Canepa Selling Second to Last 300SL Roadster Built
This car was built the day before the doors closed on 300SL production, and only one additional car was finished after it, making it, by definition, the penultimate 300SL. Being so late in the build production, this is a disc-brake car with an aluminum block engine, the best Roadster driving experience that you could buy at the time. Ironically, this car went unsold, and was returned to the factory for upgrades, making it likely the last 300SL ever to sell.
Roadster #198042-10-003257 was originally shipped to Salzburg, Austria for sale. The 230SL had been launched by that point, and was much-less expensive than the model it replaced. This car was relatively light on options when it was first shipped, so Mercedes must have figured that someone looking for the 300 would want more bang for their bucks. When the car returned to Stuttgart, it was fitted with U.S.-spec sealed-beam headlamps, a Becker Grand Prix radio, a factory hard top (included), a set of white walls, and English language gauges. It was then given a second build sheet and shipped off to America.
The car originally left the factory on February 7th, 1963. It finally sold to its first owner on February 14th, 1964, a full year and seven days later. From there, it eventually met up with Merc dealer Phil Smart. Smart owned the car for many years, before he passed it on in the early ’80s. Almost 20 years later, Phil Smart Jr. tracked down his dad’s old car in Germany and had stripped down to bare metal and restored. To this day, it presents well, and while the paint is now 15-years-old, it still looks showroom fresh. The car is documented currently at just 39,000 miles.
In white over red leather, this Benz looks like an absolute dream. And with all of those late production upgrades, this certainly has some collectible appeal. If you’re looking for a roadster, this is the one you want. For more information on this unique roadster, and even more photos, visit Canepa.com, or drop in and see it in their showroom.
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