From August 1954 through May 1957, a total of only 1,400 300 SL "Gull Wing" cars were built. Of these, approximately 1,100 were sold in the United States. In many ways, this car was far ahead of its time. For instance, the trademark gull wing doors were not a design exercise but were a necessity as the car was built around a light weight tube chassis often described as a bird cage type chassis.
The dry-sump oil system was also a necessity in order to let the engine be tilted to its' side 50 degrees. This allowed for the low hood line and sleek design. The fuel injection was the first on a mass produced car. (General Motors came out with a fuel "induction" system in 1957.) By utilizing 10 1/4 inch diameter by 3.54 inch wide drum brakes with aluminum cooling fins and steel liner inserts front and rear, the braking system was very good. However, keep in mind, this was prior to the advent of the far superior disc brakes which were utilized on the 1957 built cars.
The 300 SL Gull-Wing was not only beautiful but also the fastest production car of the day and could reach speeds of approximately 150 miles per hour. It remains one of the most coveted collector cars ever.
1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL
- Year Built: 1955
- Vehicle Type:300 SL "Gull Wing"
- Built By: Mercedes Benz
- Suspension: 4 Wheel Independent, Coil Spring Front and Rear
- Engine: 183 cubic inch In-line 6 cylinder, Fuel Injected, Dry-Sump Oil System 215 hp
- Owner: Woodland Family Collection