Mercedes introduced the 300SL to the press

Wednesday 12th March 1952

Mercedes introduced the 300SL to the press. With a sleek rounded body, gull-wing doors and a detachable steering wheel, the 300SL created quite a buzz. As a race car, the 300SL enjoyed paramount success, capturing victories at Le Mans, the German Grand Prix, and the Carrera PanAmericana in Mexico. However, despite its racing success, the 300SL race car will forever be remembered for its role in one of motor racing’s greatest tragedy. Careening out of control in the 1955 race at Le Mans, the 300SL crashed into the gallery. Eighty spectators died and, in respect to the victims of the accident, Mercedes-Benz pulled its cars out of racing competition for nearly three decades. Two years after the introduction of the 300SL, Mercedes introduced the 300SL coupe to the public. A stylish sports car also characterized by its gull-wing doors, the coupe was a consumer version of the 300SL racecar. With a six-cylinder engine and a top speed of 155mph, the two-door coupe created a sensation among wealthy car buyers who actually waited in line to buy it. However, because of the impracticality of the gull-wing doors, the company only manufactured 1,400 300SL coupes. Nevertheless, the 300SL coupe is widely considered one of the most impressive sports cars of the decade.

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