SLSHOP had the pleasure of selling this delightful 300SL back in 2016 to a gentleman named Barry Sidwell. Throughout the British classic car scene, Barry and his wife are known for their dedication to restoring cars to concours level. At the time of meeting Barry, he was already a European Champion having won the John Woodrowth award with his Blue 1958 Karmann Ghia convertible. This set quite the precedent for the sales team…
Barry and his wife Jackie first became acquainted with SLSHOP at the NEC Classic Motor Show back in 2016, where the couple stumbled across this 300SL on SLSHOP’s exhibition stand. It was here that a friendship was ignited between concours winning Sales Director, Bruce Greetham and Barry. The two exchanged details and agreed to meet at SLSHOP’s headquarters a few months later. During this visit, Barry selected a Diamond Blue R107 SL as ‘the car’ only to find out that it had been sold to another buyer the following Monday. Barry then selected an R107 SL in Blue-Black Metallic which was also sold before he could get behind the wheel…
A further visit was arranged in June of 2017, during which Barry selected a Signal Red 300SL with very few miles. After lengthy negotiations, Barry and Bruce agreed on a price, with collection arranged for the following week. This 300SL was the same car Jackie had sat in at the NEC the previous year.
On the day of collection, Barry was approached by another SLSHOP customer – the then Director of DHL – who offered to buy the car off of Barry just as he was handed the keys. Bruce exclaimed, ‘’this is between the two of you.’’ After finally acquiring his dream SL, Barry responded to the gentleman with, ‘’this is an original car and it’s only original once.’’
It was here that Barry’s intention for the car was clear – to win the Concours Masterclass.
Over the following three years, Barry and his wife set about improving the car for concours competitions, focusing on every single detail to ensure that the car would be presented as original as possible. The two carried out most of the work at their home, working in the evenings in their garage to remove the front and rear sub-frames, stripping down, powder coating and adding new bushes, amongst other lengthy tasks. They spent weeks cleaning the black wax oil off the bottom of the car using brake fluid cleaner. The extent of work carried out was phenomenal.
To help Barry achieve the winning title, Bruce was on hand throughout the process to help Barry refine the car to top standard – Bruce provided endless lists of details that needed to be perfected in order to win. These included simple things, such as the type of number plates and even the colour of braking components. Barry recalls a ‘relentless process’ to get everything correct.
It wasn’t until the summer of 2021 that this car won the Masterclass Concours at Gaydon, where it was recognised as an outstanding example. The car returned to the NEC Classic Motor Show this November as part of Meguiar’s exhibition of the finest classics in the country. Expect to see more of this car in the press over the coming months, as we celebrate Barry and Jackie’s dedication to the preservation of this iconic classic Mercedes-Benz model.