Wednesday, April 26, 2017

1954 Mercedes Benz 300 SL ‘Gullwing’ Coupe

One of the most iconic cars in existence, the 300 SL, with its upwards-opening ‘Gullwing’ doors was the first in a line of performance-focused Mercedes SL models that continues to this day. With a revolutionary fuel-injected engine and the title of world’s fastest production car — with a speed of 161 mph — the 300 SL has all the parts needed for supercar status.

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (W198) was the first iteration of the SL-Class grand tourer. Introduced in 1954 as a two-seat coupé, it was later offered as an open roadster. The original coupé was available from March 1955 to 1957, the roadster from 1957 to 1963.
The 300 SL's main body was steel, with aluminum hood, doors and trunk lid. It could be ordered with an 80 kg (180 lb) saving all-aluminium outer skin at tremendous added cost; just 29 were made.

80% of the vehicle's production of approximately 1400 units were sold in the US, making the Gullwing the first Mercedes widely successful outside its home market. The 300 SL is credited with changing the company's image in America to a maker of high-performance sports cars.
Derived from the DB 601 V12 used on the high-powered Messerschmitt Bf 109E fighter of World War II, the 300 SL put out 175 hp to 215 hp. The result was a top speed of up to 260 km/h (160 mph), making the 300 SL the fastest production car of its time. A four speed manual was standard.
The 300 SL is considered one of the most collectible Mercedes-Benz models, with prices generally in the US$1,000,000–2,500,000 range.