Bonhams’ annual pre-Christmas sale of collectable motor cars, at its refurbished Bond Street premises in West One on Sunday 6 December, will include a unique piece Goodwood history, in the form of a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing Coupe.
The 300 SL Gullwing in question in an outstandingly original UK market example, painted in silver, with the distinctive registration mark of RYN 9. If this combination sounds familiar, you have a good memory, as this is the actual Gullwing that we mounted up high to form the sensational centerpiece of the Goodwood Festival of Speed ‘central feature’ in 2001.
This bold and simple 2001 sculpture celebrated 100 years of Mercedes-Benz, and featured RYN 9 at the head of a swooping cone structure. Rumour has it that the 300 SL’s owner had this Gullwing thoroughly serviced and cleaned before the Mercedes was delivered to Goodwood, only to then have all of its fluids drained so that the car didn’t drip on the spectators standing below it.
As the majority of Gullwings were exported to the USA in period, a genuine UK-market example of a rare find, especially in this condition. Originally owned by Dennis Zani de Ferranti, the son of the famous engineer and inventor Dr Sebastian Zani de Ferranti, who founded the eponymous engineering and electronics company in 1882, going on to become a major defence contractor, before being taken over by GEC in the 1970s.
RYN 9 was built in October 1955 and delivered later that month to Mercedes-Benz (Great Britain) Ltd, being registered initially to Ferranti Farms, with it later being registered in Dennis de Ferranti’s name in 1967. The car has been in its current ownership for around 45 years.
Bonhams estimates this unique 300 SL will sell for between £1million-£1.3million at its Bond Street Sale on Sunday 9th December.