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1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Barn Find


Our experience tells us that when something sounds too good to be true, it often is. Take this 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL coupe, for example: it’s only got 31,000 miles on the odometer, and is a two-owner car that’s being offered for sale on eBay.

Call us paranoid, but that would be our first red flag. That’s not a slam against eBay Motors, but the online auction site wouldn’t be our first choice for selling a rare collector car with a value well into the mid-six-figure range.

As Barn Finds tells us, that’s not the only reason to be cautious about this particular Gullwing Mercedes. It seems that the car’s repair history and original title were stolen in a burglary at the owner’s house a few years back, so we’d want to make sure that a proper duplicate title came with the car at the time of sale.

Enough people seem to recognize the car to ensure that this auction is legitimate, but with bids topping $501,000 and the reserve not met, we’d still want to proceed with extreme caution. Maybe we’re just paranoid after the tale of the 1937 Mercedes-Benz 500K Special Roadster that was recently seized from its owner by German police.

In any event, this 300SL appears to be a decent, unmolested example that may or may not need a bit of restoration, depending upon the new owner’s preference. Mechanically, it appears to be sound, and the 212 horsepower inline-six engine reportedly received regular annual servicing.

Maybe we just have a soft spot in our jaded hearts for 300SL coupes needing a good home, but we hope it sells to a collector who will appreciate and exhibit the car, and not to a speculator who’ll simply flip it for a profit at an upcoming high-end auction.
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Comments (4)
  1. I am the one who listed the car. It is very real! The car has been sold locally.

    Cheers,
    Alex
     
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  2. @Alex, thank you for the update. Are you willing to disclose the selling price?
     
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  3. I will not disclose the actual selling price. These cars are becoming very expensive cars, and the final amount was very much in line with my expectations.

    You wrote: "the online auction site wouldn’t be our first choice for selling a rare collector car with a value well into the mid-six-figure range." I completely disagree. EBay is a great place to sell even a million dollar car, provided the seller knows how to manage an EBay sale. Without going into too much detail, think about the shipping fees, Auction House premiums, insurance and other costs associated with the major auction houses.

    The car has clean unbroken ownership. It is only the original documentation which is missing. The theft of these documents was tragic, but true.
     
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  4. @Alex, you raise a good point about the complications of dealing with an auction company like RM or Gooding, and eBay is all but guaranteed to generate exposure for a historically significant automobile.

    Congratulations to both yourself and the owner, who I'm sure is viewing the sale with mixed emotions. Cars like this are much more than than an accumulation of metal, rubber and leather, and in many ways I imagine it's like saying goodbye to a family member.
     
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