First Mercedes-Benz Type 300 SL Sold in America

Mercedes-Benz Type 300 SL
Mercedes-Benz Type 300 SL

The Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) announced Thursday that the 1954 Mercedes-Benz Type 300 SL (serial number 198 040 4500003) will be recorded under the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Heritage Documentation.

The documentation will be part of the HVA’s National Historic Vehicle Register and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) that is permanently archived in the U.S. Library of Congress.

As one of the most significant Mercedes-Benz 300 SL models, this vehicle was honored last week during the annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. According to factory records, 198 040 4500003 was the first 300 SL to be produced and was the first 300 SL sold in the United States.

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This car was exported to U.S. Mercedes-Benz distributor Max Hoffman and purchased by Briggs Cunningham, an American sportsman and businessman who raced automobiles and yachts.

Mercedes-Benz Type 300 SL
Mercedes-Benz Type 300 SL

“The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupe is a uniquely American story as it was produced at the request of Max Hoffman specifically for the U.S. market,” said Mark Gessler, president of the Historic Vehicle Association.

“The 300 SL was the first foreign mass-produced car built primarily for the American market. It launched the SL brand in the Mercedes-Benz family and played a significant role in building the Mercedes-Benz market position in the United States.”

Mark Gessler presented Dennis Nicotra, owner of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL 198 040 4500003, with the Historic Vehicle Association “This Car Matters Award” at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, March 15, 2015.

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