Vintage Mercedes drive legal spat

2:39 min

Ever wonder what treasures could be waiting to be discovered in your attic, or even your garage? What about two vintage limited edition Mercedes? Just such a discovery was made in Stockholm recently, which has experts marvelling at the pristine vehicles.

"You wonder how it's possible to make such a valuable find," says Per-Arne Rynning, from Sweden's Mercedes Club, following the discovery of two 1950s Mercedes 300SLs in a heated garage in the Stockholm archipelago.

Car collector, Thomas Larsson, who has seen both cars, describes one of them as being in showroom condition.

"One of the roadsters was unique in only having done 1,350 kilometres, or less than 850 miles, since 1962," says Larson, who says that he has never seen cars of this vintage in such good condition.

Considered by many to be one of the best-looking cars ever made, the two-seater 300SL was originally built for the race track; a coupé version which featured gull-wing doors was added later, as was the convertible.

The 300SLs in the garage, however, are at the centre of an increasingly complicated legal dispute.

The vehicles currently belong to the estate of a man who died in 2011. The man, who also owned two apartments in Stockholm's most affluent area, Östermalm, had no relatives to whom he could bequeath his assets.

Two individuals who stood to gain from the man's will lost their right to do so in a district court; a ruling they are currently appealing.

Two other parties are also intent on obtaining the cars. One, a foundation, claims the convertible; while an individual claims that the former owner gave him the cars in exchange for a yacht worth millions of kroner about ten years ago.

This case will go before a local district court, with a contract allegedly detailing the transaction being analysed by forensic experts.

According to Rynning, Mercedes such as those quietly waiting in the heated, double garage, out in the archipelago will be worth considerably more on the international market in their current excellent condition than vehicles of a similar age that have been lovingly renovated.

"It's hard to say how much the roadster is worth...could be anything...at an international auction it could easily fetch SEK 20 million," says Larsson.

The cars are believed to have a combined value of around SEK 30 million. But for now, these two old classics remain firmly parked in legal limbo.