|1956 300 SL|
1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL news, pictures, and information
The chassis gave the strength and lightness ('SL stands for 'Sport Light'). The hinge on the roof that let the doors swing up was like nothing anybody had ever seen before. Its low-slung frame, wide mouth grille, fighter-plane cockpit and deep rumbling fuel-injected engine made the 300SL look and sound like it was ready to eat asphalt.
The sensational 300 SL Coupe, better known as the 'Gullwing' was first seen at the New York Motor Show in 1954. With a 3-liter engine and steel and alloy body panels, the car could also be ordered with an all-alloy body, adding considerably to the cost but being much truer to its SL (sport leicht) name. Based upon the race-winning W194, the new coupe, W198, was the first gasoline-powered car to be fitted with a new direct fuel injection system, making it more powerful than its race-bred, normally aspirated predecessor. This car is one of the final Gullwings to leave Stuttgart in 1957, the last year of production, and it was in the same careful ownership until 2005.
Initially purchased in 1969 both smashed and not running, it has been a 30-year effort to re-establish this niche of Mercedes history using this chassis from the correct time frame, authentic Mercedes performance options and the state-of-the-art rally instrumentation and accessories from the late 50s.
In addition to the rally equipment, this car has an added 25 HP with high compression Mahle pistons, bumperless weight reduction, 4.11 rear, Dunlop R5 racing tires, competition springs and shocks, bulls eye headlights, tuned exhaust, and factory issue competition seat belts. The paint code is original to this chassis, and this car is one of only four cars made in this color.
With a top speed of 130-155 mph, the 300SL was one of the fastest vehicles of the 1950s. Its performance, design, reputation, and futuristic 'Gullwing' doors were all factors in the success of the vehicle. The 'SL' represented 'Sport Leicht' or 'Sport Light.'
An American, Max Hoffman, is partly responsible for the mass-production of the 300SL. He urged Mercedes-Benz to create the vehicle for the American market. In 1954, the vehicle was officially presented to the world at the New York Auto Show.
This car was acquired in excellent original condition with approximately 33,000 miles on it. The serial number indicates it is one of the last 300 SLs produced. The car was purchased new by Bernard Berman, of Allentown, PA, who kept the car his entire life.
The current owners commissioned a frame-off restoration in 2011, maintaining the original colors. The car retains its original rear luggage and Rudge wheels.
Chassis Num: 7500295
|Sold for $737,000 at 2012 RM Auctions.|
In the summer of 1956 at Stuttgart, a modified version of the 300SL roadster was first seen. The roadster made its official debut in the spring of 1957 at the Geneva Motor Show. At the close of the year, the final 70 of the 1,400 Gullwing Coupes and the first 618 of the 1,858 300SL roadsters were assembled.
The Roadster had a lowered central section of the lightweight 300SL space-frame chassis, allowing enlarged doors and improved entrance and egress. To enhance strength, Mercedes-Benz added a diagonal struts bracing the lowered side section to the rear tubular members. In the rear, the spare tire was repositioned below the trunk floor, requiring a smaller fuel tank but maintaining adequate luggage space.
The suspension received attention; the single-pivot rear swing-axle setup was repositioned and a coil spring was added and mounted transversely above the differential, linked to the two axle haves by a vertical strut, allowing the use of softer rear springs. These changes provided a more comfortable ride and improved handling. New, fatter tires and a wider track helped improve the vehicle's stability and handling characteristics.
With these changes came the addition of 250 pounds, with the majority of the weight associated with the convertible top and its mechanisms. The roof retracted fully into a well behind the seats and was covered with a hinged panel.
The US vehicles were given a compression boost, resulting in an additional 10 horsepower which helped offset the weight increase. Top speed claimed by the factory was 137 mph. Optional includes a removable hardtop and special fitted luggage.
The $11,000-plus price tag guaranteed their exclusive and rarity. After 1957, 300SL production slowed until the final three roadsters were completed in late 1963 for sale in 1964.
This example, chassis number 7500295, is finished in classic silver with a black convertible top and red leather interior. It is a low-mile example that has been given a professional, body-off-frame, nut-and-bolt restoration. The current owner acquired the car in late 2003 from an individual who had purchased it in 1992 from a close friend in exchange for a gold Rolex wristwatch. The prior owner entered the SL into the Copperstate 1000 rally in the early 2000s. The current owner participated in the Copperstate as well in 2008.
Currently, the car shows only about 42,000 miles. The six-cylinder, overhead cam engine delivers 225 bhp (DIN) and is mated to a four-speed all-synchromesh manual gearbox. There are hydraulic, servo-assisted brakes and a wheelbase that measures 94.5 inches.
In 2012, the car was offered for sale at the RM Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was estimated to sell for $575,000-$675,000 and was offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $737,000 inclusive of buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2012
This example was originally owned by a Mercedes dealer in Bangor, Maine, who traveled to the Sindelfingen, Germany factory in the fall of 1957 to pick up the new car and tour Germany and France. When the trip was completed, the car was sent back to the United States. The current owner has owned the car since 1990. It has never been titled to a retail customer and remains on its original M.S.O.
By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2010
Chassis Num: 198.042.7500661
Engine Num: 198.980.7500691
|Sold for $522,500 at 2010 Gooding & Company.|
The current owner, who purchased it from Mr. Glickman, has owned this car since July of 1976. In 2004, the car's engine was completely rebuilt with all-new sleeves, high-quality aluminum pistons, new valves, oil pump, bearings and an electric fuel pump. All the ports were polished and gaskets were carefully matched for optimum performance and efficiency. At an earlier time, the injection pump and diaphragm were replaced and new injectors were fitted to ensure smooth, reliable fuel-delivery. Ancillary components and accessories have been either restored or replaced as needed and the detailed engine bay appears to have all the important original components intact.
This SL has been equipped with a Race Safe fuel cell which has been fitted inside the original gas tank. There is a pre-lubricator system that brings oil pressure to 60 psi before staring a dual ignition system. These upgrades have made the car safer and more useable.
In 2010, this car was offered for sale at Gooding & Company's Scottsdale Auction in Arizona. The car was estimated to sell for $425,000 - 525,000. The lot was sold for the sum of $522,500, inclusive of buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2010
This example is a very early production 300SL Roadster. It was originally purchased by a Maine Mercedes-Benz dealer and picked up Germany. It has just completed a total restoration.
The 300SL Gull Wing race car was an attractive car that enjoyed much racing success. A production version soon followed, driven by an order for 1,000 vehicles by American importer Max Hoffman. To increase sales, a more powerful, better handling and more luxurious roadster version was produced from 1957. The roadster had a tubular frame, independent suspension and a 3-liter, direct fuel injection 6-cylinder engine offering 240 horsepower. From 1957 to 1964, Mercedes-Benz produced 1,858 roadsters.
The 300SL was best known for both its distinctive gullwing or butterfly wing doors and for being the first-ever gasoline-powered car equipped with fuel injection directly into the combustion chamber. The gullwing version was available from March 1955 to 1957. In Mercedes-Benz fashion, the '300' referred tot eh engine's cylinder displacement - in this case, three liters. The 'SL' stood for 'Sport Leicht' or 'Sport Light.'
The 300SL is credited for changing the company's image in America from a manufacturer of solid, but staid, automobiles to that of a producer of sporty cars. The body was mainly steel, except for the aluminum bonnet (hood), doors and boot (trunk) lid. The 300SL could also be ordered with an all-aluminum outer skin, saving 80 kg (176 lb), but at tremendous added cost.
This 300SL displayed here is a Feature Car and is a restoration project from 'Dream Car Garage.'
Chassis Num: 7500378
It was acquired in 1974, had a body-off restoration in 2002, driven across the US twice, and awarded Best of class at Amelia Island.
Chassis Num: 1980427500146
This car was offered for sale at the 2006 RM Auction in Monterey California where it was sold for $605,000.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2006
Chassis Num: 1980427 500116
Engine Num: 1989807 500115
|Sold for $264,000 at 2006 RM Auctions.|
Documents indicate that the top was fitted to this car #27 from the beginning, as the factory did not introduce hardtops for 300SL Roadsters until model year 1958. It is likely that this top was a design study or prototype. Various books, including Gunter Engelen's Von Rennsport zur Legende confirm the car's provenance. It has been shown at Fashion Island, Newport Beach.
Present condition is very good, thanks to a just-completed major service by 300 SL expert Dave Twichell. Although the older red repaint shows some crazing and flaws, the recent $34,000 service has rendered it useable for trips and tours. This work included brakes, generator, fuel injection, gauges, insulating materials, wiring, rubber mounts, and thorough tuning.
By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2007
Chassis Num: 198.042-75-00115
Chassis Num: 198.042.75.00195
Engine Num: 198.980.75.00130
|Sold for $1,540,000 at 2013 Gooding & Company.|
This 300 SL Roadster is one of the few that was fitted with Rudge wheels from the factory. It was delivered in Light Ivory (DB 620) with red leather and was specified with a Becker 'Le Mans' radio. It was shipped to the United States and into the car of its first owner, Edward Rude of West Falls, Virginia. Mr. Rude kept the car for 32-years during which time the car accrued just 17,000 miles. In 1989, this low-mileage, original roadster was sold to its second owner, Don B. Britton of Los Angeles. Mr. Britton retained the car for 12 years before it was sold to Thomas Taffet in 2001. During Mr. Taffet's care, the car was given a complete restoration. At the time, the car had completed just 42,000 miles.
The car was disassembled and rebuilt per factory specifications. The original luggage was preserved, the interior trim was finished in red leather and red carpets, and the car was upgraded to Euro-specification headlamps. The exterior was finished in Midnight Blue (DB 904) and the top was trimmed in dark blue canvas.
In 2005, the car was selected to participate in the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Tour d'Elegance. The 300SL was piloted by Sir Stirling Moss and granted the lead position. To document this honor, Sir Stirling signed the car's dash.
In 2008, the car was sold to another caretaker. Since that time, the car has been shown at the Quail, A Motorsport gathering where it won its class, receiving the Post War Sports Car Award.
In 2010, the car entered the care of its current owner.
This car has the Rudge-only hammer, tools, jack and a jack bag, original 'aircraft' type lap belts, Rudge wheels, radio, luggage, and many other accessories.
In 2013, the car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company Auction held in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was estimated to sell for $1,000,000 - $1,300,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $1,540,000 including buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2013
Sometime in the 1990s, the car was purchased by a broker in the United States. A collector in Florida bought it and for the next decade drove and cared for it.
The current owner purchased the Roadster and immediately commissioned another restoration in 2011.
Chassis Num: 198.042.7500568
Engine Num: 198.010.1097150
|Sold for $654,500 at 2013 Gooding & Company.|
The car is finished in red with a tan interior and wears an older restoration.
By Daniel Vaughan | May 2013
Chassis Num: 198.042.7500081
Engine Num: 198.980.7500097
|Sold for $726,000 at 2013 Gooding & Company.|
This Roadster was the 81st example built, placing it within the first 5% of roadster production. The car has features common only to the early roadsters, such as the lack of an outer lock cylinder on the passenger side, and smooth leather seats with ventilation holes that appear only between the pleats.
Dr. Mozley added just over 31,000 miles to the cars odometer during his half century of ownership. At some point in its history, a second mirror was added to the left fender. In 2006, Dr. Mozely enlisted the assistance of his longtime mechanic to conduct a major service of the 300 SL. Work included the rebuilding of the upper and lower portions of the engine, as well as clutch and brake service. The car has had a partial repaint in its original color of Red (DB 534) and appears to retain its original black leather interior. The car has its factory tool roll, owner's manual, and head protector pads for the bows of the soft top.
By Daniel Vaughan | May 2013
An American Max Hoffman is partly responsible for the mass-production of the 300SL. He had urged Mercedes-Benz to create the vehicle for the American market. In 1954, the vehicle was officially presented to the world at the New York Auto Show. This was not its first appearance. It had been raced in several international events that included Mexico's Carrera Panamerican road race, Berne, Nurburgring, and the Mille Miglia. Prototypes had been entered in the 1952 24-hours of Le Mans where they were victorious. These successes on the race track, including endurance runs, guaranteed a reliable, fast, performance machine.
In 1955, the famous Stirling Moss drove a 300 SLR to victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia where he averaged a speed of 157.6 km/h for 1,600 km. (97.9 mph for 994 miles). A 300 SLR was leading the 24 hours of Le Mans when it was withdrawn from the race. A horrible accident had occurred where a car had killed 82 spectators during the race.
The 300 SL was powered by a fuel-injected, overhead-cam, six-cylinder engine and produced around 215 horsepower at 6200 RPM. It was the first vehicle to ever use fuel-injection with a gasoline powered engine. The large drum brakes, independent suspension, and four-speed manual transmission helped give this vehicle super-car status. The silver color was by far the most popular. Other color options available were dark blue and black. Leather interior was optional with cloth upholstery being standard equipment.
The Gullwing or butterfly-wing doors were well received by owners and spectators. They added a distinctive quality that could not be found in any other vehicle at the time. The Mercedes 300SL was first a race car. It was built using a tubular space-frame chassis and conceived by DBAG's chief developing engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut. In an effort to keep the vehicle as light as possible and to retain the necessary strength, Gullwing doors were used. The doors were not without their problems though. Getting into and out of the vehicle was rather difficult. Due to the doors, the vehicle was proned to leaking and difficult to repair. As a result, after 1,400 examples had been produced, the Gullwing doors were replaced by the 1957 roadster. The roadster with its conventional doors, updated suspension, and convertible roof proved to be more popular than the previous design. More than 1,800 roadsters were sold.
Disc brakes were added in 1961 as was the alloy block.
Throughout the seven year production of the 300SL, the car endured major changes both mechanically and aesthetically. Throughout it all, it retained its race-breed heritage and super car status.
By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2010
The 300 was built on a traditional body-on-frame construction as many other marque's, including most of the Mercedes-Benz line, had switched to unit-body construction. The body-on-frame construction was ideal for maintaining a high level of quality for vehicles produced in limited quantities. The front end was suspended in place through the use of an independent suspension with A-arms and coil springs. The rear was the tried-and-true swing axle with coil springs.
Under the bonnet was a 2996-cc six-cylinder engine with Bosch mechanical fuel injection that produced 175 horsepower. Considering the modest wheelbase size and the overall low weight of the vehicle, the 175 horsepower was more than enough to carry these custom-built vehicles at highway speeds with little effort. The car was fast, luxurious, safe, and comfortable.
From November of 1951 through March of 1962, there were 11,430 examples of the Mercedes 300 constructed. Most were built atop of a 120-inch wheelbase and with four-door configuration. Just over 700 were convertible sedans.
The 300 had been introduced at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Mercedes-Benz selected the Paris Auto Show to introduce the next iteration of the 300-Series, the 300S. This was a much sportier version that rode on a shortened, 114.2-inch, wheelbase and built in 2-door open and closed configuration. The engine was a multi-carbureted unit that produced just over 160 SAE horsepower.
The Mercedes-Benz 300S was a very fast automobile that still retained luxury, comfort, and style. Built in very limited quantities, it was an exclusive automobile.
Production of the 300S lasted from 1952 through April of 1958 with a total of 760 examples being constructed.
The final iteration of the 300-Series was the 300SC, which made its appearance at the 1955 Paris Auto Show. It was given a detuned version of the 300SL's Bosch mechanical fuel-injected engine and a new 'low-pivot' swing axle rear suspension.
By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2007
From the race-track to the road
The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL was conceived initially as a purpose-built racing sports car (W 194). In 1952, the coupe notched up an impressive record of success in the year's major races. At the Grand Prix in Bern the 300 SL sealed a clean sweep of the podium places, an awesome performance backed up by a one-two finish ahead of a stunned field in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Nürburgring duly yielded another one-two-three, and the new Mercedes racing sports car also claimed victory in the Carrera Panamericana in Mexico. It all added up to a majestic return to motor sport for Mercedes-Benz, picking up where the brand had left off during a highly successful period before the Second World War.
Although there were initially no plans to send the 300 SL into series production, the Daimler-Benz Board had been left wîth the words of Maximilian ('Maxi') Hoffman ringing in their ears. The official importer of Mercedes-Benz cars into America campaigned tirelessly for a sports car to offer his well-heeled clientele, and the 300 SL racer fitted the bill perfectly. After lengthy deliberations, the green light was given for series production of the road-trim 300 SL (W 198), as well as a smaller, open-top sports car, the 190 SL (W 121).
The two models were due to celebrate their premieres less than six months after the Board had granted the project their approval. The occasion was the International Motor Sports Show taking place in New York from February 6 –14, 1954 and at the time America's most important auto show. The engineers rose to the challenge of their race against the clock, and the 300 SL and its smaller brother, the 190 SL, were ready to receive the acclaim of the admiring crowds. Series production began in Sindelfingen in August 1954 and the price was fixed at 29,000 Marks – a quite enormous sum at the time, especially when you compared the new model alongside the Mercedes-Benz 170 Vb – on sale at 7,900 Marks.
The body The body of the 300 SL was developed wîth the primary aim of cutting aerodynamic drag to a minimum. The result was a streamlined form wîth few adornments, a car which adhered faithfully to its design brief and which has retained its freshness and allure to the present day. Wonderfully proportioned and extremely dynamic, it was as if the 300 SL – surging forward on its wheels – had been cut form a single mold.
The new sports car was a real crowd-puller, thanks in no small measure to its wonderfully charismatic 'gullwing' doors. Rather than serving merely as a stylistic gimmick, they represented the central element of the 300 SL design, the ultimate example of necessity as the mother of invention. The car's aluminum skin was stretched over a tubular frame, which – in the interests of stability – rose much further than usual up the sides of the vehicle, making it impossible to fit conventional doors. The response of the engineers was to devise an upwards-opening door concept. The elegance of the car's side view remained undisturbed by a door handle, wîth a discreet pull-out bar disengaging the lock. The door then opened upwards wîth the help of a telescopic spring.
The tubular frame for the 300 SL, designed by Rudolf Úhlenhaut, reduced weight to a minimum but provided maximum strength. A series of extremely thin tubes were welded together into triangles to produce a frame which boasted impressive torsional stiffness and was only subjected to compression and tensile forces. In the standard SL the frame tipped the scales at only 82 kilograms, whilst the complete car in ready-to-drive condition and including the spare wheel, tools and fuel weighed in at 1,295 kilograms.
The body of the 300 SL was constructed largely out of high-grade sheet steel, although aluminum was used for the engine hood, trunk lid and the skin panels for the door sills and doors. For a relatively small extra charge, customers could choose to have the whole body made from light alloy, which cut 80 kilograms off the car's total weight. However, only 29 SL customers took up this option and today their cars are highly sought-after rarities.
The technical make-up of the 300 SL owes much to the Mercedes-Benz 300 (W 186 II) sedan, the vehicle of choice for many statesmen and industrialists and also known as the 'Adenauer Mercedes'. The six-cylinder engine featured a number of modifications, one of which saw the carburetor replaced by a direction injection system – a technical advance which was years ahead of its time. This new technology boosted output to 158 kW (215 hp) and the car's maximum speed up as far as 260 km/h, depending on the rear axle ratio. Customers could order their SL wîth a choice of five different ratios. The standard 1:3.64 variant was set up primarily to deliver rapid acceleration and capable of 235 km/h. The 1:3.89 and 1:4.11 ratios were good for even faster acceleration, whilst the 1:3.42 option offered a higher top speed. This figure rose still further – to 260 km/h – when the ratio was set at 1:3.25. However, this 'resulted in greatly reduced acceleration, making the car less enjoyable to drive in downtown city traffic,' as the sales information pointed out. The 300 SL hit 100 km/h in just 10 seconds, wîth car testers at the time measuring fuel consumption at an average of 15 liters per 100 km. A 100-liter fuel tank was positioned at the rear of the car and could be enlarged to 130 liters at an extra charge.
The engine had to be tilted 45 degrees to the left in order to squeeze under the hood of what was an extremely flat car, thus reducing the amount of space in the passenger-side footwell. The SL's center of gravity was almost exactly in the middle of the car, laying the perfect foundations for fast and precise cornering. The chassis was essentially the same as the 300a sedan's, but wîth sportier tuning, and the drum brakes were adapted in response to the increased performance of the muscle-bound sports car. Only later, in the 1961 roadster variant, were these replaced by disc brakes all round.
The interior of the 300 SL was more solid than spectacular. The standard fabric seat upholstery was available in a choice of three checked patterns, but most customers opted for leather instead. The body paintwork came in silver metallic as standard, although red, dark blue and black also proved popular.
A shortage of space made getting into the 300 SL something of a challenge – this was, after all, a sports car. Fortunately, the §teering wheel could be folded down, allowing the driver to twist his or her legs in the direction of the pedals. Once seated, the driver enjoyed an ergonomically impressively refined cockpit design. The §teering wheel was just the right distance for the arms to reach and the driver's feet moved intuitively onto the pedals: the 300 SL was very much a driver's car. In addition, the instrument panel was extremely tidy and clearly laid-out, wîth the rev counter and speedometer in the center of the driver's field of vision, as you would expect.
The handling characteristics
Out on the road, you quickly realized why the 300 SL had been christened wîth those particular letters – the car was certainly Sporty and Light. With an engine delivering 215 hp and a total weight of only around 1,300 kilograms, acceleration was suitably impressive – especially wîth the right choice of rear axle ratio. Exceptional torque ensured good pulling power at any speed. The §teering was direct and the suspension made sure that the car hugged the road nicely. There's no doubt that the 300 SL was a sports car of the finest pedigree. That said, it was far from impractical, as many owners were quick to appreciate. For them, this was a high-speed touring car which offered precise driving characteristics but which avoided sapping the energy of the driver unduly. The trunk was sufficiently large, complemented as it was by the extra room behind the seats for additional baggage. Plus, customers could order a made-to-measure luggage set designed to make the most of the space available.
How the press saw the 300 SL
The press at the time were falling over themselves to lavish praise on the 300 SL. 'Autosport' reported that: 'The exterior form of the 300 SL is quite wonderful and its performance almost unbelievable. The construction of the car and its production quality are first class and the whole concept represents an uncompromising realization of all the new ideas.' After its initial test, 'Road & Track' wrote: 'We are lòòking at a car where a comfortable interior is complemented by remarkably impressive handling characteristics, quite incredible roadholding, light and precise §teering, and performance levels which are up there wîth – and even an improvement on – the best cars the automotive has to offer. There is only one thing left to say: the sports car of the future has become a reality.' And 'auto, motor und sport' noted: 'The Mercedes 300 SL is the most refined and at the same time the most inspirational sports car of our era – an automotive dream.'
Maxi Hoffman keeps up the pressure
The first units of the 300 SL were sold in Europe in 1954, whilst Maxi Hoffman received his first customer car in March 1955. A total of 1,400 Gullwings rolled off the production line, the lion's share of which – some 1,100 units – found their way to the ÚSA. Hoffman had thus assessed the response of the market to the car extremely well and had every right to be satisfied wîth his work. However, he had also succeeded in stoking the expectations of his discerning customers, who now wanted a touch more comfort in their cars, a larger trunk and, in many cases, a cabriolet version. Hoffman passed the message on to Stuttgart and once again his request bore fruit – this time in the form of the 300 SL roadster (W 198 II) unveiled in 1957.
Success on racetracks and rally courses
The racing genes of the 300 SL tempted renowned racing drivers and privateers from all over the world to enter sports car races and rallies. The 300 SL made its first appearances in the popular racing events of the time in 1955 – and didn't have to wait long before tasting success. The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL attained legendary status well before the assembly lines ground to a halt, thanks in part to its success in race competition but most of all to the captivating allure of its stunning design. The 300 SL has been counted among the world's most sought-after and highly rated cars for 50 years now, and its status as one of the most revered classic automobiles on the market is set to remain intact for quite some time to come.
The main competition that the 300 Series faced during its production time was the less-expensive Ponton series. A large majority of the company's sales were directed in the area of this cheaper series. During the early 1960's, both the Ponton series and the Type 300 were eventually replaced by the 'Heckflosse' cars.
Available as either a sedan or cabriolet, the Type 300 was offered both with four doors, along with seating for six. With a more modern body, the 'W186' Type 300 was built on a pre-war chassis, yet it utilized a modern 3 L straight-6 engine. The most interesting feature was a rear load-levelling suspension that was operated by a switch on the dashboard. Many other luxury features were offered on this series, these included a VHF mobile telephone, a dictation machine and a Becker radio. The Chancellor's personal vehicle was equipped with a writing desk, sirens, a dividing partition, curtains, and many more features.
A special Type 300 Lang, Innenlenker model was a limousine version that rode on a 20 cm (7.9 in) longer wheelbase.
The Type 300 b was introduced with power brakes in 1954. In September of 1955, a larger rear window was featured on the Type 300 c. Also featuring a swing axle rear independent suspension, the Type 300 c was sold at $10,864 in the U.S. with the convertible available at an expensive $14,231.
In August of 1957, the B-pillar was updated for the hardtop look in the Type 300 d. With a total of 3,077 produced, the d was produced until March of 1963. Available with a compression ratio of 8.55:1 and Bosch fuel injection, the d produced 160 hp. The W112 300SE replaced the limousine version.
Mercedes-Benz's top-end vehicle in 1952 following its introduction, the 'W188' Type 300 S was available as a 2+2 coupe, cabriolet or roadster. Marketed as one of the top luxury vehicles in the world, the W188 was actually very similar mechanically to the more contemporary W186. The Type 300 Sc received the addition of fuel injection in 1955, along the same time that Mercedes-Benz's 'low-pivot' independent suspension was substituted. Dual chrome strips were placed on each side of the hood that denotes the 'Sc' model.
The 300 S line was an established Mercedes tradition, 2-door convertible and coupe versions of the limousine model. These models had a body built on a separate chassis, and were conventionally styled grand tourers. The SL, which stood for 'Sport Leicht', and can be broken down to lightweight sportscar, was introduced in the same year. Essentially a derivative of the ‘ordinary' Mercedes 300 series, there was really nothing ordinary about the 300 SL.
The vehicle that was responsible for re-establishing Mercedes-Benz as a formidable power in sports vehicle racing following World War 2, the 300 SL was introduced in 1952. Beginning as a thoroughbred road racing vehicle, the exotic 300 SL finished its career in 1963 as a very fast convertible for the wealthy.
Following such an impressive impact on car enthusiasts worldwide, there has continued to be an SL model in the Mercedes Range ever since. There has never been another SL model in the Mercedes range that has been able to live up to the prestige, engineering and styling of the original 300 SL.
Introduced at the 1953 Mille Miglia, where a total of 300 SL's took part in the event, the original 300 SL was first introduced as a contender for the famous road races of those days. One of the SL models took 2nd place, and another took 4th place, making a very impressive mark on viewers. This was only the beginning of many more racing successes soon after.By Jessica Donaldson
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|• Just announced: RM Auctions secures rare Tucker 48, previously owned by film legend George Lucas, for its Amelia Island, Florida sale, March 9 • The official auction of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, single-day sale features a superb roster of more than 80 blue-chip collector cars • Additional sale highlights include a 1952 Ferrari 225 Sport Vignale Berlinetta, a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster and a 1929 Isotta Fraschini 8A Convertible Sedan • Digital catalogue now available onli...[Read more...]|
|Mercedes-Benz at Pebble Beach Automotive Week: An Expression of Fascinating Design and Innovation|
|•Historical Tribute to SL: W194 Chassis No. 2, 7 and 11 among 300SL vehicles on display •The Concept Style Coupé opens a new chapter and generation of Mercedes-Benz vehicles •AMG 45 year anniversary highlights the pinnacle of performance and style A tribute to Mercedes-Benz SL Roadsters is set for Pebble Beach Automotive Week with three 1952 W194 vehicles among a mix of vintage and new vehicles bearing the three-pointed star that express the marque's breadth and depth of fascinating desi...[Read more...]|
|Mercedes-Benz at Pebble Beach: An Expression of Fascinating Design and Innovation|
|• Historical Tribute to SL: W194 Chassis No. 2, 7 and 11 among 300SL vehicles on display • The Concept Style Coupé opens a new chapter and generation of Mercedes-Benz vehicles • AMG 45 year anniversary highlights the pinnacle of performance and style A tribute to Mercedes-Benz SL Roadsters is set for Pebble Beach weekend with three 1952 W194 vehicles among a mix of vintage and new vehicles bearing the three-pointed star that express the marque's breadth and depth of fascinating design and ...[Read more...]|
|1957 Mercedes-Benz models|
|Mercedes-Benz 190 SL|
|1957 BMW 507|
|Similarly Sized Vehicles from 1957|
|Chevrolet Corvette C1|
|Facel Vega FVS|
|Ford Thunderbird Experimental|
|Ford Thunderbird Model F|
|Ford Thunderbird Phase I SC|
|Studebaker Silver Hawk|
|Other models by Mercedes-Benz|
|1956 300 SL|