Phase one of the restoration is done and the Gullwing is finally on the road! Despite its reputation as being the F1 of its day, Jay was skeptical… until he found this 1955 model languishing in a trailer in the desert.
Introduced in 1954 at the International Auto Show in New York City, Max Hoffman, an importer of European Cars, saw the race version of the Gullwing and told Mercedes-Benz they needed to build a civilian version. Mercedes-Benz said no, but Hoffman persisted stating they must build this car and he would buy them all himself. In the first production year, 1400 were built, 1100 which ended up in the United States.
The 300SL was a car Jay always liked, but didn’t think he’d like to drive. “It looked heavy to me”, he said. After finally purchasing one Jay stated that in fact it was “fantastic to drive”.
“You know there’s some cars you get in and they disappoint you. And then there’s some cars you get in and they’re exactly what you thought they would be like. And then there’s some cars you get in, that just amaze you! This is truly an amazing automobile.”– Jay Leno
Jay Leno’s Garage Official Website