The Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing is a one-of-a-kind sports car worth $1 million. –
This is a 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL gull wing and it’s an absolute icon.
I consider it to be one of the most beautiful cars ever made and many people consider it to be the world’s first supercar.
It’s certainly a legend one of the most admired cars of all time and easily worth over a million dollars and today I’m going to review it.
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I borrowed this gull wing from the mercedes-benz classic center here in southern california.
the mercedes-benz classic center preserves, restores, and repairs classic mercedes-benz models and it is Supercars are known for having unusual door handles, and this one is no exception.
You walk up and there’s this little strip of silver with a little part protruding at the end now to make this work you push on the part that’s protruding but you don’t push in you push back and that pops out the door handle and you can see there are little slots where you’re supposed to put your fingers in order to open the door so you stick your fingers in there you pull that releases the door and then the magic happens you put your hand into this little slot and it opens the door Before you get in the car, you flip this switch on the steering column, and the steering wheel folds down and towards you, giving you a lot more room in the driver’s footwell area to slide in your knees and legs, and that made entry and exit a lot easier, even with this giant door sill so effectively they solved that problem thanks to this trick folding steering wheel that’s pretty cool but anyway next up I’m sitting in the 300sl migh Next up we climb inside the 300s and I’m going to go over all of the quirks and features in this interior there are quite a few starting with the sheer volume of buttons, switches, and dials on this dashboard take a look at all of this stuff and none of it is labeled so you have no idea what anything does unless you know and the people at mercedes-benz classic center told me.
A lot of this is relatively conventional, but there are a few of oddball controls in here.
The turn signals, for example, are controlled by a stalk that’s mounted here on the right side of the steering column, not on the left like you see in today’s left-hand drive cars, and you move it up or down to turn the signals on or off, which is unusual.
Even more unusual is how the turn signals were mounted on the 300sl roadster, which had this silver circle in the center of the wheel to turn on the left signal you moved this silver circle to the left and t The headlights were controlled by this little switch.
There was nothing unique about it except for the fact that the high lights were operated in the driver’s foot well.
To turn them on, you’d push a small button similar to the dead pedal, and your high beams would turn on.
My favorite quirky control in this interior is this little button over on the passenger side of the dashboard that controls the horn believe it or not now the driver also has a horn control in the center of the steering wheel you press that and the horn sounds but if the passenger wanted to sound the horn they had their own horn button to press.
Before I move on, there are two other little things specific to this car that I’d like to point out.
One is these little bracelet-like things hanging around the steering column.
These are medallions that you get for passing the tech inspection at the mile miglia, which is one of the most famous vintage car races in the world.
It’s very special to enter and participate in that race, and so this car has these little medallions there as a reminder of that.
So the person who originally owned this must have purchased one aftermarket and had it installed because you know mirrors are nice to have but when this car was sold new it only had this dashboard mounted rear view mirror now next to that mirror you can see the ashtray which of course you would expect from a vehicle of this era when you were smoking your cigar while driving around looking stylish you would use that dashboard mounted ashtray and by the way back to the roadst you would use that dashboard mounted ashtray and by the way The thinking was that the roadster was more of a touring car you’d drive around enjoying the sun in fact they specifically designed the roadster for use in the growing california market wealthy people with good weather that was the roadster clients the people who got the coops they were buying more of a traditional race car and so it was a little bit more focused been a little bit less kind of a traditional race car and so it was a little bit more focused been a little bit less kind of Another example of how the roadster was tuned a little more towards comfort and luxury rather than sort of performance and stripping down like the coops could be now one crazy thing about these seats is that they only move forward or backward they do not move up or down and the steering wheel does not move up or down it can swivel to let you get inside but you can’t move the actual positioning that meant if you wanted a higher or lower seat you were just screwed this was the dreaded This little cap unscrews and this is where you put gasoline in your 300 sl and yes, that means you had to open up the trunk every time you wanted to fill up the 300 sl with gas because there wasn’t a separate fuel door where you could easily do that which is pretty crazy now the roadster had some advantages in this area open up the roadster trunk and as you can see it’s an actual cargo area back here pretty large actually and you could buy fitted rims for it which is pretty crazy another big benefit of the roadster it had a fuel door an actual fuel door so you didn’t have to open up the trunk in order to put fuel in the car it had its own separate fuel door like most vehicles do another big roadster benefit over the coupe again the roadster had these sort of refinements and conveniences that the coop didn’t have but anyway a few other things to mention since i’m back here one closing up the trunk you see one of my very favorite 300sl features and that would be this beautiful badge on the back says 300sl underlined this is an iconic image of this car this badge mounted right in the center on the trunk lid looks gorgeous and it’s a little bit curved in order to fit the curvature of the trunk lid which was a cool detail absolutely beautiful and an iconic badge for this car now a couple of other things worth noting since i’m around back one is the lighting there’s not much of it you can see there’s a brake light and a turn signal that’s it there’s no reverse light there’s no third brake light there’s no like led special lighting signature you just had minimal stuff back here although it’s worth noting once again the roadster had a reversing light but the coupes didn’t that was another convenience their luxury touch added to the roadsters this car was all about only what you needed and next up we move back up to the front of the car to go over two of its all-time most famous design details one is this vent on the front fender on the side this obviously would help heat escape from the engine but it became an iconic look of the 300sl and it’s something mercedes-benz has tried to replicate in other supercars and sports cars as the years have gone on and it is gorgeous also a gorgeous design detail in this car is the little eyebrow over the front wheel arch you can see it starts pretty far forward and goes pretty far backward and it turns out that was put on there in order to stop rainwater from coming up from the wheels and hitting the windshield that little eyebrow they called it was enough of a covering over the wheels that it ensured water wouldn’t come up and hit the windshield now the crazy thing is it wasn’t necessary in the back of this car but they added an eyebrow to the rear wheels as well just for symmetry and style purposes to make the car look better so one of the all-time great distinctive 300sl design details those eyebrows over the wheel arches that was actually a functional thing at least up front and not just placed on there for style and finally we move under the hood in the 300sl now to get under here you pull that latch under the dashboard on the driver’s side you pull it really hard and that unlatches the hood and then it’s front hinged so you just lift it up there’s no secondary release under the hood because it’s front hinge so there’s no real risk of it like blowing up accidentally while you’re driving you just lift it up and then kind of latch it into place and you can see the engine this is a three liter six cylinder engine and it had some interesting advancements for one this is fuel injected rather than carbureted like basically every other car from its time this was very advanced it was sort of the forefront of technology and fuel injection was a pretty big deal also this engine is tilted like 45 degrees in order to make it fit in here and in order to get it mounted as low as possible to keep the weight as low as possible and the center of gravity as low as possible which help for handling and performance on the race track now as for power these made 215 horsepower in stock form or you could get an optional like power upgrade to boost it to 240 horsepower and the coupes all of the roadsters came standard with the 240 horsepower upgrade now that doesn’t sound like a lot by modern standards but again the base model corvette from this time period had 150 horsepower porsche 356 had 130 this was a monster by comparison and it did zero to 60 and like the low nine second range again not incredibly fast but compared to other sports cars it was huge so huge in fact that this was the fastest production car on the planet when it was built it could do around 160 miles an hour which was a serious figure and this had the title of the world’s fastest production car for a few years the bugatti veyron of its time but anyway next a few general sl things I want to cover for one I mentioned earlier that the coupe was like the performancy racy version and the roadster was more for like touring and relaxed driving and that was true in a lot of ways I already mentioned all the convenience and luxury features the roadster added but it was also about weight the roadster is about 275 pounds heavier than the coupe even though the roadster didn’t have a roof largely due to added stuff and changing around the subframe The coupe was the lighter, racier version of this car with fewer compromises now as for pricing when this car was new the coop it started around 6 800 in 1954 which translates to about 70 000 today a pretty good bargain when the roadster came out a few years later it had a starting price of around 11 000 which translates to about 110 to 115 000 today a pretty good bargain when you think about buying the fastest car in the world and obviously val when you think about buying the fastest car in the world Now it’s time to take it out on the road and see how it handles.
Driving the 300 SL is an incredible experience.
The sense of wonder you get when you go behind the wheel of this vehicle is incredible, and I’m really pleased to be able to do it.
The first thing I notice when I sit here is that it’s a little tight in here, particularly for legs and knees.
If you’re tall, you’ll have a problem, but I can handle it.
The next thing I noticed and I’m really surprised to report this is the shifter action and the clutch is like fine the clutch is pretty heavy but it’s very linear very easy to figure out where you are and the shifter i’ve driven a lot of old cars with disastrous shifters they’re vague you don’t know what you’re doing you don’t know whet you’re doing you don’t know whet you’re doing you don’t know whet you’re doing This is one of my all-time dream cars I truly believe it’s one of the coolest, most beautiful, and most unique cars ever made now the turn signals don’t cancel themselves you have to remember to do that yourself you have a little red light that blinks and warns you that they’re still on it doesn’t tell you which one you just have to know that it’s fairly common in cars from this era i’m amazed at how relatively simple this car is to drive it’s ju This is the 19th 300sl ever built, so it’s a pretty special and unique and exciting car.
I’m really impressed by how well this car is put together and how nice it feels how well put together it feels so many of these vintage cars just feel like a complete disaster honestly, but the charm of the car is in the way that it looks and in this car honestly it drives and feels like a pretty well-built and well-executed car and This is one of the few cars in the world where the coop is more valuable because these doors are such a special thing that’s my real takeaway from this, especially having driven lamborghinis and ferraris from a little later era 70s they’re not like this this car seems to be better put together even 20 years before cars like the countach and the ferrari boxer camera phones out the windows that’s something you have to deal with driving a 300sl.
altogether a fantastic experience This car is absolutely amazing really really beautiful obviously but it also drives well it’s not incredibly fast by modern standards but the iconic status of this car is what you’re looking for and it’s amazing to drive and so that’s the 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL gull wing one of the most amazing and special and iconic and legendary cars ever built for me this is in the top five most beautiful cars of all time and so that’s the 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL gull wing one of the most amazing and The acceleration from 0 to 60 seconds is over 8 seconds, therefore it receives a 1 out of 10 rating.
It scores a 5 out of 10 for handling, which is shockingly nice, secure, and steady faster than I anticipated.
The enjoyment level is also more than I anticipated.
Driving this car is mostly fun and not as much work as some older vehicles, but it isn’t particularly fast or insane, earning it a six out of ten cool factor.
The ultimate cool factor, however, is given to one of the coolest cars ever made, earning it a ten out of ten for a total weekend score of 32 out of 50.
The daily categories and features come next.
The gold wing doesn’t have much and gets a one out of ten for comfort.
It’s a little snug inside, but the ride is quite compliant and the seats are nice, so it gets a five out of ten for comfort.
The quality is excellent.
For older exotic automobiles, they are rather dependable.
The materials are beautiful, and it receives a 7 out of 10 rating.
Practicality is only acceptable.
There’s room for two people and luggage, but not much because the trunk is taken up by a tire, so it only gets a two out of ten.
Finally, value and these are big money, over a million dollars for a fairly normal one, which is a lot of money, but you’re also buying one of the all-time automotive icons, and it’s not like it’s losing value, so it gets a seven out of ten for a total daily score of 22 out of 50 The dug score is 54 out of 100, which puts it in this category with several other important vehicles.
I don’t often test older cars because there isn’t much to compare them to, but the gold wing is only a point behind the ferrari 250 gt luso, which was released a decade later.
The gold wing is a truly special car, and I consider myself incredibly fortunate that I was given the opportunity to review it.