- Car Inventory
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL
Miles: 54,074 – Original
Production (1956): 308 units
Engine: 3.0L In Line 6 Cyl.
Transmission: 4 Speed Manual
Paint: DB050 (White)
Interior: Red (Leather)
This 300SL Mercedes-Benz Gullwing has been in storage since 1979. Recently we pulled it out of the storage and we are excited to share with you this amazing Gullwing. Very early 1955 production with some 1954 parts. You must see the car to appreciate.
We welcome inspections by appointment. Please call the office (561) 568-5906 for more details.
Palm Beach Classics, can assist with shipping worldwide.
The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (chassis code W 198) is a two-seat sports car which was produced by Mercedes-Benz as a gullwinged coupe (1954–1957) and roadster (1957–1963). It was based on the company’s 1952 racer, the W194, with mechanical direct fuel injection which boosted power almost 50 percent in its three-liter overhead camshaft straight-six engine. Capable of reaching a top speed of up to 263 km/h (163 mph), it was a sports car racing champion and the fastest production car of its time.
Max Hoffman, Mercedes-Benz’s United States importer at the time, inspired the 300 SL and saw an American market for such a car. The company introduced the 300 SL in February 1954 at the International Motor Sports Show in New York City (instead of Europe) to get it into U.S. buyers’ hands sooner.
SL is the short form for “super-light” in German (super-leicht)
Mass production of the 300 SL was not initially planned. The idea of a toned-down Grand Prix car for affluent performance enthusiasts in the booming post-war American market was suggested by Max Hoffman at a 1953 directors’ meeting in Stuttgart. Mercedes’ new general director, Fritz Konecke, agreed to Hoffman’s order for 1,000 cars; the 300 SL was introduced at the February 1954 New York International Auto Show instead of the Frankfurt or Geneva shows, where company models usually debuted. Production of a smaller roadster, the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL, was announced after Hoffman ordered another 1,000 of the roadsters. The 300 SL and the 190 SL premiered at the 1954 New York show; Mercedes-Benz experienced a positive visitor response to both, and production began at the Sindelfingen plant in August of that year.
The price for the 300 SL coupe in Germany was DM 29,000, and $6,820 in the US. The roadster was DM 32,500 in Germany, and $10,950 in the US – 10 percent more expensive than the coupe in Europe, and over 60 percent more in the US.
The Mercedes-Benz M198 engine is a water-cooled 3.0 L, 182.8 cu in, 2,996 cc overhead cam straight six. Like the racing Mercedes-Benz M194, the 300 SL borrowed the basic two-valves-per-cylinder M186 engine from the regular four-door 300 (W186 “Adenauer”) luxury touring car introduced in 1951.
It featured the M186’s aluminum head: a 30-degree diagonal base, allowing larger intake and exhaust valves than a standard horizontal joint with the engine block. To improve performance, the M198 replaced the W194’s triple two-barrel Solex carburetors with a Bosch mechanical fuel-injection system. Derived from the DB 601 V12 used on the World War II Messerschmitt Bf 109E fighter raised output on the 300 SL from 175 hp (130 kW; 177 PS) SAE gross to 240 hp (179 kW; 243 PS) SAE gross at 6,100 rpm. Compression was set at 8.55:1.