History of the SL

Enter the Gullwing: 1954

Enter the Gullwing: 1954

It was to become a perfect surprise. On February 6, 1954, Mercedes-Benz used the International Motor Sports Show in New York as the stage for launching a sensation: the world premiere of the silver-colored 300 SL coupe, an elegant shroud with a virtually untamed racing car underneath.

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The 300SL Roadster arrives: 1957

The 300SL Roadster arrives: 1957

The concept of open two-seater and easily operated, weatherproof top was so successful that even the 300 SL was modified correspondingly. In the spring of 1957, the legendary Gullwing was replaced by a roadster version that from then on permitted open-top motoring even in this class of high-performance sports cars.

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300SL’s little brother: 1955 190SL

300SL’s little brother: 1955 190SL

While the glorious Gullwing was a car for the wealthy, the 190SL offered much of the visual panache, if not the performance, to the masses. Over 25,000 were produced from 1955-1963.

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1963: The Pagoda Debuts

1963: The Pagoda Debuts

1963: Pagoda Ante Portas
A new direction – The 'Pagoda' series arrives with the debut of the 230SL. The car provided excellent handling, refinement and visibility.
A living legend is history continued. If the father of the Gullwing was a racing car, its successor’s mother was a sedan.
Click the white 230SL above to visit our extensive SL Learning Center.
The new one – called 230 SL – was first to be seen at the Geneva Motor Show in the spring of 1963. First opinions about this newly created sports race, seemingly having …

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