The evocative 300SL Coupe, a.k.a. the Gullwing, was an epochal moment in Mercedes-Benz road car production. Building on the foundations of the 1952 race car that won both Le Mans and the Carrera Panamericana, it featured a space frame chassis, a dry-sump fuel-injected six-cylinder engine and majestic body featuring those iconic doors – it was a glorious beast in all respects.
Riding fast on big brother’s coat tails was the 190SL. While the Gullwing was all race-derived glory, its little sibling was aimed directly at North America’s affluent boulevards. Aesthetically, it looked like a scaled down version minus the tin top – no bad thing, at all. That combination being perfect for its target market and between ’54 and ’63 Mercedes-Benz would ship an impressive 25,881 units.
Power came via a twin carburettor version of the standard 190’s 1.9-litre lump, which was good for 105bhp @ 5700rpm. The four-speed ‘box was floor-mounted with synchromesh on every cog and the brakes received a servo in production year 2.
Such was the success of both the Gullwing and the 190SL that a full fat 300SL Roadster followed in 1957. Ever since those heady Fifties and early Sixties days, the letters SL have held special significance for Mercedes-Benz fans.
Luckily the people behind the Three-Pointed Star have continued to endow us with generation after generation of their Sport Leicht beauties, but none have quite entranced as much as the elegantly beautiful originals.
Time to introduce a very intriguing RHD restoration project; this 190SL hasn’t turned a wheel since being parked up in a barn back in the mid-1970s and is ripe for resurrection.
It will also be sold in a No-Reserve auction!