A Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing coupe at Amelia IslandEnlarge Photo
An original Mercedes-Benz 300SL
gullwing, similar to the one pictured above, was almost completely wrecked after a mechanic crashed the rare classic on a stretch of road near Pleidelsheim, Germany, last week.
The car, one of 1,400 original 300SL gullwing coupes ever built, was in for scheduled maintenance when it was involved in the crash.
German weekly Der Spiegel
, where you can view a full image of the crash, reports that the mechanic worked for Mechatronik, an expert restorer of classic Mercedes-Benz models.
Fortunately, the 26-year-old mechanic, as well as his 19-year-old passenger, an apprentice at the workshop, were unharmed by the crash, though the car wasn’t so lucky.
The initial estimate for the repair bill is 650,000 euros (approximately $830,000), which the workshop’s insurance will fully cover.
It’s not clear what exactly caused the crash but there was enough speed for the car to roll at least once.
A police spokesman, Peter Widenhorn, said the 80 kmh (50 mph) speed limit for the stretch of road where the crash occurred was clearly not observed.
Widenhorn added that the owner remained calm but became--understandably--very vocal upon hearing of his car’s misfortune.
The original 300SL, both in its coupe and roadster bodystyles, remains one of the most sought-after models by collectors today, with some examples fetching more than a million dollars, though they typically sell for between $500k and $700,000k. First launched in 1954, the car was the fastest production vehicle of its day, with its 3.0-liter straight-six enabling it to reach a top speed of 161 mph.