The Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coup


1954 saw the birth of a legend in the world of motoring.

The Mercedes Benx 300SL Gullwing, typically known just as Gullwing, immediately caused something of a sensation.

The Gullwing has been referred to as the world's first supercar.

The revelation wasn't the engine, gearbox or chassis, particularly, as all of these were derived from a traditional saloon car.

However, the speed and body design, especially the doors, were very special indeed.

The Gullwing is very light, and this in particular means that it could reach speeds of up to 150mph, double what a saloon car could manage. The fuel injection was also innovative.

The Gullwing used this speed to make Mercedes the name to beat in ralley races once more, despite slightly hair-raising cornering.

The body that the Gullwing's creators had designed was shaping up to have a low roof with high door sills.

Engineers created doors which raised like a bird flexing its wings, ready for flight.

This completely unique look and the game-changing speed have led car expert James May to describe it as "the first supercar" and it is certainly one of the all time classic cars.

Mercedes-Benz Gullwing
Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupé
The Gullwing predated any efforts from Ferrari, never mind Lamborghini (still making tractors in 1954) in this category.

The Gullwing is greatly sought after for this reason.

One in reasonable condition will cost a bare minimum of £300,000, those in top condition fetch upwards of £500,000.

Originally the price was £4,393, the price of a large detached house in a pleasant London suburb at the time.

The same house today will cost you more than £800,000 so the Gullwing can be considered somewhat of a bargain at today's prices.


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