1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing

This particular 300SL Gullwing is one of the most famous of all British Gullwings as it is RYT 28, the press car, that was completed on the 5th of December 1955 and delivered new in January 1956 to Mercedes-Benz (GB) at Camberwell. This information is documented in both the chassis records and in Michael Frostick’s book The Mighty Mercedes which documents all of the approximately 59 Gullwings delivered new to the UK. RYT 28 was used and driven by the staff at Mercedes-Benz (GB), and is well remembered by them. A conversation with Roger Edwards, who served his apprenticeship at Mercedes-Benz and is now a noted SL specialist, revealed that the car returned to the company for regular service and maintenance long after it had been sold, and although it had been sold to a private individual, it was still known as ‘our car’ by the staff at the Camberwell site and later at Brentford.

In April 1956 RYT 28 was the main feature of an article titled “On British Roads with a Mercedes-Benz 300SL,” the by-line reading “Fantastic Speed and Acceleration the Outstanding Features of this Six cylinder Fuel Injection Coupe, Tested over nearly 1,400 miles in England and Scotland.” The feature article goes on to describe a fast, extended test drive across the UK in RYT 28. William Boddy, the author, wrote: “The sense of being propelled forward with undiminished acceleration of up to two miles a minute if necessary, by the unleashed smooth power of an engine which feels completely reliable, is not only an exhilarating sensation for the occupants, and one which makes passing other vehicles a very fleeting, and therefore safe operation – it looks exceptionally impressive to those you pass!”

In later years the car was sold to its first owner, Mr. Reginald Weatherell and had three further British owners – Kenneth Scott, Robert Darby, and Alan Morrie, before finally being sold to Mr. William Norvell of La Jolla, CA. In recent years the car has formed part of a substantial Japanese collection and only recently has “Bill Boddy’s car” returned home.

RYT 28 is offered in restored condition and is complete with its original under trays, which were a vital part of the car’s ground breaking aerodynamic design. Also fitted to the car is a very desirable Nardi wood rimmed steering wheel. As possibly the most well known of the rare originally British-delivered Gullwings, this car provides an opportunity for a collector to own a significant 300SL with a known history and a documented personality.