Check out this great article along with a superb video by EVO of the 300SL in action on the track …well, sort of!
The Gullwing gets more incredible the longer you think about it.
Original Article – Road & Track – January 23, 2016
Many top-dollar classic cars are overhyped. The Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing is not one of those cars. As our friends at Evo find out in their most recent video, the Gullwing’s reputation is extremely well deserved.
While the 1955 300SL featured here isn’t fast by modern standards, the performance was fairly mind-blowing for the day. The 215 horsepower, direct-injected straight-six propelled the 300SL from 0-60 mph in 8.5 seconds and to a top speed of 161 mph. Handling, thanks to a swing-axle rear suspension is challenging, and the drum brakes are very of the era.
Evo’s Nick Trott says the gearshift is one of the best he’s ever experienced and the sound is raw and angry; a 1950s version of the sort of aural delight of today’s Mercedes-AMG models.
The 300SL was an unbelievable technical achievement, but what’s most amazing is that the car exists at all. The racecar from which the 300SL road car was derived was built only a few years after German industry was decimated by the WWII and Mercedes had to be convinced by U.S. importer Max Hoffman to build a road car at all.
Hoffman placed 500 orders for a 300SL road car, and the rest is history. A miraculous car, in more ways than one.