When I was in high school, they held a car show one year for students cars. I think it was 1960. One of the guys brought his dads car to the show and it was the first time I had ever seen one of these up close.
Years later, a business partner bought the roadster version. What a beast it was.
They are one of my favorite classic cars of all time.
Here is a little information on this wonderful piece of automotive history:
The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (W198) was the first iteration of the SL-Class grand tourer and fastest production car of its day. Introduced in 1954 as a two-seat coupé with distinctive gull-wing doors, it was later offered as an open roadster.
The idea of a toned-down Grand Prix car tailored to affluent performance enthusiasts in the booming post-war American market was suggested by Max Hoffman. Mercedes accepted the gamble and the new 300 SL – 300 for its 3.0 litre engine displacement and SL for Sport Leicht (Sport Light) – was introduced at the 1954 New York Auto Show rather than the Frankfurt or Geneva gatherings company models made their usual debuts.
Immediately successful and today iconic, the 300 SL stood alone with its distinctive doors, first-ever production fuel injection, and world’s fastest top speed. The original coupé was available from March 1955 to 1957, the roadster from 1957 to 1963.