This coupe, chassis number 001/52, is the only officially recognized prototype of the 300 SL. It has bodywork made entirely of Elektron, a magnesium alloy, which reduced the overall weight of the earlier W194 by 85 kilos. Optimized in a wind tunnel, it gained not only a new face, but also better airflow through the engine compartment. Unlike other 300 SLs this car never raced and was affectionately referred to by Mercedes-Benz as the 'carpenter's plane' on account of its very different front end. But its bodywork with its angular radiator, compact dimensions and ventilation fins, as well as its engine with direct petrol injection, showed the genes that were to make the 300 SL production sports car of 1954 unique.