With the 300SL coupé being not only a car destined for America but also a rather impractical racing prototype turned into a road car, sales started to decline after 1955. Looking at the demands of California, Mercedes came up with a Roadster version for the 1957 Geneva Motor Show. This new model was 276 pounds heavier than the hardtop, yet also more powerful given its 240-hp rating. The engineers also changed the chassis to grant more luggage space, as well as a lower sill for easier entry.
Two years ago, the fifth 1957 300SL Roadster sold for $1,512,500 at Bonham’s Scottsdale event, partly due to also being the first Roadster exported to the United States. While that car left Germany with a Fire Engine Red exterior, today, it wears a few layers of Anthracite Glasurit instead.
The coupé’s last year was 1957, during which only 70 were sold. This means that this now-restored 300 SL is one of the rarest steel-bodied examples and a car that used to be an oddball with its Roadster headlights, all the way until it became a de-bumpered Concours d’Elegance contender showing the equally period-correct shade of Horizon Blue over a blue plaid non-leather interior.
Apparently, finding the interior lights for these on the second-hand market is a real pain in the butt.