One of only twenty-six roadsters manufactured in the last year of production.
Comprehensive Restoration in 1999 by marque expert Paul Russell & Co.
Engine rebuild in 2015 by Paul Russell & Co.
Received Best in Show awards and major awards including The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, The Meadow Brook Concours d' Elegance, The Burn Foundation Concours, The Greenwich Concours, The Radnor Hunt Concours, The Concours d'Elegance of Hilton Head Island, The Concours d'Elegance at Cranbrook, The Gull Wing Group Convention, and The Antique Automobile Association National Meet.
Extensive history documentation including, spare set of wheels/tires, car cover, and more.
Forty six years ago in February, 1964, the last 300SL Roadster to be built and sold new to America arrived via ocean liner. Delivered in August 1963 via the European delivery program, chassis #3254 was one of the last five 300SLs built by Daimler Benz. One of four identical white-with-red roadsters built in the final week of production, it was the only one destined for America. The other three were delivered to European owners. These were the last production sports cars with a direct link to Mercedes factory racecars. Fourteen hundred Gullwings were built between 1954 and 1957. Eighteen hundred and thirty two roadsters were built between 1957 and the end of 1962. Only 26 roadsters were manufactured in 1963, the final year of production.
During the ten years of 300SL production, the car was under constant development. During the final 1 months of this time span, 210 roadsters, only 6.4% of the total, were built with aluminum engine block, disc brakes and steering locks. Alloy block engines were used in the 300SLR factory racers of 1955 and in the two competition 300SL roadsters raced by Paul O'Shea to the SCCA class D championship in 1957.
Mark and Mercedes Pollack were the original owners of this time warp roadster. They were tobacco merchants who were forced to leave their home in Cuba in early 1960 following the fall of the Batista government. They left behind their 45-acre estate, their business and an automobile collection that included a Bugatti, 3Ferraris, a Gullwing and a white with red 300SL roadster. Fidel Castro now
resides in their former home in Cuba.
The Pollacks later maintained homes in North Carolina, Madrid and Geneva. In August 1963 while visiting Andorra, Mrs. Pollack read that the 300SL had been discontinued. She immediately called the factory, was informed that only four 300SLs remained and purchased the only remaining white with red roadster, her color preference, sight unseen. Mrs. Pollack was persuasive. Notwithstanding the American list price of $11,500 and the European list price of $8,200, Mrs. Pollack negotiated a sale at $6,500. Her original bill of sale confirms that this was perhaps the least expensive new roadster ever sold by Daimler Benz. She named it "La Paloma Blanca".
At the time, uncomfortable with a manual transmission, she arranged for a factory representative to drive her home to Geneva. The Pollacks returned it to the factory in October 1963 for service and installation of options. Mercedes posed with La Paloma Blanca in this 1963 photo taken in Switzerland that also shows the dual side mirrors, customs plate and the luggage rack. The European headlights have been replaced with the sealed beam type as required for later transportation to the U.S. The Pollacks returned with the car via ocean liner to New York City in February, 1964 and drove it home ot North Carolina. Unfortunately, Mark's vision deteriorated and it was placed in storage after having been driven only 16,000 miles in 1966.
In a deal brokered by Ed Jurist of the Vintage Car Store in Nyack, New York, La Paloma Blanca was sold to Ann Hallowell of Greenwich, Connecticut in January 1977. Ann and Morris Hallowell are antique dealers who have a sophisticated appreciation of mechanical precision, beauty, rarity and history. Ann preserved its low-mileage originality and mechanical condition as she drove it only 2,500 miles during her 20 years of ownership. Ann posed for the accompanying photo with her roadster in 1990.
Frank and Beverly Spellman acquired it in 1997. It has been driven less than 28,200 miles since new. It is the only European specification roadster ever purchased through the European delivery program. In 1998 and 1999 it was a class winner in its all-original condition. In 1999, it was rear- ended in a minor fender-bender as it was prepared for the Greenwich Concours.
Paul Russell was entrusted with the repair and carefully walked the fine line between restoration and preservation of its low-mileage originality. It was given a bare metal Pebble Beach quality total repaint, engine bay detailing and a new soft top. The mechanical aspects were carefully inspected and complete servicing was done.
Options and accessories include chrome sport wheels with the original Continental white wall tires; soft top; Becker Grand Prix semi-transistor radio; Reims short wave adaptor; Hirschman antenna; jack; tool kit; and factory competition seatbelts. Original Hepco factory luggage with the original luggage tags remains in the trunk. The one-of-a-kind trunk-mounted ski and luggage rack is believed to be a factory prototype. It is fitted with Karl Baiche factory luggage as was delivered with the Pollack Gullwing. The snow skis and poles were made in Norway in the 1950s. Manuals, warranties and service records have all survived. The original European delivery order book and original upholstery book remain with the vehicle. The original auto club badges and rally badges are from auto clubs of which Mark was a member and from rallies the Pollacks attended while in
Europe. The original luggage stickers are from ocean liners on which the Pollacks traveled. The Bullock-Mercedes knockoff hubcaps give the appearance of knockoff wheels. Only three other sets are known to exist.
During 2000-2005, this vehicle received numerous awards, including three "Best-of-Show" trophies and major awards at The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, The Meadow Brook Concours d' Elegance, The Burn Foundation Concours, The Greenwich Concours, The Radnor Hunt Concours, The Concours d'Elegance of Hilton Head Island, The Concours d'Elegance at Cranbrook, The Gull Wing Group Convention, and The Antique Automobile Association National Meet. It was selected as the "centerfold Mercedes" in the July/August 2001 issue of the Mercedes Benz Club of America Star magazine. In 2002, it was the featured 300SL roadster in Dennis Adler's book, The Art of the Sportscar. It appeared in the March, 2004 issue of Classic & Sports Car, the July, 2004 issue of Car Collector, and most recently appeared in the 2006 book Daimler & Benz: The Complete History by Dennis Adler.
In 2006, it received the Mercedes Trophy at the York County Heritage Trust Concours d'Elegance in York, Pennsylvania and the Chairman's Award at the Glenmoor Gathering Concours d'Elegance ni Akron, Ohio. In 2007, while being driven on a 1,500 mile 50" "anniversary tour", ti was awarded two best in show trophies; an AACA Senior Award in Binghamton, New York; and class awards at MBCA StarTrack in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and at the William K. Vanderbilt Jr. Concours d'Elegance in Newport, Rhode Island. In 2008, it won two best-in-class awards at local Washington, D. C. events. It was featured in the April, 2008 issue of Mercedes Enthusiasts magazine. In 2009 it was shown only once and received The Best of Marque award at the 26 Annual Deutsche Marque Concours d'Elegance. After 46 years its unused original paint hardtop was installed and it will again enjoy life as a coupe.
It has been maintained in outstanding mechanical condition for the last twelve years by legendary mechanic Norbert Lamp.