Bancroft Roadster mit JU52
Aufgenommen auf dem Flugplatz EDFA Neu Anspach beim LSC Bad Homburg Flugplatzfest
IAA in Frankfurt 1991

Bancroft Roadster

Manufactured 1992

8 Cylinder Mercedes-Motor

324 HP

4973 cm³

2-Seater plus 2 in the rear

Currently at 33.000 km

Hugh Bancroft, retired racecar driver from the USA, wanted to fulfill a dream by building a modern car in the design of the 1930s.  It was only logical for him to have designing as well as the production of the vehicle to be done in Germany, with a Mercedes motor and transmission from the SL 500.

Originally, the Bancroft Raodster was planned to be limited to 300 units, yet after 6 units production was ceased due to high costs.  These 6 units are spread around the globe in different colours and customised interiors.  Four vehicles are in teh USA, of which three stayed with the Bancroft family in California.  The remaining two are in Germany, with one of these being ours.


Our Bancroft Roadster is black with read seats and was purchased in 1992 and was only driven for a very short time by its original owner until it was put into storage.

How the Bancroft Roadster came to us

We are a typical family living in the Taunus region in Germany (near Frankfurt).  Our oldest son Thomas, who at the time was working as a car mechanic, was asked by a neighbouring Music producer in 2008 whether he could go pick up one of his vehicles in Saarland where it is standing with other classic cars in a barn so that it could be prepared for sale.  Thomas drove with a trailor to said adress and found this beauty.  Once loaded onto the trailer he made a short detour to us to present this rarity that he will get to work on.

Our first thought was 'who would buy such a car?'. Later on we knew who... we would!

Ralf always wanted the convertible Mercedes SL that he dreamed of when he was a teenager.  He's been to numerous events where the SL Club met to present their hundreds of Mercedes SL, with thousands more on the street.  We eventually agreed that it would be more fun to have a 500 SL engine inside this Roadster than a typical Mercedes SL (a few years later the Mercedes SL was purchased anyway... 50th birthday present).


The vehicle was in a rather bad condition even though it only had a few kilometers on the clock and had been parked for many years in the barn of the owner. After long negotiations and a few glasses of champagne we agreed on a price and signed the contract. Finally this jewel was ours!  

The Bancroft Roadster today is an eye-catcher, but it was a long from turning this neglected and almost forgotten behemoth into the jewel it is today. There was a lot of work waiting for us. Top, rear seats, gear and many other parts were a permanent source of surprises. Which brand is which part, where can I get the right parts? Our sons Thomas, Sebastian and Johannes searched very intensely to procureme parts and maintaine the vehicle until it finally TÜV and got to go on our first road trip.