Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing
1955 Mercedes 300 SL 'Gullwing' finished in Mercedes Racing Silver with Biscuit Brown hide.
The Mercedes-Benz 300SL was concieved for the 1952 racing season; an experiment to test the waters before the brands full-scale return to competition. Needless to say, the 300 SL was an instant success in the racing world; 2nd and 4th at Mille Miglia and victories at Le Mans and Nurburgring, cemented the Gullwings legacy in terms of competition.
Although there was no intention to create a road-going 300SL, the US importer Max Hoffman convinced the brand to create 1,000 of them to be sent to the US market. Although these sort of production figures were difficult, due to the complex nature of the 300SL, Mercedes did manage to create the iconic road car that we know today.
One of the key changed from competition to street-usage was a swap of carbs to fuel injection, this Bosch unit the first for any production car. Further the majority of Gullwings came in steel rather than the aluminium of the competition car (apart from 29 examples). However, the 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine remained similar to that of the competition variant and one of the first true supercars was born.
The 300 SL was in fact the first Mercedes to be introduced to the US before being shown in Germany, revealed in New York in Feb 1954, taking the automotive world by storm. Its 150mph top speed made it the fastest production car in the world, which when combined with such styling and of course the Gullwing doors, creates a vehicle of legendary status; even today remaining one of the most recognised and coveted sports cars ever built.
In total around 1,400 units were produced; exceeding the original ambitious request of Mr. Hoffman, before the semi hand-build Gullwing was replaced by the 300 SL roadster in 1957.
This example is finished in Mercedes Racing Silver with Biscuit Brown interior, sitting in what we believe to be its original combination. 1955 was the most successful year for the Gullwing, and this EU spec vehicle is a fantastic example sitting in very good condition all round. The Gullwing is a vehicle that will forever be recognised as one of the finest cars ever made; not only one of the best cars to drive and look at, but also one of the safest investments in the market.