Then he put the car up on jack stands and began taking it apart. He took the wheels and hood off, the interior out and removed the transmission. And then the car just sat ... for more than 40 years.
Read about the 40 year buried treasure (restored it's worth about 2.5 million) from a Santa Monica garage on http://www.vancouversun.com/cars/Classic+mystery+solved/5375859/story.html#ixzz1YeLyh6aC found via an article on http://classiccars.about.com/b/2011/09/20/missing-competition-special-mercedes-gullwing-found.htm
Follow up: Hemmings wrote about this a week after I did, and wrote a good piece that the commentors had a lot more to say, and worth reading. http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2011/09/19/1955-mercedes-benz-300-sl-alloy-body-gullwing-the-ultimate-barn-find/