The Mercedes 300SL parked in town Credit: Paul Jolly

Paul Jolly: Double delight on quick trip to shops

Torbay Weekly

Stumbling into Dartmouth to collect some prescriptions, I wondered why the town was so busy and thought, summer has come early as the streets were thronged with people and dogs of all ages and sizes.

It was the first Dartmouth Music Festival since 2019 and is surely Dartmouth’s best event of the year with musical performances crammed into every conceivable venue over the weekend.

Adding to the surprise was to find an immaculate concours condition Austin Healey 3000 Mk2 in the refreshingly unusual single colour of cream.

The cream Austin Healey 3000 Mk2 Credit: Paul Jolly
The cream Austin Healey 3000 Mk2 Credit: Paul Jolly

Very often these are two tone and I was taken by how well this looked in the sunshine.

Value well in excess of £50,000, in case you wondered.

But the biggest surprise was to find a late 1950s Mercedes 300SL in green just simply parked up by the shops.

These ultra rare cars were how the marque developed a reputation within Europe for some of the finest engineering at the time.

They also shared the underpinnings of the highly successful racing cars produced by Mercedes with notable success until the 1955 Le Mans tragedy, in which 83 spectators were killed.

That event saw Mercedes withdraw from racing until 2013, when a certain Lewis Hamilton joined the new team with a string of world championships to follow.

The late 1950s Mercedes 300SL Credit: Paul Jolly
The late 1950s Mercedes 300SL Credit: Paul Jolly

The 300 SL convertible followed on from the famous ‘Gullwing’ fixed head version and was primarily aimed at the Californian market in the USA.

With a top speed of over 150mph, they were the fastest production car of the day and this was when most family saloons would barely reach half that speed.

Value now potentially upwards of £800,000.

To see one of these beauties out on the street is what classic car ownership it is all about.

Rather than worry about keeping your prized possession locked away for fear of damage, the pleasure you will gain from showing your steed off is immeasurable.

There was nothing other than total respect and plenty of camera action on this occasion.

Never has a trip to the chemist been more enjoyable. Where to next?