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1954 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing could fetch £1m as Silverstone Classic sale headliner

Very early model of iconic sports car counts former Lotus F1 team manager as an owner

Silverstone Auctions’ Classic sale will be headlined by a rather special example of the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing.

Going under the hammer on July 28, the 300SL hails from the model’s first year of production – 1954. With only 1,400 coupe models built over the car’s nine-year lifespan, the 300SL is notable for its characteristic top-hinged ‘gullwing’ doors.

Boasting a strong performance from its 3.0-litre straight-six engine, the 300SL is often considered one of history’s greatest sports cars.

The example being put up for sale is described as “loved and cherished” and in a sympathetically restored and lightly modified form.

It was supplied new to Hoffmans of New York but imported into the UK in 1989 by former Lotus F1 team manager Peter Warr. He had the car painted in Fire Engine Red from its original silver and upgraded it to a sports camshaft to alter the engine’s character.

It’s also been fitted with modern electronic power steering, which can be removed if desired.

The car has undergone plenty of recent work, and Silverstone Auctions says it’s been on plenty of European tours to prove its reliability.

An auction estimate of £850,000 to £1,000,000 has been placed on the 300SL Gullwing. Other lots on offer will be revealed closer to the Silverstone Classic event, taking place over the weekend of July 27 and 28.

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