In the collector car world, a unicorn is a vehicle that is so oddly rare that it defies expectations of its very existence. I would characterize the Pick of the Day, a 1964 Mercedes-Benz 300SE coupe, as something of a unicorn for a number of reasons, which cumulatively make it a very unusual find.
Already a rare car, of which only 706 coupes and convertibles (known internally as W112 cars) were built in 1964, the Benz has had only one owner since new, according to the St. Louis, Missouri, dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com.
That one owner drove the coupe only 20,659 miles, as shown on the odometer.
But it’s the next thing that pushes the car over into unicorn territory: the 300SE is right-hand drive. When was the last time you saw a right-hooker Mercedes of any kind in the U.S., much less a vintage 300SE? As the seller notes, few were built and only a handful are likely to exist today.
The genesis of this Mercedes is the typical story of a wealthy buyer purchasing it in a nation where people drive on the left side of the road, generally because of British commonwealth history.
“This exceedingly rare factory right-hand-drive example was sold new to a businessman in Singapore and later accompanied him to his home in Ontario,” the seller says in the ad. “Having just recently been released from single ownership, this W112 coupe retains its numbers matching engine and its original leather interior with a mere 20,759 miles on the odometer.”
Aside from a repaint in its original Silver Grey Metallic, the Mercedes stands in original condition, which looks very good in the photos with the ad, although the seller notes that it could use some spiffing up to be immaculate. The unrestored red leather interior has a lovely patina, and the chrome and trim look to be in great shape.
The coupe retains its 3.0-liter fuel-injected inline-6 engine coupled with a 4-speed manual transmission (another rarity in the U.S.) with 4-wheel disc brakes, power steering, sunroof, Bundt alloy wheels and Hella fog lights.
The 300SE is a sophisticated automobile with a hand-crafted body topped by a gorgeous roofline. They were pricey and exclusive in their day, driven by rich and famous people who wanted to make an impression.
The asking price for this oddity is $59,900, which is about in line with the value of a 300SE coupe without these unusual attributes. And obviously, it would be a steady conversation starter because of the steering wheel being on the wrong side. No, wait, it’s on the right side.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.