We begin in 1951, when Merc’s bosses unilaterally agreed the agency wanted a race automotive. They commissioned the ‘300 Tremendous Mild’, later shortened to only ‘SL’. Sure, lengthy earlier than Colin Chapman and his including of lightness, Merc had the exact same concept.

Step ahead Rudy Uhlenhaut – head of Merc’s passenger automobiles on the time – who constructed a light-weight, tubular shell from aluminium and magnesium. It was so mild, in actual fact, the body weighed simply 50kg.

To this, Uhlenhaut added the three.0-litre straight-six engine from Merc’s new-age saloon of the day – the 300 ‘Adenauer Mercedes’ – and ramped up the ability to a heady 170bhp. In 1952, Merc set the 300 SL unfastened. And it was good.

It scored second and fourth within the Mille Miglia, a triple victory within the Prix de Berne, double victory on the Le Mans 24hrs, a quadruple victory within the Nürburgring Anniversary Sport Automobile GP, and a double victory within the third Carrera Panamericana in Mexico. Not a nasty begin.

No, it wasn’t the primary road-going SL, however the 300 was the very first Mercedes SL. And anyway, with a form like that, who cares? The 300 SL stays vastly vital not just for kickstarting the SL road-car line, but additionally for reintroducing Mercedes-Benz into motor racing after WWII.



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