Rare "graduation present" Mercedes Gullwing found in a rat-infested garage

Image for article titled Rare "graduation present" Mercedes Gullwing found in a rat-infested garage

Tom Wellmer's parents bought him an 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL for his college graduation. He drove it until the transmission gave out, then he parked it in a garage in California. That was 40 years ago.


Wellmer, who now needs the assistance of a walker to get around, finally parted with the car he intended to fix all those decades ago. It's now in the hands of a Canadian gullwing-restoration expert, who says he'll make the car look exactly like it did when Wellmer took delivery — that was a stipulation of the sale. It's unknown who the SL's new owner is.

This SL, last registered in 1971, is no standard coupe. It's an all-alloy-body lightweight model. That means along with the lighter body, it came with a full spate of sporting gear: Plexiglas windows, lowered suspension, larger brakes, a high-performance camshaft and special knockoff wheels.

It gave its young owner a little over 15 good years, and then it sat in Wellmer's garage in Santa Monica — amid an increasing collection of junk and mainframe computer parts, remnants of his days as a tech executive. After 20 years of coaxing — and a massive appreciation in value, despite the car's 40-year deterioration — Wellmer finally parted with it.

(Thanks to Davis for the tip!)


Have Jeep, will travel.

For those of you in California, you will know what I'm talking about.............. 40 years of DMV back fee's, on a Mercedes, no wonder it went to Canada....... even on a car like this, it would still be unreasonable for shading the concrete, ha!