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Sports Cars
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Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (W198)
The road-going 300SL (W198) was an evolution of the Mercedes-Benz 300 (W194) racing car. The racing W194 was a project led by Rudolf Uhlenhaut to get Mercedes-Benz back into racing after the War. The W194 took the 2996cc 6-cylinder engine from W186 Type 300 'Adenauer' saloon, gave it a new cylinder head and triple solex carbs. The body was built of aluminium over a steel tube frame, and the W194 won the 1952 Le Mans 24 hour race, Nurburgring, and the Mexican Carrera Panamericana. American importer Max Hoffman implored Mercedes-Benz to produce a road-going version, and this was exhibited at the 1954 New York Show as the 300 SL (W198). Friedrich Geiger was responsible for the design of the W198, amending the front to contain an almost rectangular grille bearing a large 3-pointed star in its centre; this grille would define sporting Benzes from now on. twin longitudinal 'domes' top the bonnet, the first defined by the intakes below and it pair just for design symmetry. 'Eyebrows' were given to the wheel arches suggestive of length. Geiger gave the roadster side strakes from the wing vents to tie the design together. The road-going car also used a spaceframe chassis, but most bodies were of steel, and the gull-wing doors of the racer were also given to the road car. Unlike the racing car, the W198 2996cc engine had fuel injection and gave 40bhp more than the W194 racer. 1400 gullwing coupes were made from 1954-57. At the 1957 Geneva Salon the open 300 SL roadster was introduced mechanically based on the gullwing but with a revised chassis and conventional doors for the roadster body. 1858 SL roadsters were made 1957-63.
aa_Mercedes-Benz 300SL badge
Mercedes-Benz 300SL - badge on bonnet of roadster
aa_Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster badge
Mercedes-Benz 300SL - badge on boot
ab_Mercedes-Benz 300SL gullwing grille
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL
ac_Mercedes-Benz 300SL gullwing head
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL with gullwing doors raised
ac_Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster head
Mercedes-Benz 300SL. The roadster introduced in 1957 had combination lamp units which incorporated the headlamps, foglamps below and indicators at the top.
Mercedes-Benz 300SL gullwing front
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL. The 'gullwing' doors came from the original 300 SL racing car (W194) where the spaceframe chassis and high sills made a conventional door unsatisfactory. It is thought that Mercedes-Benz got its inspiration for the 'Flügeltüren' doors from the 'portes papillon' that Jean Bugatti gave to his 1939 racer.
Mercedes-Benz 300SL hardtop rear
Mercedes-Benz 300SL. Roadsters got conventional doors in place of the coupe's gullwing doors. Extra strengthening had to be added to the chassis which made the roadster heavier. The hardtop was an optional extra.
Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster front
Mercedes-Benz 300SL. A 2996cc 6-cylinder engine from the MB 300 'Adenauer' saloon was given a new cylinder head and fuel injection for the W198 300SL.
s_Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster side
Mercedes-Benz 300SL. The 300SL roadster addressed some of the failings of the 300SL gullwing and had conventional doors. The side vents provided extra engine cooling.
Mercedes-Benz SL 'Sport Leicht'
v_Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster vents
Mercedes-Benz 300SL. Wing vents were given to racing 300 SL to cool the engine, and they were carried over to the road-going gullwing coupe and roadster.
w_Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster wheel
Mercedes-Benz 300SL. This view of the wheel shows the 'eyebrows' over the wheel arches which helped visually to 'lengthen' the design. Geiger thought the slab sides of the W194 racer to plain, and probably these eyebrows gave the panels rigidity.
Mercedes-Benz 300 (W186)
key text:  This is the page introducing Simons love of cars from the website  RedSimon which is a series of photo albums of Simon GP Geoghegan.
The names of Pinin, Farina, and Pininfarina are also considered
There are also notes on Pininfarina
as well as the car maker
and links tothat car maker
see also my Picasa car albums
withe even more on RedSimon
Simon is also a contributor to SuperCars.Net
And also to Wikipedia
Photos may be purchased from PhotoBox