A very rare 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing has sold for a record $4.62 million at a recent auction event. The classic Merc is a genuine all-aluminium mint condition example.
Sold at the Gooding & Company event held over the weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona, US, the winning bidder raised their hand for the final time at $4.2 million. Auction fees then pushed the total price up to $4.62 million. This sets a new record for the classic Gullwing. Auction event organisers had an expected sale price of $2.5-$3.0 million.
The Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing is not only a special vehicle because of its famous up-swinging doors, it's also the first ever production vehicle to offer direct fuel injection.
Comprising a 3.0-litre single overhead-cam straight six producing around 158kW of power, the Bosch direct mechanical injection system was said to have helped the SL hit a top speed of 260km/h - the fastest production car in the world at the time.
Making this example even more unique is its aluminium body. Mercedes only produced 29 of them in 1955, shedding 80kg from the SL's weight.
The company produced 1400 coupes in total, from 1954-1957, and 1858 Roadster examples, from 1957-1963.