Perhaps the most legendary and charismatic car of the early post 1945 era, the 300SL coupé is forever remembered for its distinctive gullwing doors. Significantly, they were no stylistic whim buy played a very real functional role, because at the heart of the car was a light but complex tubular space-frame structure. To provide the necessary rigidity, it had to intrude into part of the space usually occupied by conventionally hung doors so the car’s designers decided, ingeniously, to hinge them from the roof.
Titled 300SL, on account of its being a 3 liter super light car, it first appeared at the 1952 Mille Miglia competition in May, won the sports race at the Swiss Grand Prix later in the month and went on to take first and second places at Le Mans. Later, in November, the 300Sls were similarly successful across the Atlantic in the Mexico City Road Race. There was also a roadster version of the design, and, at a sports car meeting at the Nürburgring, it scored an impressive one, two, three victory.
The model was only produced in left-hand-drive form. This is a expensive car in its days, costing a substantial (libras) 4932.
Engine: six cylinder, single overhead camshaft, 85x88mm 2996 cc. Compression ratio. 8.5:1 max Power 190bhp at 6000 rpm, Max torque, 207 lb/ft at 5000 rpm.