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Natalie Wood's 300 SL Roadster joins stunning list of entries for RM's Amelia Island Sale
1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster. Photo: Mark Staff / Courtesy of RM Auctions.

BLENHEIM, ON.- RM Auctions, the world’s largest auction house for investment-quality automobiles, announced additional blue-chip consignments for its upcoming Amelia Island, Florida, sale, held March 8th at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton. Led by an award-winning 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, chassis 198.042.7500569, which was originally owned by Natalie Wood, the list of recent entries offers something for every discerning collector, including highly desirable sports cars, a vintage racer that is ready to return to the track, and an elegant American classic.

With striking good looks and performance, the 300 SL Roadster proved to be the vehicle of choice for those with exceptional taste in aesthetics and cutting-edge engineering, often winding up in celebrity garages of the era. The example offered at RM’s Amelia Island sale is one of only 25 fitted by the factory with the extremely desirable Rudge wheels, and it was purchased new in January 1958 by none other than legendary Hollywood actress Natalie Wood, at the age of only 19. Although the 300 SL was delivered in a gorgeous shade of Mercedes-Benz Silver, Wood had the car repainted a bright pink, but she kept the red leather interior. No other car in Hollywood attracted more attention at the time, especially with the beautiful actress behind the wheel. The car was later refinished in its current ravishing color combination of Mercedes-Benz Silver Blue with a red leather interior and dark blue convertible top, and it was fully and authentically restored in 2000 by model expert Rudi Koniczek. Proving its impeccable current condition, the 300 SL performed effortlessly in the 2010 Colorado Grand, and it took home Best in Class honors amidst an excellent field at the 2012 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Also in 2012, Ms. Wood’s 300 SL made its return to Hollywood, where it was displayed by Mercedes-Benz U.S.A. in an exclusive exhibition titled “SL@Hollywood - Celebrating 60 Years of a Living Legend” at the Warner Brothers Studios in Los Angeles, honoring the actress’ career and demonstrating the connection of the SL family of cars to Hollywood’s elite (Estimate: $1,400,000–$1,750,000).

“The 300 SL market is hungry for high-quality restorations with desirable factory options,” says Gord Duff, Car Specialist, RM Auctions. “This particular car’s originality, rare Rudge wheels, celebrity provenance, touring capabilities, and Amelia Island Concours-awarded restoration make it arguably one of the finest 300 SL Roadsters available today.”

Additional notable highlights for the one-day sale include:

· a fascinating late pre-production 1986 Porsche 959 ‘Vorserie’, chassis WPOZZZ93ZFS010063, which was used by Porsche as a demonstrator until 1989, when it was upgraded to full 959 production Komfort specification. The 959 is complete with extensive documentation and is presented in excellent mechanical and cosmetic condition (Estimate: $575,000–$725,000);

· one of Bugatti’s most iconic Grand Prix models, a 1928 Bugatti Type 37A Grand Prix, chassis 37343, documented by noted Bugatti historian David Sewell and recently serviced (Estimate: $900,000–$1,300,000);

· a 1934 Duesenberg Model SJ Convertible Sedan, engine no. J-494, which was one of a few Duesenbergs that were supercharged when new and is the only SJ chassis to have carried this elegant LeBaron coachwork. The example on offer boasts known history from new and its original engine, body, and chassis (Estimate: $1,500,000–$1,750,000);

· a highly competitive and incredibly successful 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350 R, chassis SFM5R538, known as the ‘winningest’ Shelby ever, it is one of only 33 ‘R-Code’ production competition cars (Est. $900,000–$1,100,000); and

· an outstandingly original 1941 Chrysler Windsor Town and Country ‘Barrelback’ Nine-Passenger Station Wagon, chassis 7700759, possibly the best original example in existence, including excellent original finishes, it was owned for 50 years by early collector Glenn Gould (Estimate: $275,000–$350,000).

As the official auction house of the famed Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, RM’s Amelia Island sale will feature a magnificent selection of more than 80 handpicked automobiles, with an emphasis on important and historic sports and racing cars, along with elegant coachbuilt classics.

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