Stirling Moss' Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing to sell at Sotheby's
A Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing driven by Stirling Moss is the latest addition to the RM Sotheby's forthcoming Driven by Disruption sale.
The unique car was driven by the racing legend to a second place finish at the 1956 Tour de France, and has been described as "the rarest and most desirable W198 Gullwing ever presented for public auction".
Built in 1955, the car was the first of just four examples built specifically for the company's works racing team, and featured a host of upgrades including an NSL-specification motor with revised camshaft profile.
Having been delivered to the competition department in August 1955, it spent 13 months with the 'Sportabteilung' before being sold to Bernard Hans Hommel and car enthusiast Georges Houel.
They then took the car to Paris, and entered it into the famous Tour de France road race with Houel's close friend Stirling Moss behind the wheel. Moss produced a stunning performance, outpacing everyone except the equally legendary Marquis de Portago, who sealed victory in his Ferrari 250 GT.
Having spent the next few years being campaigned around Europe, the car eventually passed into the hands of a collector who had dreamed of owning a 300 SL Gullwing since childhood. It has remained in the same family collection ever since, spending 40 years in careful storage before being given a three-year preservation restoration in 2008.
As one of just two existing factory-competition W198 Sportabteilung cars, the historic and important Gullwing will be offered with an estimate of $5-$7 million.
“This car illustrates an important and lesser-known chapter in the Gullwing racing legend,” says Alain Squindo, Vice President, RM Sotheby’s. “Not only is it rarer than the ever desirable alloy-bodied Gullwings, but its desirability is amplified by its astonishing provenance – none other than Sir Stirling Moss drove the car to a second place finish at the ’56 Tour de France, beaten only by de Portago in his Ferrari, which RM sold for a world record $13.2 million in Monterey earlier this year. It begs the consideration of any serious collector in search of the ultimate Gullwing for their stable.”
The RM Sotheby's Driven by Disruption sale takes place in New York on December 10.
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