Somewhere in Europe a car thief has made off with a customised classic worth the best part of $2 million — and it’s so hot the owner fears it might be dismantled.
The theft of the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL ‘Gullwing’ occurred at a hotel car park near the world-famous Nürburgring racing circuit last weekend.
The car is described as the world’s most recognisable 300SL since the one-off Mercedes features a lowered roof with distinctive ‘double bubbles’, side-exit exhaust pipes, re-profiled bumpers and an ostrich leather interior.
It was was swiped from outside the Dorint Hotel, which is close to the circuit where it was to have competed in an event for classic cars.
The car is owned by entrepreneur Thomas Rosier, who told the Bild newspaper he parked it there because the garage was full.
Rosier is well known as a trader in the world of classic cars and he specialises in Mercedes-Benzes.
He also has a museum full of rare Mercs.
In 2004 his enterprise became a certified Mercedes-Benz Classic Centre.
After the theft was discovered he offered a $400,000 reward for return of the car, but he fears the thief will be in a quandary about what to do.
“It is almost impossible to sell the single item on the open market,” he said.
“I’m afraid that it will be hacked out in parts. That would be a shame.”
His Mercedes has its original NSL high-performance engine, with an upgraded ignition and clutch. Fewer than 30 steel-bodied Gullwings with the NSL engine were built.
If you are offered a 300SL Gullwing with chassis No. 198040 5500434, don’t buy it — but do get in touch with the Mayen Police and maybe it can be recovered before it is subjected to the unthinkable.
Herr Rosier will also be very grateful.