I was watching an episode of HD Theater’s “Chasing Classic Cars” with Wayne Carini the other day and Wayne visited a shop in British Columbia with with one of his customers looking for a Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster. As they walked through this shop and showroom, full of 300SLs, coupes and roadsters, a couple of Ferraris and other interesting things I started thinking… where are they?
As anyone who knows me or reads my blog with any great frequency knows, I spend most of my free time combing the internet looking at cars, cheap cars, expensive cars, from Craigslist sites all over the country to eBay to specialty dealer sites like FantasyJunction.com. I’ve got such a deep catalog, I thought I’d found them all, when the other day I stumbled across a new one, in British Columbia, Canada. While looking for Mercedes Gullwings I came across Spirited Automobiles.
Their website is great, easy to navigate, straightforward and the quality of the cars they have on offer… amazing, really beautiful stuff. A Jaguar XKSS, several 300SL coupes and roadsters, a Ferrari 365 GTB Spyder, all sorts of interesting and rare cars. The photos of each car are beautiful as well, I was so happy I found this site, it will, no doubt, be a regular stop on my vintage car web surfing rounds.
So while watching this episode of Chasing Classic Cars I heard Wayne say “We’re going to go out to see a 300SL specialist in British Columbia” and I thought… how many 300SL specialists can there be in BC? As they walked into this showroom I started to recognize the posters and signs hanging in the shop, through a doorway in the background, from photos on the Spirited Automobiles website.
The folks at Spirited Automobiles seem to be the genuine article, and I suppose if Wayne Carini is flying out there in his customer’s private jet, the inventory must be worth looking at. They visited Bruce Canepa’s place in Northern California as well and looked at a car there, but they ended up buying the one at Spirited Automobiles, a 1962 300SL roadster (photo of that car below).
The general consensus in the collector car world is that Mercedes-Benz 300SLs continue to be undervalued in today’s market. Despite the fact that standard Gullwing coupes go for anywhere between $500,000 and $750,000 depending upon condition and roadsters for between $350,000 and $600,000 they are considered ‘good buys’. It wasn’t too many years ago… like 5 or 8 years ago, when Gullwings were $250,000 and roadsters were still hovering around $150,000. The 300SL is one of the few collector cars where the coupe generally brings MORE money than the convertible of the same model. The Gullwing doors are just so iconic, the coupe design is so good that it trumps the roadster in terms of price and value despite the fact the roadster is generally thought to be a better car to actually use, a more comfortable car to drive and live with.