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1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL In a Hillclimb
One of the most fabulous cars of all time is the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL series. Max Hoffman, the legendary U.S. car importer, was Mercedes’ U.S. distributor in the early 1950s. Hoffman encouraged M-B to build a street version of the W194 Formula One race car. The result was the 300 SL coupes and roadsters.
Mercedes’ chief engineer, Rudolph Uhlenhaut, had designed a light weight space frame around which the W194 was built. The space frame ate up half of the space that would normally have been for the doors. This dictated that the doors swing up, thus the Flügeltürs – gull wing doors.
Power came from the 3 liter inline six engine that powered the 300 series “Adenhauer” sedans. The engine was fitted with Bosch mechanical fuel injection, thus becoming the world’s first car with fuel injection as standard equipment. (The planned but unbuilt ’57 Packards were to have been fitted with fuel injection and would have become the first American production cars with FI.) Mercedes’ swing axle independent suspension system was fitted at the rear.
The coupe version was available from 1955 – 1957. The coupe was dropped at the end of the ’57 model year when a roadster version was introduced. The roadster was in production through the end of the 1963 model year.
In the video we see driver Daniel Müller of the Swiss Historic Racing Team driving a ’55 300 SL in a hill climb. Notice how well he handles the car, even as he drives at great speed through slick spots on the pavement. The video shows what a superb car the 300 SL is, definitely a driver’s car.
Watch the video(5 min 32 sec):