- After an impressive racing record, the 300 SL went into general production in 1954.
- This is one of the most popular sports cars produced, especially with its “gull wing” doors.
- The advertised top speed was 146 mph.
- It came with special fitted luggage.
In 1952, after an interval of more than ten years, Daimler-Benz again began producing a sports car, the 300 SL. The designation “SL” (Sport-Light) was used to describe a design in which the frame was a light, but very stiff lattice structure of thin welded steel tubing. The outer body covering was also very light as the lattice structure had to bear all the stresses.
The engine was developed from that of the model 300 S and was mounted at an angle to provide a better view ahead. The 300 SL model was then tested in the sports car races of 1952, winning the Swiss Grand Prix, the 24-hour Le Mans, the German Grand Prix and the third Carrera Pan-Americana in Mexico against the fiercest international competition. The 300 SL went into general production in 1954 and many improvements were made as a result of the experience gained in racing.
This 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gull Wing” Sports Coupe came with special fitted luggage its advertised top speed was 146 mph. It was entered in the 1959 Bonneville Salt Flats Class D speed trials and set a new record at 143.769 mph. With the engine’s direct fuel injection to each cylinder, the car’s unique styling and “gull wing” doors that open upward, the 300 SL was one of the most popular sports cars produced. Mercedes-Benz 300 SL production ceased after 1957 and was followed by the introduction of the 300 SLR roadster model from 1957 through 1963.