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Oldtimer | 05.10.2012 - 22:08

Mercedes 300SL Gullwing

Mercedes 300SL Gullwing was and is a breakthrough vehicle due to its gull-wing doors that were introduced on the car in 1954.
Mercedes 300SL Gullwing
Mercedes 300SL Gullwing

Known for its vintage appeal and steel body, the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing is one of the quintessential classic driving sports cars to date.

 

The Gullwing that was sold initially between 1955 and 1957 now sells for upwards of $700,000 to $1,000,000 today. And, the Gullwing is ranked among the top 5 sports cars of all time in Sports Car International magazine.

 

The vehicle was and is a breakthrough vehicle due to its gull-wing doors that were introduced on the car in 1954. Gull-wing doors refer to the fact that the doors actually open upwards, as opposed to sideways. The hinges are on the roof in a gull-wing vehicle as opposed to the sides of the vehicle.

 

Aside from the idea that gull-wing doors are stylistic and have an interesting appearance, they also have a practical approach as well, since they need less space than conventional doors in order to open and close. Initially the Mercedes 300SL was a two-seat sports car and later it was offered as a roadster. Aside from the distinctive gull-wing doors, the Mercedes 300SL is also the first ever consumer fuel injection vehicle, along with the fact that it had the world’s top speed at the time because of the way it was built along with its aerodynamics. The car was definitely revolutionary.


The Mercedes 300SL Gullwing has an amazing racing history. The vehicle scored a tremendous amount of wins in the year 1952 in countless races, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in Bern-Bremgarten, in Mexico’s Carrera Panamericana, and in the sportscar rate of the Eifelrennen at the Nurburgring. It was surprising, to say the least, that the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing scored such high marks, especially when you take into consideration its top speed was only 175 hp, which was much less than the top speeds of both the jaguar and the Ferrari. Currently, the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing is not produced anymore, but it is said that the Mercedes Benz SLS AMG is the Gullwings successor.

 

The AMG is lighter than the Gullwing, but in terms of performance and speed, the AMG runs a close second to the Gullwing. The statistics of the Gullwing include 2 doors and 4-speed manual transmission. The Mercedes 300SL Gullwing is considered a sports car, GT and was produced in Stuttgart-Unterturkheim in Germany. The racing car was built between 1952 and 1953 and the production car was built between 1954 and 1963. Overall, there were 3,258 Mercedes 300SL gullwing vehicles built, 1,400 of them were coupes and 1,858 of them were roadsters. The total weight of the Gullwing is 2,410 pounds and its wheelbase is 94.5 inches.

 

The total height of the vehicle is 51.2 inches and the total length is 178.0 inches. The vehicle is made of steel, except of the aluminum hood, doors and trunk lid. And, more than 80% of the gullwing sales were in the US, making it the first vehicle to be sold in bulk out of its home market.

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