The Mercedes-Benz 300SL stands as one of most memorable coupes of the 50's. The gullwing doors not only disinguish the car stylistically, they provide as a solution to combine a space frame chassis with a coupe bodystyle. The chassis relies on the stressed spaceframe sidemebers which occupy the side sections of the car. In 1957, When the 300SL turned into a roadster, the spaceframe took on a completely new shape which was possible with new technology.
The gullwing coupe was the first true sports-car to be developed by Daimler-Benz after the war. It was introduced in 1952 as a lightweight race car to compete in Mille Milia. In September 1953 the road-going development of 300SL was launched. It was presented in February of 1954 at the International Motor Sports Show in NewYork, based on the racing-car of the 1952 season.
The car utilized an inline-6 from the 300S saloon, with that model's transmission & suspension setups. Unlike the 300S, the engine was positioned at an angle to yeild a low front nose. To aid with engine comparment cooling, two large outlets were added to keep the air flowing outwards.
The streamlined body concealed several other novelties. For the first time fuel injection was used in a road-car car by Mercedes-Benz. An increase of of 40 HP was realized compared to the the carburettor racing version.
Base price: $7 030 USD (1955).