19541957 MercedesBenz 300SL Gullwing Coupe

10 Апр 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »


(from DaimlerChrysler Press Eternal youth is a miracle on only a small number of and the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL coupe is one of this group. The Stuttgart-based brand its new sports car in February 1954 at the Motor Sports Show in New and in so doing lit the fuse for an icon of the world. With its flat, body, the 300 SL had lost nothing of its even as the millennium drew to a and was voted “Sports car of the Century” in “Gullwing” doors provided essential touch of inspiration, up towards the sky to reveal a tightly interior. The history of the 300 SL is inextricably with the life of an influential American importer Maximilian E. it was who urged Mercedes-Benz to build a car in the image of its racing coupe, the of production in 1954 providing a fruit for his endeavors. The assembly may have waved goodbye to the of the only 1,400 units of the 300 SL ever made in 1957, but the of this extraordinary car most lives on.

From the race-track to the

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL was conceived initially as a racing sports car (W 194). In the coupe notched up an impressive of success in the year’s major At the Grand Prix in Bern the 300 SL a clean sweep of the podium an awesome performance backed up by a finish ahead of a stunned in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Nьrburgring yielded another one-two-three, and the new racing sports car also victory in the Carrera Panamericana in It all added up to a majestic return to sport for Mercedes-Benz, picking up the brand had left off during a successful period before the World War.

Although there were no plans to send the 300 SL into production, the Daimler-Benz Board had left with the words of (“Maxi”) Hoffman ringing in ears. The official importer of cars into America tirelessly for a sports car to offer his clientele, and the 300 SL racer fitted the perfectly. After lengthy the green light was given for production of the road-trim 300 SL (W 198), as as a smaller, open-top sports the 190 SL (W 121).

The two models were due to their premieres less six months after the Board had the project their approval. The was the International Motor Sports taking place in New York February 6 –14, 1954 and at the America’s most important show. The engineers rose to the of their race against the and the 300 SL and its smaller brother, the 190 SL, were to receive the acclaim of the admiring Series production began in in August 1954 and the price was at 29,000 Marks – a quite sum at the time, especially when you the new model alongside the Mercedes-Benz 170 Vb – on at 7,900 Marks.

The body

The of the 300 SL was developed with the primary aim of aerodynamic drag to a minimum. The was a streamlined form with few a car which adhered faithfully to its brief and which has retained its and allure to the present day. proportioned and extremely dynamic, it was as if the 300 SL – forward on its wheels – had been cut a single mold.

The new sports car was a real crowd-puller, in no small measure to its wonderfully “gullwing” doors. Rather serving merely as a stylistic they represented the central of the 300 SL design, the ultimate example of as the mother of invention. The car’s skin was stretched over a frame, which – in the interests of – rose much further usual up the sides of the vehicle, it impossible to fit conventional doors. The of the engineers was to devise an upwards-opening concept. The elegance of the car’s view remained undisturbed by a handle, with a discreet bar disengaging the lock. The door opened upwards with the of a telescopic spring.

The tubular for the 300 SL, designed by Rudolf Uhlenhaut, weight to a minimum but provided strength. A series of extremely tubes were welded into triangles to produce a which boasted impressive stiffness and was only subjected to and tensile forces. In the standard SL the tipped the scales at only 82 whilst the complete car in ready-to-drive and including the spare wheel, and fuel weighed in at 1,295

The body of the 300 SL was constructed largely out of sheet steel, although was used for the engine hood, lid and the skin panels for the door and doors. For a relatively small charge, customers could to have the whole body from light alloy, cut 80 kilograms off the car’s total However, only 29 SL customers up this option and today cars are highly sought-after

The technology

The technical make-up of the 300 SL much to the Mercedes-Benz 300 (W 186 II) sedan, the of choice for many statesmen and and also known as the “Adenauer The six-cylinder engine featured a of modifications, one of which saw the carburetor by a direction injection system – a advance which was years of its time. This new technology output to 158 kW (215 hp) and the car’s speed up as far as 260 km/h, depending on the axle ratio. Customers order their SL with a of five different ratios. The 1:3.64 variant was set up primarily to rapid acceleration and capable of 235 The 1:3.89 and 1:4.11 ratios good for even faster whilst the 1:3.42 option a higher top speed. This rose still further – to 260 – when the ratio was set at 1:3.25. this “resulted in greatly acceleration, making the car less to drive in downtown city as the sales information pointed The 300 SL hit 100 km/h in just 10 seconds, car testers at the time measuring consumption at an average of 15 liters per 100 km. A fuel tank was positioned at the of the car and could be enlarged to 130 liters at an charge.

The engine had to be tilted 45 to the left in order to squeeze the hood of what was an extremely car, thus reducing the of space in the passenger-side footwell. The center of gravity was almost in the middle of the car, laying the foundations for fast and precise The chassis was essentially the same as the sedan’s, but with sportier and the drum brakes were in response to the increased performance of the sports car. Only in the 1961 roadster variant, these replaced by disc all round.

The interior

The interior of the 300 SL was more than spectacular. The standard seat upholstery was available in a of three checked patterns, but customers opted for leather The body paintwork came in metallic as standard, although dark blue and black proved popular.

A shortage of made getting into the 300 SL of a challenge – this was, all, a sports car. the steering wheel could be down, allowing the driver to his or her legs in the direction of the pedals. seated, the driver enjoyed an impressively refined cockpit The steering wheel was just the distance for the arms to reach and the feet moved intuitively the pedals: the 300 SL was very much a car. In addition, the instrument was extremely tidy and clearly with the rev counter and speedometer in the of the driver’s field of vision, as you expect.

The handling characteristics

Out on the you quickly realized why the 300 SL had been with those particular – the car was certainly Sporty and Light. an engine delivering 215 hp and a total of only around 1,300 acceleration was suitably impressive – with the right choice of axle ratio. Exceptional ensured good pulling at any speed. The steering was direct and the made sure that the car the road nicely. There’s no that the 300 SL was a sports car of the finest That said, it was far from as many owners were to appreciate. For them, this was a touring car which offered driving characteristics but which sapping the energy of the driver The trunk was sufficiently large, as it was by the extra room behind the for additional baggage. Plus, could order a made-to-measure set designed to make the most of the available.

How the press saw the 300 SL

The press at the time falling over themselves to praise on the 300 SL. “Autosport” reported “The exterior form of the 300 SL is wonderful and its performance almost The construction of the car and its production quality are class and the whole concept an uncompromising realization of all the new ideas.” its initial test, “Road wrote: “We are looking at a car where a interior is complemented by remarkably handling characteristics, quite roadholding, light and precise and performance levels which are up with – and even an improvement on – the cars the automotive industry has to There is only one thing to say: the sports car of the future has a reality.” And “auto, motor und noted: “The Mercedes 300 SL is the refined and at the same time the inspirational sports car of our era – an automotive

Maxi Hoffman keeps up the

The first units of the 300 SL were in Europe in 1954, whilst Hoffman received his first car in March 1955. A total of Gullwings rolled off the production the lion’s share of which – 1,100 units – found way to the USA. Hoffman had thus the response of the market to the car extremely and had every right to be satisfied his work. However, he had also in stoking the expectations of his discerning who now wanted a touch more in their cars, a larger and, in many cases, a version. Hoffman passed the on to Stuttgart and once again his bore fruit – this in the form of the 300 SL roadster (W 198 II) unveiled in

Success on racetracks and rally

The racing genes of the 300 SL tempted racing drivers and privateers all over the world to enter car races and rallies. The 300 SL made its appearances in the popular racing of the time in 1955 – and didn’t to wait long before success. The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL attained status well before the lines ground to a halt, in part to its success in race but most of all to the captivating allure of its design. The 300 SL has been counted the world’s most sought-after and rated cars for 50 years and its status as one of the most revered automobiles on the market is set to remain for quite some time to

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