1961 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster makes $1.5m at Le Mans

A 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster was the headline lot of Artcurial Motorcars' July 5 auction at Le Mans.

The hugely iconic car sold for $1.5m.

Mercedes 300 SL
The Mercedes 300 SL Roadster was the fastest car in the world when it was first introduced

It was the second production model to feature disc brakes and was imported from California to Germany shortly after it rolled off the production line.

While it lacks the gullwing doors that significantly increase the value of the model, this actually allows for more space inside the car for the driver and passenger.  

In 2012, a rare gullwing variation with an alloy body sold for $3.8m in a sale at RM Auctions. Another gullwing owned by Clark Gable made $2.2m at Barrett-Jackson last year.

A 1964 AC Cobra 289 Mk II was another highlight, achieving $1m.

British company AC worked alongside Ford to produce the racing model, fitting the lightweight chassis with a powerful V8.

It's considered one of the most successful pairings of British and American auto engineering of its era.

The model was discovered rusting in a scrap yard by an enthusiast, who performed a full renovation.

In total, the sale realised $17m.

Auctioneer Herve Poulain commented: "Selling sports and racing cars at Le Mans Classic is like offering antique marbles at the foot of the Acropolis. Enthusiasts come together for this sale."

We have this racing jacket from actor and car fanatic Paul Newman.

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