In another truly WTF moment, 7tune has stumbled across this timeless supercar from Mercedes, in dilapidated condition, sitting uncovered, covered in dust and on blown tires in Shizuoka, west of Tokyo. We’re sure this is going to upset a few people…


Some 300SL’s have been valued at over $1 million dollars on the open market and there is no denying the extremely desirable and utterly gorgeous 300SL is one of the all time great designs. Only 1402 gullwing 300SL’s were ever produced and according to a certain legend, the man said to have saved the 300SL from the design scrap bin, Max Hoffman, laid down some huge sums of money to secure a delivery of 1000 units. Without that order, it is said, the car might never have made it to the production line. It was a car leap years ahead in design when compared to other cars of the 50’s and cost a pretty premium but it had fully independent suspension on both ends, a tubular space frame, fuel injection added to its SOHC 6 cylinder 3 liter engine and pumped out a reported 240hp. That was pretty big power for its day and we haven’t even opened the doors yet!

So important was this car to Germany’s post war reconstruction, that in December 1999, a selection of the most prestigious racing drivers in the world, headed by Stirling Moss, declared the gullwing 300SL their “Sports Car of the Century”.

So there is something very very wrong about the condition this one is in if that is true…

I was out in Shizuoka with Nick Itoh from Suruga Performance over the weekend and yesterday on our way back to the station, he told me he wanted to show me something. Said it was a car he wanted to relieve of its owner. I thought, “Okay cool, must be a rotary or something.

Nick’s mental about rotaries and has a track tuned FD3S cared for by Okabe Jidosha. I can tell you right now though, I was not prepared for this.

I’m looking at the photos and I still don’t believe it. It has been left to sit like this and from what Nick tells me, has been in that very position the entire time he has lived in Shizuoka – all 6 years of it. He used to pass it almost every day for that entire time and even went on to say that some of the surrounding neighbors mentioned to him that it had been there years before Nick arrived as well. Seriously… WTF.

It’s enough to make any true car enthusiast angry. In truth, I’m still annoyed. From what we understand, the man who owns the 300SL is a collector and has other Mercedes Benz’ but how anyone can consider themselves a collector when they leave a car of this caliber to rot unused for almost a decade, is simply beyond my comprehension. I’m sure you will agree.

There is a good chance that the engine has completely seized and will need a complete overhaul along with the entire drivetrain, cooling and braking systems.

The biggest shame of all is that this 300SL has done only 4740 miles.

No seriously, I’m not kidding…

It is pictured here sitting on these sad looking 450SL wheels with the right front tire completely blown out and shedding rubber. Why it is on those other wheels, I have no idea.

There is though a sneaking suspicion that the brown luggage at the back is part of the very desirable and extremely rare luggage set offered with the car.

Overall it is in poor shape and will need a some extensive restoration applied to it but even in this condition, some people estimate its worth to be up to $350,000. Actually, we couldn’t care less how much it’s worth.

All we want is to see is that it’s treated appropriately.

Who wouldn’t love to see it restored to its brilliant best?

…but sadly, it has been said that the owner will never part with it so not only is this saddening to see and hear, it is above all else, a tragic waste. – The Ultimate JDM Experience

Words and Photos – Adam Zillin

14 thoughts on “WTF – NEGLECTED MERCEDES 300SL”

  1. Ask the owner if he’d allow Nick to restore it or something. He and whatever shop he’d use would get paid and its the very least the car deserves. Eh eh?

  2. At first I thought: only in Japan someone would leave such a car rot away. 😀

    To answer your two questions (why put 70s/80s wheels on a 300SL and why leave a 300SL rot away) I have one simple explanation: it can’t be real. Therefore it could be a (very good) replica or converted Roadster where its owner got bored from (can’t imagine why!).

    Just look at the little details:
    1. Windshield wipers are the wrong way around
    2. No holes for the emergency jack (to raise the gullwing doors)
    3. Center console
    Combine these imperfections and you come up with the German Gullwing GMBH company who produces replicas with the same imperfections:
    And they are known for building these replicas for years now and there have been other kit car manufacturers who offered copies. 😉

  3. I agree, I think it is not original car.

    Is this site active? It does not get many update. Plus everything is import car?

  4. That hardly ‘dilapidated’. Wouldn’t take long at all to make it look fresh again, and as others have pointed out it’s a replica anyway.

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