It's hard to find classic cars where the current owner even knows who first bought the car. With this 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, it's easy: it's only had one owner. It's also been in dry storage since 1976, although its late owner — pilot and US Merchant Marine Sig Nygren — used to start it every time he returned home. Given his aviation background, Sig installed several enhancements, including a chronometer, altimeter, and thermometer, as well as fog lights, an eight-track player, and a defroster fan. Other than those small changes, the car remains highly original, with the same Fire Engine Red paint and Red Plaid fabric upholstery it came with, as well as factory inspection tags still visible on the oil and fuel tanks. With only 31,239 miles on the odometer and unquestioned provenance, it's an ideal candidate for a caring restoration.
Brian Henniker / Gooding & Company
Fully restored with an eye on drivability as opposed to preservation, this 1964 Toyota FJ45 Land Cruiser Truck is an arguably even better version of the FJ40 stablemate. During its recent restoration, the F135 engine was upgraded to the more modern 2F, the three-speed column shift transmission replaced with a floor-shift four-speed, and the transfer case and manual brakes replaced with vacuum equivalents. The exterior was redone in light tan, and the interior received similar updates, with new gray cloth upholstery, weather-stripping, and pedal pads. The result, while not as original as some examples, is no doubt better suited to provide long-term enjoyment for its next owner.