In many ways, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster was an improvement over its Gullwing predecessors. The multi-tube chassis was redesigned with lower sills and conventionally hinged doors for easier entry and exit. Roll-up windows overcame one of the Gullwing’s greatest drawbacks-inadequate interior ventilation-and the seats were given a three-position backrest rake adjustment.
Beyond providing more accessible power, the rear suspension used the revised low-pivot swing axle design with a camber compensator spring for a better ride and to help overcome the Gullwing’s tendency to suddenly oversteer during enthusiastic cornering.
This Mercedes is presented in a dramatic red and black livery; however, a copy of the original factory build sheet accompanying the car indicates the SL was originally DB 180 Metallic Silver and with Code 333 Dark Blue Leather and Code 896 Blue soft top. Also specified on the build sheet are U.S. headlights, dual backup lights, dual outside lock cylinders, Becker “Mexico” radio and Hirschmann antenna. Most importantly, the record confirms that SL7500582 retains its original engine (7500590) and original body (7500506).
An inspection of the 1957 300SL Roadster indicated no evidence of major rust, corrosion, or significant accident damage and revealed a number of original components. Other details confirm the integrity of this car, such as twin Bosch coils, Koni shock absorbers, unique valve stem clips, and the correct headlamps.
Along with the original jack, the original spare is in the trunk and wears a period Michelin X tire. The interior is largely complete and features seat belts from the Rupert Parachute Company, a nice personal touch from Mr. VanKregten. Overall this is a very honest, solid car deserving of a restoration that would bring it back to its original glory. It has been in Mr. VanKregten’s garage for three decades and still retains its most important original components.