The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL was the only instance to be found of the SL-Class grand tourer. It was also the fastest production car in its time. It debuted as a two-seat coupe in 1954 with its distinct gull wing doors and was later offered to the public as an open roadster. Made by Daimler-Benz AG, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL featured a direct fuel injection model that was inspired by the company’s successful, yet less powerful W194, an overhead, carbureted cam straight 6 1952 racer.
Max Hoffman was the one to suggest a toned-down Grand Prix car that was geared toward performance enthusiasts during the postwar market in America. Mercedes decided to comply with the request and made the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL. It was introduced at the New York Auto Show in 1954. Successful right away and considered iconic to this very day, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL was second to none with its first ever product of injected fuel, its distinctive doors and its world-class speed. The roadster was available from 1957 to 1963.
A slightly heavier yet smaller, cheaper and less luxurious 1.9-liter roadster made the scene in 1955 and was called the 190 SL. Both the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL and the 190 SL prefaced the production of the 230 SL. To this day, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL is regarded as one of the most beautiful and high-performance classic cars, never losing its gusto even after all of the decades that have passed.