Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing is one of the most inspirational
automotive designs of the 20th century. Not only has the shape
been imitated, so have the dramatic doors and the "Gullwing"
name. The 300 SL also provided much of the styling influence
for the 2009 Mercedes-Benz
SLS AMG concept.
Upon its introduction in 1954 the 300SL was offered solely as
the "Gullwing" coupe. It came equipped with an advanced,
fuel-injected, 3.0 litre straight 6 cylinder engine which produced
240 hp @ 6,100 rpm. The engine longitudinally mounted engine
was tilted over at an angle in the engine bay which meant the
hood could stay low and smooth.
The only faults with the 300 SL Coupe were due to its thoroughbred,
race-derived technology which made for unforgiving on-the-limit
handling, and expensive-to-repair spaceframe construction.
In 1957 Mercedes-Benz replaced the 300 SL Gullwing coupe with
the 300 SL Roadster. This car was essentially the same, minus
the fixed roof, and was fitted with a slightly more powerful
(+10hp) version of the same engine. The suspension was also
redesigned to be more forgiving to the average driver and the
construction was simplified, making repair and maintenance easier.
In total 1,400 300SL Gullwing coupes and 1,858 300SL Roadsters
Similar and related vehicles:
Mercedes-Benz C 111
Mercedes SLS AMG