Top Speed: 135 MPH
0-60: 8.8 Seconds
Horsepower: 212 @ 5800 RPM
Torque: 203 @ 4600 RPM
Transmission: 4 Speed Manual
The groundbreaking 300SL coupe was based on the Le Mans-winning racer of the same name. It shared the low-weight, low-drag philosophies of its track-bred brother but it trumped it in one important area: power.
At a time when Europe was still recovering from World War II, Mercedes-Benz' 'race car for the street' was introduced at the 1954 New York Auto Show and squarely aimed at affluent post-war America. Sculpted from steel and aluminum, the 300SL boasted precise steering and four-wheel independent suspension -- both impressive feats of engineering for the time -- as well as its distinctive 'gullwing' doors. Few realize, however, that these were a necessity rather than a fashion statement, their presence a result of the upward encroachment of the car’s lightweight tubular chassis frame.
It was this attention-to-detail, allied with the 300SL’s 212-bhp, 3.0-liter direct-injection straight-six that spawned the fastest production car of its time. A coupe that could accelerate to 60 mph in under nine seconds and reach a top speed of almost 140 mph.
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