25 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Classic Cars Models, Gullwing Open, Roadster – Initially designed for motorsport and immediately successful at that, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL is now considered one of the most collectible cars of the brand. It was the first car to be fitted with fuel injection and the first car from the company to gain financial success outside of its home market. The car was the first iteration of Mercedes SL Class and all the gears featured synchromesh, which was unheard of before the car.
Let us not forget about gull-wing doors, too; Mercedes did not simply use such design because of its aesthetic and unique appeals, but because it was the only way to fit the doors with the new tubular chassis. It became a pioneer of many things in motoring industry; there is no wonder that it became such as iconic Mercedes classic among so many. Production for the races began in 1952 and lasted only about a year. Road-going versions started from 1954 to 1963.
Thanks to all the technologies fitted inside, the car became undisputed evidence that Mercedes-Benz had the resources, power, engineers, and skills to build the most adorable cars in the world. We all understand that many features of Mercedes-Benz 300SL are quite the norms today such as 4-speed gearbox, drum brakes and, independent suspension, and lightweight frame (later productions used disc brakes and aluminum body among other changes), but they were all engineering wonders in early 1960s.
Developing more than 200 bhp when it was first introduced, many of today’s car enthusiasts even think of it as the first true supercar, although the term was not actually coined yet until late 1960s. It had been a supercar, even before the word “supercar” existed.
A combination of racing heritage and striking design thanks to the gull-wing doors encouraged Max Hoffman, our famous importer, to suggest that a road-going version of the Mercedes-Benz 300SL would be a commercial success in United States. Although Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz automobiles, initially rejected the idea due to the high cost, Hoffman made his point clear and got his way.
Hoffman’s prediction was proven right; from a total production of 1,402 gull-wings Mercedes-Benz 300SL, more than 80% of them were sold in the U.S. Most of them had steel bodies, but there were 29 units built with aluminum bodies for which buyers paid premium price.
The original coupe version was manufactured only until 1957 and replaced with the roadster version to the end of production span. Roadster model was actually a simplified version of the original coupe. It was equipped with space frame chassis so the car could be fitted with conventional doors. The trade off was an additional curb weight of up to 100kg. However, it had more relaxing suspension to target American market.
In good condition today, Mercedes-Benz 300SL price starts from 1 million to 2.5 million dollars. It is expensive to buy, run, maintain, and restore, but the price you pay is not only for just another classic car. What you get is an original supercar, a pioneer in motoring industry, and probably the most beautiful investment you ever make.