Some “barn finds” are so magical, they almost defy description or explanation. How did this even happen, one might ask in the most extreme cases.
The Pick of the Day is one of those. “An extraordinary discovery” is how the seller describes the 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster rolled out of a Chicago-area warehouse, covered in the crud of more-than 40 years of storage and showing less than 15,000 miles on its odometer.
Now that’s something.
The Mercedes was purchased recently from the estate of the long-time owner who parked it in the warehouse in 1976 for unknown reasons, and it remained there until his death, according to the Astoria, New York, dealer advertising the roadster on ClassicCars.com.
“Today, this incredible matching-numbers 300SL shows just 14,558 original miles on the odometer and is offered with a factory hard top, soft top and jack,” the seller says in the ad. “An extremely rare and exciting opportunity to own one of the very last unrestored, barn find 300SL Roadsters in existence.”
Crusty barn-find 300SLs have been seen at high-end collector car auctions in recent years, where they sometimes sell for more than fully restored examples. That, of course, depends on the untouched car’s overall condition and the level of patina that has been dialed in by nature over the years.
This Mercedes, with its very-low mileage and known provenance, and apparent overall good condition despite decades of recluse, tips the scales to originality vs restoration. The car even has its original Data Card from Mercedes-Benz.
All is not ideal, of course, and this car has a few serious demerits.
“This 1960 model, one of only 249 examples built that year, was delivered to the US and was originally finished in the rare and very sophisticated color of Blaugrau (Blue Grey), code DB166G,” the seller notes. “At one point in the car’s life, it was repainted in silver and the original blue leather interior was re-dyed in black.”
That was a misguided change and would ding the Mercedes’s purity and overall value. Still, such an important find as this tends to transcend the sins of its past, particularly considering its remarkably low mileage. A diamond in the rough, indeed.
As such, the asking price is right up there at $1.095 million.
Of course, after spending all that disposable income, the next owner would be faced with the quandary of what to do with it. Leave it as is to serve as an interesting showpiece? Clean it up for driving and showing?
Or go ahead with a full-monty restoration for beaucoup bucks that would return it to its original color, interior and appearance, but lose its originality?
Decisions, decisions. I just wish they were mine to make.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.