Mercedes-Benz 300SL surges. A rise in 300SL Roadster values sees it closing in on the Gullwing. Values of the top Mercedes classics continue to soar, up 3.4 per cent in the first three months of 2014, and were so buoyant in this period that they exceeded the growth rate of Ferraris, which have shown the highest price increases recently. In the last 12 months Mercedes prices have risen 15.8 percent, and 47 per cent in just three years.
The data comes from the Historic Automobile Group (HAGI), which tracks sale prices of high-end classics of all marques and compiles them into an index. ‘So far, Ferraris have done next to nothing, with 0.31 per cent growth, after 2013 when they increased 60 per cent,” says HAGI’s Dietrich Hatlapa. “But Mercedes prices are now much more steady.”
The feeling on the auction room floor, as reported in our coverage of the recent classic car sale at the Amelia Island auction in Florida, is that the 300SL Roadster W198 is now narrowing a price gap with the Gullwing, traditionally the most sought after post-war Mercedes classic. HAGI rates the Roadster as the one currently having the biggest impact on classic values in general, with the Ferrari 246 Dino (pictured) in second place, and the Gullwing third placed.
Arguably the potential for Mercedes prices to keep increasing is evidenced by the fact that prices of classic Porsches, also seen by many as undervalued, are way ahead of Mercedes, their January-to-March increase standing at 11.6 per cent. One very noticeable recent trend is the increased interest in ‘barn find’ Mercedes classics, which on occasions can fetch more at auction than a fully restored equivalent. In a Gooding & Company sale in Arizona in mid January, a pristine Gullwing sold for $1.4m (about £835,000), while an unrestored model made $495,000 (£295,000) more.
Mercedes 300Sls as Investments could be catching up with the likes of the Ferrari Dino pictured here.