This Classic ‘Triple Black’ Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster Could Sell For Millions
Rigid notions about what constitutes “good taste” might preclude some from giving an ultra-rare, multimillion-dollar classic car a murdered-out refinish, but this “triple black” 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster flies in the faces of such unimaginative skeptics.
The black beauty, which will cross the block at RM Sotheby’s upcoming Miami 2024 auction, is one of the of the 1,858 W198 II-gen soft-top roadsters produced from 1957 to 1963. Compared to the hard-top coupes, which were produced from 1954 to 1957, these roadsters featured better chassis and oversteer-reducing trailing-arm suspensions. Additionally, only the roadsters produced after 1961 benefitted from standard four-wheel disc brakes, and fewer yet received weight-saving aluminum engine blocks.
Being a 1963 model, this example has it all of the 300 SL’s best equipment. It’s also reportedly been heralded many times as one of the most well-preserved and original surviving 300 SL Roadsters and has accordingly received lots of love over the past few years.
In 2017, one of its many owners sent it to Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Stuttgart, Germany for a full rebuild of its 2.9-liter straight-six. Then, in 2020, it returned to the United States and was treated to a bare-metal refinishing by renowned 300 SL gurus at Coachwerks Restoration of Victoria, British Columbia, who praised its body as among the finest they’d ever seen.
Coachwerks Restoration was responsible for the striking triple-black livery, featuring a new black soft top and an all-new black leather interior. According to RM Sotheby’s, great care was also taken in assembling the car to factory standards, from the new transmission seals, clutch, and annual engine service to the concours-level detailing of the undercarriage, motor, and engine bay. In total, the refinish cost the owner $250,000.
Expect this 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster to fetch anywhere from $2.4 to $2.7 million—head to RM Sotheby’s to learn more about it.