Record-Breaking Restoration: Victoria-restored 1956 Mercedes-Benz sells for $3.4 million at auction

Victoria, British Columbia — A Classic 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL recently sold for a record US$3.4 million dollars after undergoing a complete restoration by Coachwerks in Victoria, B.C.

The seller of the vehicle was Victoria-based Tim Quocksister, owner and seller of Silver Arrow Cars, who deals primarily in rare and luxury vehicles.

The purchaser of the 1956 Mercedes-Benz, who wanted to remain anonymous, is an 80-year-old car collector from Minnesota.

“He has 130 vehicles in his collection and the 300SL was the last car on his bucket list,” said Quocksister.

The car was sold at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction, which took place January 20 to 28th of this year and sold for a record-breaking US$207.6 million worth of vehicles.

Quocksister had purchased the 1956 Mercedes-Benz from a collector’s estate in 2020.

While the car was in fairly good condition when he acquired it, Quocksister handed the vehicle over to Coachwerks, a Victoria automotive restoration shop that specializes in hand-built and limited production collector cars.

Coachwerks performed a three-year frame off restoration that saw the car disassembled to its nuts and bolts.

After 4,000 hours of work by a team of 30 specialists, the vehicle is considered to be in “better-than-new” condition.

“It was restored to absolute perfection,” said Quocksister, who has been in the automotive industry since 1997.

“While I am happy, I am happiest for the folks at Coachwerks. This sale recognized their talent and helps put them on the national stage.”

Of the 1,200 Mercedes-Benz 300SLs still in existence, more than 100 of them have found their way to Victoria for maintenance, repair and restoration.

“They are an investment for some people–they are more rare than a blue-chip investment,” said Neil Gurton, restoration coordinator at Coachwerks.

“They are seen as the best in the world, with every serious collector wanting to have one in their collection.”
The restoration company typically has about 60 projects on the go, with three 300SLs in various stages of restoration currently in the shop.

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