Written by independent automotive journalist David Neyens
Lot #1415 – 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing will be selling with No Reserve at our 2022 Scottsdale Auction.
Based on the initial Mercedes-Benz 300SL racing cars of 1952 that utterly dominated European sports-car competition, including 1-2 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, plus another 1-2 victory in Mexico’s deadly Carrera Panamericana, the roadgoing 300SL “Gullwing” of 1954-57 was never meant to be. That is, until famed New York automobile importer Max Hoffman successfully lobbied the Daimler-Benz board of directors to authorize limited production. Introduced at the February 1954 New York International Motor Sports Show alongside the touring-oriented 190SL, the glamorous 300SL was mostly hand-built and immediately recognized as an object of automotive desire for the world’s business, entertainment, and social luminaries. Today, the unforgettable 300SL ranks among the most collectible and valuable of all postwar sports cars.
Development and engineering of the roadgoing 300SL fills many excellent and authoritative volumes, requiring no repetition here; suffice it to say, the 300SL’s features, engineering, and immense performance remain advanced and relevant, even by today’s jaded standards. Featuring an ultra-lightweight spaceframe chassis, the 300SL’s highlights seem modern even today, including direct fuel injection, a 3.0-liter SOHC inline 6-cylinder powerplant, dry-sump engine lubrication, fully independent suspension, and of course, upward-opening “Gullwing” doors. Most of these brilliant and potent performers carry fascinating provenance and this stellar example from 1955 is certainly no exception. One of 855 produced during 1955, it was originally finished in Strawberry Red and trimmed in optional Beige leather upholstery. Most intriguing, it was delivered new to the Ministry of Police in Havana, Cuba on June 16, 1955.
Pre-revolutionary Cuba was a favored destination for wealthy tourists and expatriates. During the 1950s, Argentine racing driver and future automobile manufacturer Alejandro de Tomaso enthusiastically convinced his friend, Cuban president Fulgencio Battista, to support a new Grand Prix race in the Cuban capital of Havana. Advertised with great fanfare and fueled by a generous purse, the first Cuban Grand Prix was held in February 1957, attracting the world’s top manufacturers and all-star drivers including Carroll Shelby, who finished second overall in a Ferrari 410 Sport to reigning Grand Prix World Champion Juan-Manuel Fangio in a Maserati 300S. Driven at the 1957 Cuban Grand Prix with Mercedes-Benz sponsorship by noted Cuban racing driver Santiago “Chaguito” Gonzales for the Cuban Ministry of Police, this 300SL won the over 2-liter Sports class — a sterling performance for the hometown driver and team.
Following his Cuban GP class victory, Gonzalez drove this 300SL, race numbered 4, to an electrifying overall victory — in record time — in the IV Classic Rally from Pinar del Rio, Cuba’s world-famous tobacco capital, to Havana. According to a translated race report included with the vehicle, “Chaguito traded the 168 kilometers in a fabulous time of one hour, 2 minutes, 32 seconds, and 2 tenths, to beat Pepillo de Cueto and his Jaguar number 11 in an emotional duel. The ‘Chaguito’ – del Cueto duel monopolized the attention of the public, who followed the race step by step according to the radio stations broadcast throughout the Malecon area through gigantic speakers.” This performance is but one of the many racing exploits of “Chaguito,” whose career included drives with Jaguar D-types at the Sebring 12-Hours in 1956 and 1957, the 1000-kilometer 1957 Venezuelan Grand Prix with a Porsche 550 RS Spyder, and a return to Sebring in 1958 with a Ferrari 500 TRC.
By 1961, the 300SL was purchased by its second owner and exported to California. A thorough restoration was performed under the third owner during the 1990s at about 92,000 kilometers (57,166 miles), including a bare-metal repaint in Fire Engine Red, restored interior, rebuilt VDO gauges, restored brightwork, and rebuilding of the matching numbers ‘M198’ SOHC inline 6- cylinder engine, 4-speed manual transmission, and brakes. The custom-made fitted luggage, while not original, beautifully replicates the factory items. A second engine rebuild was performed under the fourth owner in 2003. At the time of writing, this outstanding 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL (Lot #1415) now has 95,377 actual kilometers (59,265 miles) of use. It will be offered with No Reserve at Barrett-Jackson’s 2022 Scottsdale Auction January 22-30.
A wealth of excellent
Title: 1955 300SL GULLWING: Racing Provenance, Documentation and a Comprehensive Restoration Give this Mercedes-Benz Wings
Sourced From: www.barrett-jackson.com/Media/Home/Reader/1955-mercedes-benz-300sl-gullwing-crossing-the-block-2022-scottsdale/
Published Date: Thu, 09 Dec 2021 18:05:57 +0000
Here comes trouble: A Triumph TR6 with a Matchless frame
Kids are impressionable, especially when motorcycles are involved. That magical combination of sound, smell and danger has a way of imprinting itself on young minds. But Kyle Harvey didn’t just dream of bikes as a child—he practically grew up with them.
Kyle’s trade is tool and die making, but his passion is building bikes. His father, Garth Harvey, got Kyle and his brother into bikes at a young age; as soon as they could start their old man’s vintage motorcycles, they were riding them. Living in Edenvale in South Africa’s Gauteng province, the boys also had direct access to the local Classic Motorcycle Club.
The folks at the CMC made quite an impression on young Kyle—and taught him everything he knows about vintage bikes. After helping numerous friends work on their bikes, he went on to open his own shop, named simply ‘The Workshop.’ Kyle has been building and restoring classic motorcycles for over a decade now.
This cheeky bobber is his latest build, and it’s immensely fascinating. The engine’s from a Triumph TR6 Trophy, the frame is from a Matchless, and the quirky handmade details on it are endless.
By: Ben Pilatti
Title: Here comes trouble: A Triumph TR6 with a Matchless frame
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/custom-triumph-tr6-matchless-frame
Published Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2022 17:01:12 +0000
Did you miss our previous article…
The Swan Song of the V12
The V12 engine holds a special place in the heart of many automotive and motorsports fans. For some, it’s the sound of Formula 1 through the years, especially during the 1990s. For others, it’s engines like the 6.1 L BMW S70/2 from the McLaren F1 or the 3.9L Lamborghini V12 that powered all their cars from the Miura through to the Diablo. No matter where it lies in your heart, it is the “proper” configuration for many: 6 cylinders per bank, put into a V, and firing in an odd sequence to give it that special roar under power.
Yet, as concerns over fuel efficiency, qualms about environmental impact, and high-powered turbocharged V8 or V6 engines are the norm now, the V12 is slowly, but surely, being put to rest. In fact, the only place that V12s are still hanging on by the last threads of their engine mounting bolts are in supercars, hypercars, and a few ultra-luxury cars. Even then, many exotic brands have announced that their next cars will either be V10s or turbo V8s and V6s.
Since it appears that the swan song of the V12 is reaching a crescendo, we thought it only appropriate to celebrate the few remaining cars out there that carry them. It may be the last time we see some of these brands, many of which are known for their V12s.
The Amazing Last V12 Production Versions from the Big Brands
Ferrari 812 Superfast
Ferrari 812 Superfast. Image via Supercars.
The writing is on the wall for the prancing horse, as the new Ferrari 296 GTB is showing the direction that Maranello is headed. Yet, unless you were invited to snag one of the limited-edition Monza SP1 or SP2 cars, there is still one car you can buy from the legendary marque that has all 12 cylinders fully intact.
The 6.5L F140 GA V12. Image Via: Wikimedia Commons.
The 6.5L F140 GA 65-degree V12 in the front of the 812 is the last road-going version of the V12 that debuted in the Ferrari Enzo. Producing a monstrous 789 HP and 530 lbs-ft of torque, it is no slouch either, as when the 812 Superfast debuted, it was the most powerful naturally aspirated production car engine ever made.
It has the typical low-rev Ferrari roar that rises into a howl as the car revs up to nearly 9,000 RPM, and will catapult the 3,845 (1,744 kg) car to 60 MPH in 2.9 seconds. As far as a curtain call is concerned, that’s a great way to bow out and focus on hybrids and turbocharged engines.
Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC
cedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC. Image via Supercars.
Mercedes-Benz used to be at the very top of the V12 pecking order when it came to luxury performance cars. Such classics as the S 65 AMG from the mid-2000s and the 500 TE AMG W123 Touring from the very end of the 1970s came with big V12s that sound astounding, but the biggest and baddest of the Mercedes V12s left on in a production car is the M279 E60 LA that hauled the S65 AMGs of 2014.
By: Simon Bertram
Title: The Swan Song of the V12
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/v12-swan-song/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 10:49:26 +0000
Did you miss our previous article…
Road Tested: Gear from Shoei, Akin Moto and Rev’It!
In our continuing quest to source motorcycle gear that combines safety and style, we bring you our thoughts on Shoei’s new ECE 22.06-approved NXR2 helmet. Plus a stealthy riding parka from Akin Moto, and the perfect pair of urban riding gloves from Rev’It!.
Shoei NXR2 helmet It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Shoei’s helmets. Every Shoei I’ve owned has fit and felt right from the first wear, with no major deviations in their sizing or shape from model to model. So when I was looking for a do-it-all street helmet to replace my well-used Shoei RYD, the new NXR2 was a no-brainer… and it hasn’t disappointed.
I loved the RYD for its combination of neutral styling, comfort and ventilation. The NXR2 basically feels like a premium version of the RYD; it has the same clean aesthetic, but ramps up the performance. And it’s one of the few helmets that meet with Europe’s new, and more stringent, ECE 22.06 standard.
By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Road Tested: Gear from Shoei, Akin Moto and Rev’It!
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/shoei-akin-moto-revit-review-44
Published Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2022 17:01:31 +0000
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