Lot 117

Monterey 2013

1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster


$1,430,000 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
Engine No.
Body No.
  • Single-family ownership from new until 2009
  • Only 42,312 original miles since new
  • A First in Class and People’s Choice Award at the 2012 Mercedes-Benz National Starfest Concours d’Elegance
  • Fresh restoration in original Ivory with Green leather interior
  • Full matching-numbers example accompanied by original factory and title documentation and ample restoration documentation

215 bhp (DIN), 240 bhp (SAE), 2,996 cc overhead-cam inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transition, coil-spring independent front suspension, and coil-spring single point swing axle rear suspension. Wheelbase: 94.5 in.

This example, chassis 7500229, is a 1957 U.S.-specification example. It was dispatched by train to the seaport of Hamburg, Germany, on September 27, 1957. Its first destination was Studebaker Packard, of South Bend, Indiana, which was Max Hoffman’s distribution center. According to the specifications provided by a copy of the original build sheet, this car was delivered new in Ivory (608) with a Green leather interior (1073) and green cloth top. It was specified as having a Becker Mexico radio, sealed beam headlights, U.S.–specification instrumentation with English inscriptions, and a final drive ratio of 1:3.89.

From South Bend, it was delivered to Burklein Motors, of Beverly Hills, which was a Rambler dealer that also sold Mercedes-Benz. The car remained unregistered with Burklein Motors until March 28, 1963, when the franchise was dissolved; at that point, this Roadster was registered in the name of Mr. Burklein. The original California “pink title” from this transaction survives and is included with the sale of the car, as is the original 1963 California “black plate,” which notably only had one registration renewal sticker on it, for 1964.

In 1967, Mr. Burklein and his family moved to Tucson, Arizona, and the Mercedes went with them. It was driven sparingly and always well maintained, being resprayed in white sometime in the 1980s. It remained in Mr. Burklein’s Tucson estate all those years, until its purchase by the second owner, Mr. Mischler, of Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2009, ending the original ownership chain that had remained intact for half a century! At this point, the car had less than 42,000 original miles on the odometer, for an average of less than 1,000 miles per year. Mr. Mischler commissioned famed 300SL restorer Bill Richardson, of Richardson Restoration & Machine Werks in Phoenix, Arizona, to perform a full, no-expense-spared, four-year restoration, at a cost of several hundred thousand dollars. Originality was Mr. Mischler’s prime interest, and it was decided that the car would be restored to its original color combination and specifications, down to the last detail.

The restoration was one of the most comprehensive ever performed under Bill Richardson, who confirmed that, when he removed the paint, the condition of the car was one the best he had ever seen in the over one hundred 300SLs he has restored in the past four decades.

All the mechanical work was either performed or directly supervised by Bill. At the owner’s direction, every nut and bolt was restored at great expense, in order to retain all of the original numbered parts whenever possible, including the axles, A-frames, generator, and a long list of other items. As such, it is believed to be one of the purest restored examples available today. Further, this California/Arizona car has never had any damage or rust of any kind, and, except for the passenger door, it still retains all its original body panels. The only modification that was made from the factory card was the upgrade to the expensive and more desirable European-specification headlight assemblies and bumpers, which were sourced as NOS units.

Accompanying the spirited Mercedes is the original jack and an original owner’s manual, as well as the aforementioned pink title and California black plate. Complete records of the restoration are included on a CD, which contains over 300 photographs of the complete restoration. Finally, itemized billing, which comprises approximately 40 pages from Richardson Restorations & Machine Werks, is also included.

Finished in its original livery of Ivory and Green, the result of the work was such that it won both a People’s Choice Award and First in Class at the September 2012 Mercedes-Benz’s factory-sponsored Starfest National Concours d’Elegance at the Biltmore Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The chain of ownership is amazingly intact, having remained in the Burklein family until 2009, when the title was established in the name of the current owner, Mr. Mischler, making the next owner of the car only the third in its 56 years of existence. Presented in stunning, show-ready condition, it is ready to grace the fields of concours around the globe, and the stable of its next owner.