1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL "Roadster"
Make Mercedes Benz
Chassis No. 300SL/198.042-7500229
Engine No. 198.980.7500107
Body No. 7500131
Final Drive Ratio 3.89:1
Exterior Paint DB 608 A "Elfenbein / Ivory"
Interior color "Gr�nes Leder 1073 / Green Leather"
Completed September 27th, 1957
Shipping Method Rail to Port of Hamburg, Germany
Then, Special Wood "Sea Crate" by Ocean Vessel to Port of Newark,
Invoiced To Mercedes Benz Distributors Ltd., New York via
Studebaker Packard, South Bend, Indiana
Selling Agent Mercedes Benz Distributors Ltd., New York via
Studebaker Packard, South Bend, Indiana
Invoiced New To Burklein Motors, Beverly Hills, CA
Mileage 43,382 Miles
"Sonderausstattung" Special equipment / Options:
-Special Paint Interior "Elfenbein / Gr�nes Leder"
-Optional 3.89:1 Final Drive Ratio
-Gauges Calibrated in English Units
-Sealed Beam USA / North America Market Lighting Equipment
-Becker Mexico Radio, Amplifier, Loudspeaker & Antenna
-1 Kilogram of extra "Elfenbein" Lacquer Paint
-Windshield Washing Equipment
-Special Wood "Sea Crate" for Ocean Shipping
-Burklein Motors / Family Beverly Hills, California 1957-2009
-Cyril "Claude" Mischler Scottsdale, Arizona 2009-2013
-Charles Spielman San Diego, California 2013-2019
This particular 300SL Roadster, is an extremely early production
example competed under a special order, special request by Max
Hoffmann's Mercedes Benz Distributors Ltd., New York, via his
Studebaker Packard, South Bend, Indiana distribution center. This
was sequentially the 152nd production 300SL Roadster out of 554
built in 1957 and out of a total production of 1,858 units.
(Production ran from 1957-1963.)
The order requested the extremely rare and unique colors of
"Elfenbein" with "Gr�nes Leder" interior. This literally translates
simply to "Ivory" with "Green Leather" interior. The soft top was
also finished in a matching green color combination. While these
colors were available as regular catalog offerings, it appears that
very few were completed new in these highly complementary colors.
The order further specified the vehicle would be fitted with the
taller, optional 3:89:1 final drive ratio. The standard ratio was
3.64:1 which allowed the Roadster to achieve 146mph. The optional
3.89:1 axle assembly reduced top speed from 146 to 137mph but it
shaved a full second off of acceleration through the gears allowing
much livelier and sportier performance. Additional options included
USA / North American Market equipment in form of lighting, bumpers
and gauges calibrated in English unites. A Becker Mexico radio,
speaker, amplifier and antenna system, extra paint and special
"Seakrate" for ocean shipping were also provided.
The original Mercedes Benz records identify a completion date of
September 27th, 1957. The completed car, now fitted inside the
ocean wood crate were then shipped to the Port of Hamburg Germany
by train and upon arrival loaded aboard ship on the Elbe River for
follow delivery to the Port of Newark, New Jersey. Upon arrival and
customs clearance in the States, this 300SL was shipped to
Studebaker Packard, in South Bend, Indiana which was the official
distribution center for Max Hoffmann's Mercedes Benz Distributors
From there this 300SL was shipped overland to Burklein Motors in
Beverly Hills, California to whom it was invoiced new. Burklein
Motors was an authorized Ramber dealership but also for a short
period of time from 1957 to 1963, they were an authorized Mercedes
Benz agency. The car remained on display at Burklein Motors,
un-registered until 1963 when the dealership was dissolved and
closed down. That same year, it was registered privately for the
first time to Mr. Burklein and issued new California "Black &
Yellow" license plates. The plates and original California "Pink
Slip" remain with the car to this day and interestingly they show
that the registration was renewed by the Burklein family on just
one occasion in 1964.
The Burklein family moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1967 and their
treasured Mercedes followed with them. It was cared for regularly
but very sparingly driven until the mid-1980s when it was repainted
in a non-original, bright white. The car remained with the Burklein
family until Mr. Burklein himself passed away in 2009 at which
point after more than 52 years of ownership, the Burklein family
sold this 300SL to Scottsdale, Arizona collector, Cyril Mischler.
Total mileage at the time of the sale was just under 42,000
original miles. The Burklein family averaged just over 800 miles a
year during their long, 50-plus years of ownership.
After taking delivery, Mr. Mischler entrusted the car to noted
restorer, Bill Richardson of Richardson Restoration & Machine Werks
in Phoenix, Arizona. The restoration was all encompassing talking
nearly four-years to compete. Comprehensive records and a photo CD
document the $300,000-plus spent on the vehicle during the
restoration. The restoration was one of the most comprehensive ever
performed under Bill Richardson's direction. Richardson later
confirmed that, when he removed the paint, the condition of the car
was one the best he had ever seen in the over one hundred 300SLs he
has restored in the past four decades.
All the mechanical work was either performed or directly supervised
by Bill. At the owner's direction, every nut and bolt was restored
at great expense, in order to retain all of the original numbered
parts whenever possible, including the axles, A-frames, generator,
and a long list of other items. As such, it is believed to be one
of the purest restored examples to ever come up for pubic sale.
Upon completion of the restoration in 2012, Mischler showed the car
publicly just once at the Mercedes Benz National Starfest Concours
d'Elegance where it scored not only a first in class but also the
highly coveted "People's Choice" award. Rather than drive his
prize, restored Roadster, Mischler opted to put the car up for sale
at which point it set a then world record price before joining
Charles Spielman's famous San Diego, Museum collection.
During Mr. Spielman's ownership, the highly respected marque
experts at Hjeltness Restoration in Escondido, California where
entrusted to address some minor interior and exterior trim items,
in addition to making some mechanical adjustments. Spielman
continued to dutifully maintain the car as needed, and in 2017, it
returned to Hjeltness for a compete rebuild of its matching-numbers
engine which was completed in February of last year.
This all matching-number, rust and accident free 300SL Roadster is
accompanied by continuous records and history going back to new.
The first of just three owners retained this extraordinary machine
for 52 years! Only two other subsequent owners came thereafter. The
original tools, books and manuals as well as original Factory
assembly records are included in a massive documentation album. It
would be near impossible to find a finer restored or more beautiful
example anywhere and I look forward to assisting perspective new
owners with any manner of inspections, test-drives and follow-on,