Mercedes in Milan: Mid-Century Style Goes on Display at RM Sotheby’s Latest Capsule Sale

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Mercedes in Milan: Mid-Century Style Goes on Display at RM Sotheby’s Latest Capsule Sale

Sotheby's

Some fashions never die… After the success in 1955 of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL with “Gull Wing” doors, Mercedes-Benz decided to produce in the 300 SL Roadster. This ‘Super-Leicht’ sports car offered a unique open-air motoring experience. The first models were originally equipped with an accessory now prized among collectors: A factory-fitted hardtop, and in particular that in Plexiglas from Agusta Helicopter. Discover the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL sold in Milan.

1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster
Estimate €900,000 - €1,100,000 EUR


In 1910, Agusta creates a biplane, four years after the Wright brothers achieved their first flight in America. Looking at the overall form of the 1910 AG1 airplane, one can see Agusta’s engineering expertise becoming an innovative builder through both World Wars, and afterwards as well, with the MV Agusta motorcycle brand launching soon after the end of WWII. When Agusta’s founder died in 1927, his family decided to concentrate on motorcycle and helicopter construction.

By the mid-1950s, with the MV Agusta brand making a name for itself in motorcycle racing, the Agusta family purchased a first-year 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing from noted Milanese broker Saporiti. This model partly inspired the creation of the closed-roof. An another American-made innovation: the panoramic windshields. But it has two disadvantages: panoramic glass tends to distort in the corners and panels of glass are heavy. Thus, it is impossible for a 300 SL to have some as this car is supposed to be ‘Super-Leicht’. Therefore, Agusta replaced glass with plexiglass.

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