Gullwing celebrates its 70th anniversary – fvn.no

Gullwing celebrates its 70th anniversary – fvn.no

On February 6, 1954, the International Motor Sports Show in New York opened its doors, and Mercedes-Benz surprised the whole world with a completely unexpected and unusual car. Here, enthusiastic spectators were able to see the 300 SL Coupé (W 198) super sports car, also called the “Gullwing”, for the first time.

This is what Mercedes-Benz Norway wrote in its jubilee review of the car, which was produced in just 1,400 examples of the 300 SL Coupé from 1954 to 1957, and a further 1,858 examples of the 300 SL Roadster.

One of the most notable features of the 300 SL Coupé are the gullwing doors, which originate from this race car.

At the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, a silver Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupe with a red interior is on display, attracting a lot of attention from visitors.
picture: Mercedes-Benz AG

necessity

The doors were neither a marketing gimmick nor the result of enthusiastic designers, but rather an engineering necessity, the press release states. Like the race car, the 300 SL Coupé has a lightweight tubular frame. This was relatively high on the sides, making a traditional door solution impossible.

With gullwing doors, the windows cannot be folded down, and the 300 SL's rectangular windows can be removed and transported in the luggage compartment. The smaller, triangular side windows can be opened by rotating them.

The exterior door handle of the 300 SL Coupé was a practical and aerodynamic detail. Gentle pressure on the small protruding part opened the handle, so the door could be opened elegantly.

The exterior door handle of the 300 SL Coupé was a beautiful, functional and aerodynamic detail. Gentle pressure on the small protrusion opened the handle, and the door could then be opened elegantly
picture: Mercedes-Benz AG

“Super sports car”

Of course, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupé has a number of other functions. The excellent chassis, perfect weight distribution and six-cylinder engine made the model a super sports car. It was the world's first production passenger car with a four-stroke engine with direct injection, which made it possible to increase power by about 25 percent, from 125 kW (170 hp) in the race car to 158 kW (215 hp) in the 2013. 300SL Coupé. This in turn gave a top speed of 250 km/h, a very exceptional performance for the mid-1950s.

The 300 SL Coupé became a crowd-pleaser from the start and was soon given a fitting moniker. “Gullwing” became the American name for the car, while in France it was known as “Papillon”.

At the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, a silver Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupe with a red interior is on display, attracting a lot of attention from visitors.

See also  Reed Hastings is stepping down as CEO of Netflix - E24
Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *