It’s one of only 11 Mercedes 300SLs in the world modified by AMG.
Many auto enthusiasts consider the classic Mercedes-Benz 300SL to be one of the most beautiful and iconic sports cars ever made. But one royal owner wanted theirs to stand out from the crowd. Back in 2000, the Sultan of Brunei approached AMG to modernize the 1955 Mercedes 300SL, and the result is, shall we say, an acquired taste. It's almost certainly going to offend a lot of classic car enthusiasts.
Surprisingly, AMG received enough demand to commission nine other examples, four of which were from members of the Brunei royal family. Another was bought by an owner in Japan, one of only two right-hand-drive examples ever made - and it's heading to auction this month.
While the original steel body and structure was left untouched, just about everything else was upgraded or replaced. The car’s original 3.0-liter inline-6 was replaced with a 6.0-liter V8 that produces 380 horsepower and 427 lb-ft of torque, and the original manual transmission was swapped with a four-speed automatic.
Inside, there’s now a carbon-fiber dashboard instead of the original metal design while other owners opted for a wooden design. The owner also replaced the original seats with Recaro bucket seats and had a sports steering wheel and Sony CD player installed.
The chassis also received some upgrades, with the 300SL’s original swing-arm rear suspension replaced by a modern five-link setup. The classic sports car was also fitted with Bilstein shocks, AMG light alloy wheels, power steering, and modern disc brakes. It’s certainly a unique creation, but purists will probably want to restore the car back to its original condition. Should you want to own it, the AMG-modified Mercedes 300SL will be going under the hammer at the Best Heritage Auction on January 11 at the 2019 Tokyo Auto Salon, where it’s estimated to sell for between $1.2 million and $1.5 million.