Celebrating 60 Years of The Mercedes SL Roadster
Like all German manufacturers, it took a variety of years for Mercedes to rebuild its reputation following the end of the Second World War. Thanks to an unnerving focus on racing and efficiency upon returning to competitors in 1952, within two years the three-pointed star was when again the dominant force in motorsport.But it likewise desired to be a dominant force in the United States car market and thanks to Max Hoffman, a Vienna-born racing driver turned US-based European car importer, it rapidly found the answer.Hoffman complained that the marque didn’t have a” crowd puller “to get United States clients thrilled. To provide him with an out-and-out sportscar, Mercedes had the innovative idea of using its racing vehicle, the 300SL Gullwing, as a road vehicle for the well-off, a move that basically set the initial template for the supercar, a car that integrated astonishing performance with remarkable aesthetics.Yet, despite the
overwhelmingly favorable reception the cars and truck received upon its launch in New York in 1954 (Americans would snap up 800 of the 1,400 Gullwings built between 1954 and 1957), Hoffman still wasn’t satisfied and required that the company provide him with a convertible roadster variation, too.So that very same year, head designer Friedrich Geiger took the SL back to the drawing board and enhanced its low drag appearance while streamlining every aspect that might be a hindrance to “care-free” outdoor motoring.This meant a total reimagining of the chassis. The Gullwing used a spaceframe that rose along the vehicle’s sides so half-size upward opening doors was the only method to allow anybody into or from the vehicle. The changes made it possible for the car to have standard doors, a generous trunk and adequate space for a more intricate suspension established to actually improve handling.But they didn’t hinder performance. With a racing windshield fitted and
the traveler seat covered, the vehicle handled a typical speed of 242.5 km: h on the on the Munich-Ingolstadt motorway.Between 1957 and 1963, despite being among the most costly vehicles on the planet– it cost$10,900 in standard spec– Mercedes offered 1,858 300SL Roadsters prior to changing it with the W113 series SL, much better referred to as the Pagoda, but once again supervised by Friedrich Geiger.The vehicle sealed Mercedes ‘place in the US awareness, too. Between 1936 and 1941, the firm had actually exported
a grand total of 41 automobiles to the nation. Yet with Hoffman assisting assist the company, by 1957, the business was exporting 6,048 cars to the United States yearly.Today, even 300SL Roadsters in poor condition easily bring$1 million+at auction, making it one of the most collectible and desired Mercedes in history.