Mercedes-Benz 300SL AMG: 1-of-11 Oddity Headed to Auction
Rare Benz with royal pedigree is expected to exceed the $1 million mark at the 2019 Tokyo Auto Salon.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s that just because you have a lot of money, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have good taste. History is rife with examples of this, from rich folks commissioning everything from gold toilets to outrageous chrome-plated supercars. The Sultan of Brunei, owner of some 5,000 automobiles, fits that bill perfectly. And he’s also the person responsible for the unique Mercedes-Benz you see before you – the 300SL AMG.
As Motor Authority points out, the Sultan commissioned AMG to take his original 300SL Gullwing coupe and roadster and fit them with modern bits back in the mid-’90s. But that wasn’t the end of this strange restomod movement. AMG built a total of nine more of these unique Mercedes-Benz models between 1996 and 2009. Four of them for the Brunei royal family, at a price tag of around a million Euros each.
For that price, buyers essentially received a fully modernized classic. AMG replaced the original 3.0-liter inline-six with a 6.0-liter, 380 hp V8. A 4-speed automatic transmission replaced the original manual cog box. The original gauges remain, but AMG converted them to electronic operation. A modern five-link suspension, Bilstein shocks, and AMG wheels rounded out the interesting package.
This particular Mercedes-Benz 300SL AMG is one of only two right-hand drive models built. It’s remained in the garage of the original owner in Japan since it was completed in 2000. Now, this rare ride heads to auction at the 2019 Tokyo Auto Salon, with an estimated hammer price of $1.2 to $1.5 million.
Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that this classic Mercedes-Benz redo is the perfect example of excess. And if nothing else, the 11 examples built just make original 300SLs that much harder to find!
Photos: Best Heritage Auction