Sunday Drive: 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing

As promised, today’s ride is the 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing.

It started out as a thoroughbred road racing car in 1952 and ended its era as an extremely fast convertible for the very wealthy in 1963. The 300 SL made an impressive impact on car enthusiasts everywhere, so much so that there has been an SL model in the Mercedes range ever since. Although all succeeding Mercedes SL models are sporty, special and much loved, not one of them was able to live up to its famous ancestor in terms of originality, styling and extreme engineering.

The 300 SL, which went into production in 1954, was a dream car from the moment it came onto the market. Its 215HP 3-liter 6-cylinder engine gave the 300 SL a top speed of 250 km/h.

Suspension was independent all around and using coil springs, with upper and lower A-arm in front, with the massive 10.2 inch drums 3.5 inches in width. The Gullwing weighed close to 3000 pounds and was still able to give an impressive performance with 0-60 MPH in 7.4 sec. (quite impressive in the 1954-55), and a maximum speed of 140 MPH. Nowadays, the Gullwing is one of the true collector car and to be able to afford one would be very nice.

The elongated snout and elaborate chrome grille moldings hint at Mercedes’ pre-war luxury land barges while fastback roof, low-slung greenhouse, and sloping bodylines clearly indicate the car’s racy roots. The Gullwing doors are whimsical, almost superfluous. But perch that coupe on some high place, with both doors popped out and the sun crawling down the horizon, and tell me that the 300SL isn’t ready to catch some wind, catch fire, and disappear. (Brings to mind Sally Field of “Flying Nun” fame, eh?)

1952-63 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing
Car Specifications:
Engine – 3.0L Inline 6
BHP – 243
lb-ft – 217
weight – n/a
0-60 – 8.2 seconds
0-100 – n/a
top speed – 146

Information courtesy Enjoy!

NOTE: You can see more of this and other classic and exotic cars at my Exotic Car Gallery.

1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing black=b.jpg

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