Over the course of a 12-minute live auction last year, the value of Paul Newman’s iconic Rolex Daytona rose from $1 million to the $17.8M it eventually sold for.
This month, another of the actor’s most coveted possessions hit the auction block: his 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, one of the first 100 produced.
The little blue coupe was purchased secondhand by Newman in 1957, according to Classic Driver. He drove the beaut during his time in Los Angeles, but left it there when he moved in the early ‘60s.
Newman Gullwing (3 images)
Since then, the car has had a wild ride of its own: it headed to Europe in 1984, moved to Theodore Charagionis collection in Greece in 2007, and finally landed in France when it was bought by Nicolas Jambon Bruguier of Classic Sport Leicht in 2012.
It’s under Bruguier’s care that the Gullwing was restored to the impeccable, mint condition seen today, thanks to a 6,000-hour restoration process. His team of five specialists, as Classic Driver notes, are responsible for the metallic blue paint, checkered-cloth seats, leather luggage set, as well as painstaking, less superficial details such as taking “two years to source the period-correct security door windowpane.”
Unfortunately for interested buyers, after showing at Retromobile in Paris, the car was sold.
When reached for comment, Bruguier would not divulge the selling price, but did give this hint: “The only thing I can tell is that a premium went on top of the already high level price for great cars.”
Translation: too rich for my blood.
Photos by Rémi Dargegen © 2018