For $1.9 Million

Pristinely Restored 300 SL Gullwing Sets Three-Year Market High

CHARLOTTE (December 15, 2015) —Marking its largest single-vehicle transaction in 2015, RK Motors Charlotte today announced the $1.9 million sale of a 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing.

In addition to setting a new company record for the year, the sale sets a new three-year high for a 1954 Gullwing, following a $2.2 million sale at the Barrett Jackson Collector Car Auction in 2012.

"The '54 Gullwing brought this record price because of its pristine condition and flawless mechanics," explained Joseph Carroll, president of RK Collection, parent of RK Motors. "This typifies the exceptional quality of the vehicles we make available to car collectors both here in the U.S., and throughout the world. This is underscored by the fact that this transaction signifies a three-year high for a'54 Gullwing, establishing a new price-point in the collector car market."

The 300 SL Gullwing, which helped visionary importer Leopold Poldi Bentley establish and build momentum for the Mercedes brand among enthusiasts in Western Canada, paved the way for the establishment of Bentley's Vancouver-based Mercedes-Benz Distributor West Ltd.

The stunning silver-on-red Gullwing was eventually sold in 1956, and remained in that owner's possession for 50 years. In the early 1990's care of the Gullwing was entrusted to noted 300 SL restorer Rudi Koniczek and his team at Rudi and Company in Vancouver. Since then, Rudi and Company have kept the car in exceptional, original running condition, have repainted the exterior and restored its interior leather and headliner.

With only 45,687 original miles on its odometer, the four-speed Gullwing was sold with its original belly pans, tools, books, and optional Nardi steering wheel.

"This record-setting sale demonstrates that RK Motors vehicle presentation and marketing attracts the right customer base. Our no-upfront-fee consignment program delivers results and we continue to be a great option for anyone interested in consigning their collector car," said RK Motors Director of Marketing Paul Tecci. "We consistently deliver a higher return than wholesale auctions. When you combine that fact with the personal service from our sales, acquisition and service teams it is clear why RK Motors Charlotte is a great alternative to auctions."

From muscle cars to exotics imports and historic race cars, RK Motors Charlotte offers hundreds of stunning collector cars. Current inventory is accessible at:

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