Mercedes Benz is well known for the best cars. As the face of the German automotive industry, the Mercedes Benz SL300 has a long history. In the 1950s, cars used to have no concept whatsoever of aerodynamics. It is normal to see cars that are boxed shape creating lift instead of downforce. The SL300 is the pioneer of all the SL Class GT cars. Introduced to the public in 1954, it showcases one of a kind gull-wing door for a 1950s GT car.
The Mercedes Benz SL300 was built by Daimler Benz AG. The Mercedes Benz SL 300 was introduced in the market because of the booming American post-war economy. The name for the Mercedes Benz SL300 was from its displacement.
To prove that Mercedes Benz is one of the best in the automotive industry, the company created the Mercedes Benz SL300 as the first-ever production car to have a fuel-injected engine. Also, the Mercedes Benz SL300 was also the world’s fastest car during its time.
A trademark of the Mercedes Benz SL300 was the gull-wing doors. This wasn’t part of the original 1950s Mercedes Benz SL300 though. In fact, the gull-wing doors were only added in 1955. Despite being introduced late for the series, it became the trademark of the SL300.
The genius behind the importation of the Mercedes Benz SL300 to North America was Max Hoffman. He became the official importer of Daimler Benz during the post Second World War. A street version of the SL300 was released by Mercedes Benz in order to dominate the US market. During the 1950s, most cars were actually made of steel.
For the Mercedes Benz SL300, they utilized aluminum in order to reduce the weight of the GT car. Though the company paid a great amount of money for aluminum materials, the Mercedes Benz SL300 reduced the weight of the vehicle by as much as 176 pounds.
The main market for the Mercedes Benz SL300 was America. The 1400 units produced by Mercedes Benz for the SL300 was dominantly sold in the US market. In fact, 80% of the total cars produced were sold in the US. This validated Hoffman’s suggestion to penetrate the US market.
One of the things that made Mercedes Benz popular was its engine. For the Mercedes Benz SL300, the company made use of a straight six-cylinder engine. As the first engine ever to use a gasoline direct injection, it doubled the power of conventional vehicles of that time. This innovation made the Mercedes Benz SL300 run a top speed of 260 kilometers per hour, a feat that even today is impressive.
The problem with the Mercedes Benz SL300’s engine was that it was high maintenance. The large oil cooler becomes a problem for most owners, as this was designed for the race track than for the streets according to its critics.
Mercedes Benz proved to be a pioneer not only in designing engines but also in designing a car’s body. The SL300 has less drag than most cars of its time. In fact, the Mercedes Benz SL300 was advanced for its time. The SL300 already showcased better aerodynamic design than cars that will appear in the market 2 decades after the debut of Mercedes Benz SL300.
The SL300 made a trend for the SL class. It offered elegance and performance worthy to become a classic. Today, there are SLS models. But without the SL300, these cars wouldn’t be what they are today.