This Love Affair Between a Man and His Mercedes-Benz Will Hit You Right in the Feels
We are living in an era when cars are simple objects that we use to get from point A to point B or means of transportation we use to carry goods or make a living. We usually get rid of a car after a few years and buy a new one. But some enthusiasts take good care of their cars, especially if they’re of the vintage variety, collectibles, or worth more than the average vehicle.
Of course, you’d expect the owner of a Ferrari 250 GTO to keep detailed records of his car, but a certain Canadian fellow amassed no fewer than 1,200 pages of service records while owning and taking care of a 1983 Mercedes-Benz W123 wagon.
This is not an original Mercedes SL Gullwing, but you can’t tell and it packs a modern secret under its hood
We all hate kit cars that try to resemble a famous established automotive shape but just fall short. Enthusiasts can spot these a mile away and... they choose to stay a mile away to avoid the horror of having to look at them. However, this amazing Mercedes SL Gullwing recreation is not like that, in fact, it’s the exact opposite of that and it’s a car most enthusiasts would be thrilled to own.
1963 Mercedes-Benz 220SE Cabriolet
The Mercedes-Benz 220SE Cabriolet, part of the W111 family of models, debuted in 1961 as a full-size executive open-top model that replaced the W128 220SE which was still based on the antiquated ’Ponton’ design. The new model featured a more sharp-cornered design that has endured as one of Mercedes’ finest over the years.
The W111 series debuted in 1959 at the Frankfurt Auto Show where Mercedes-Benz unveiled the four-door sedan body style which quickly gained the ’Heckflosse’ nickname, which stands for ’Fintail’ in English. The nickname emerged thanks to the car’s stylized fins that rose at the rear of the car, a design cue aimed at the American clientele.
The Cabriolet version followed a couple of years later after the production cycle of the Ponton-based W128 Cabriolet ended. The two-door car had a soft top and exuded a sort of refined beauty that has become almost synonym with ’60s Mercedes-Benz models. The W111 is considered part of the S-Class lineage along with the deluxe W112 that featured bigger engines and more amenities onboard.
1958 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL
The Mercedes-Benz 190 SL was the more laid-back version of the legendary 300 SL and, like its much more exclusive big brother, was a huge hit in the U.S., practically establishing the SL model in Mercedes’ range for decades to come.
The 190 SL, like the 300 SL, was born out of a suggestion from U.S. executive and luxury foreign car importer Max Hoffman who thought that a less expensive but still exciting and luxurious version of the 300 SL would appeal to the U.S. clientele. He’d previously come up with the idea of the road-going 300 SL as well, reckoning that America’s rich and famous would love to blitz down the country’s infinite highways aboard a more friendly version of Mercedes-Benz’s 1952 Le Mans winner, the W194 300 SL designed by Rudolf Uhlenhaut.
Due to Hoffman’s significant success as the Mercedes importer, the Stuttgart-based company decided to follow suit on his bold ideas and debuted prototypes of the two SLs at the 1954 New York International Motor Sports Show in February of that year.
Unlike the 300 SL, for which a purpose-built tubular spaceframe chassis was created, the 190 SL exhibited a tweaked version of the Mercedes-Benz 180’s underpinnings. As such, it received the W121 nomenclature with the sedan known as the W120.
Keep reading to learn more about the 1958 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL
Budget Direct Renders the Evolution of 7 Timeless Models
There is no shortage of car models in the auto industry these days. Some models have gained followings while others have become flashes in the pan. Then there are the titans of the business, the models that have lasted the test of time and have been around, literally, for generations. In the course of their respective lifetimes, these models have evolved in more ways than one, none more evident than their designs. These seven models have been around for so long their designs have evolved considerably from when they first came out. Knowing their place in the business, these models are unlikely to go away anytime soon.
Super Rare 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Goes Gone in 60 Seconds
A rare example of a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing was stolen from a hotel near the Nurburgring on August 11. The one-off Mercedes, which was in town to participate in the Old-timer Grand Prix classic car race, was sitting in front of the hotel when it was jacked by thieves that have yet to be identified. According to The Sunday Times, the theft occurred sometime between 1:30 A.M. and 10 A.M. on August 11 and there are now growing concerns that the car will be stripped down and have its parts sold individually. Yikes.
Mercedes Reveals Five Untold Stories in Latest "Best of Benz" Video Series
Mercedes-Benz’s video series, “Best of Benz,” is back with a new episode that’s going to raise a lot of curious eyebrows. The short 73-second episode dives into five unique factoids that you may not have known about the German automaker. Considering the fact that Mercedes has roots dating all the way back to 1900, there are some stories that have fallen through the cracks that make for great trivia-night questions these days. For example, did you know that Karl Benz — he’s the “Benz” in Mercedes-Benz — was the first person to get written permission to legally drive a car? So, if anybody asks who the first person was to get a driver’s license, the answer, apparently, isn’t some random nobody. It’s the guy who was instrumental in founding one of the world’s biggest automakers today.
1957 Mercedes 300SL Roadster
The 300SL is often credited for being the world’s first “supercar.” Why? To start, it’s beautiful, with flowing lines that are both elegant and aerodynamic. Climb onboard, and you’ll find premium luxury and top-shelf opulence. But more importantly, there’s a good deal of technological innovation and racing pedigree hiding just under the skin, which blesses the 300SL with truly world-beating speed. Throw in low production numbers and the car’s high desirability amongst collectors, and the formula starts to come together.
Prior to 1954, Mercedes was seen as a luxury make without much to offer when it came to performance. The 300SL changed that in a hurry. The name is a reference to the engine displacement (3.0-liters), while the SL stands for Sport Leicht, which is German for Sport Light. Originally offered as a coupe, the 300SL was the first of the SL-Class grand tourer models, and eventually, it morphed into an open-top roadster. Although it lost the highly recognizable gullwing doors, the 300SL Roadster managed to keep much of the speed and prestige of its predecessor, all while adding on-demand blue-sky freedom.
These days, Mercedes pays homage to its past with a variety performance models which recall the 300SL’s styling and sporty character, and while the speed and technology are there, none can match the style and grace of the original.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1957 Mercedes 300SL Roadster.
The 540K was the ultimate prewar Mercedes-Benz. And if we’re going to further subdivide the model by different body styles, the Special Roadster was the ultimate 540K. Build by special order only, the Special Roadster was one of the most expensive and exclusive cars of its day, and could be considered the pinnacle of prewar German
The 540K is also distinct in being one of the few prewar European luxury cars to come from a company big enough to have a presence outside of Europe. Because while it wasn’t unheard of for an American to own a European car in the years prior to WWII, the logistical framework often didn’t exist for them to buy these kinds of higher-end machines that needed to be special ordered.
The 540K is actually an evolution of the 500K, with this being based on the still earlier S/SSK. But the cars are not as similar as this might make them sound, and while the 540K used a lot of the same architecture as the 500K, the chassis construction was changed completely from that of the 500K, thanks to engineer Gustav Rohr, on loan from the highly successful Mercedes motorsports program.
Updated 02/01/2016: The Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster shown here just went under the hammer at RM Sotheby’s . Did it go for the expected $10 million? Check out the prices section to see for yourself.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster.
There is no technical definition for what makes a car a supercar, and as such, there will always be some disagreement about what car should be considered the first to have reached this status. There is no shortage of possible contenders, but the biggest debate is between the Lamborghini Miura and this, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL.
The 300SL was derived from a race car by the same name, which is noteworthy because it is usually the other way around, with race cars being built out of existing road-going models. It’s usually too difficult to go in the other direction, especially when you’re talking about a car that had overall wins at Le Mans, the Nurburgring and the Carrera Panamericana. But, in the ’50s, road cars and track cars weren’t so divorced from one another that it was impossible.
The idea for a Grand Prix car that was repurposed for road use was pitched to Mercedes by the Austrian-born, but New York-based importer and car dealer Max Hoffman, who would also go on to suggest several successful cars to Porsche. Because of this, the car debuted at the New York Auto Show, a first for a Mercedes product, and was instantly the hit of the show.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing.
The future of the luxury car market was very uncertain in the years immediately following WWII. With rationing still going in parts of Europe into the ’50s, and most German manufacturers having had their factories [justifiably] bombed by the Allies, it wasn’t entirely clear in the late ’40s and early ’50s just who would be either building or buying luxury cars. The companies that made successful luxury cars in the years immediately following the war were those that learned to emphasize performance, handling, and build quality over things like bespoke bodywork that had driven the prewar luxury car market.
One of the most successful of this new kind of luxury car was the Mercedes-Benz 300 series limousines, which debuted in 1951. The following year, Mercedes made a coupe based on the 300 that was called the 300s, and this was followed up by an improved version called the 300Sc. The car was available as a hardtop coupe, cabriolet and roadster. It’s all very similar to how Mercedes uses the current S-Class, a car that is available as a sedan, limo, coupe and soon even as a convertible. It was a big success for Mercedes, and gave established top-tier luxury marques a run for their money.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster.
The Mercedes-Benz C111 saga began in 1969, when the Germans unveiled the first prototype at the 1969 Frankfurt Motor Show. Developed as what Mercedes described as a "super sports car," the C111 was unveiled to the world with gullwing doors that harkened back to the iconic 300 SL Gullwing Coupe (discontinued in 1963) and a Wankel rotary engine under the hood. Though it was only a research vehicle, the C111 quickly became the dream car of the 1970s.
Created when the company began experimenting with new engine technologies, including rotary, diesels, and turbochargers, the C111 was used as a test bed for many other features, including a multi-link rear suspension, and a new interior design with luxury appointments and air conditioning. It featured a mid-ship layout and received many powertrains, including two- to four-rotor Wankels, turbodiesels, and even mass-produced V-8s.
Although Mercedes built three generations of experimental C111s, the C111-II is arguably the most recognizable, particularly due to its revised aerodynamics and improved ergonomics, which pretty much made it ready for the assembly line. Unfortunately, the C111 projects never made it into production, leaving enthusiasts that were dreaming about a spiritual successor to the 300 SL disappointed. But, despite the fact that not one C111 was sold to the public, the C111-II went on to gain a cult following and became a full-fledged classic.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1970 Mercedes-Benz C111-II.
Even for as accomplished a driver as Sir Stirling Moss, the 1955 Mille Miglia was a pretty stunning victory. His winning time of 10 hours, 7 minutes and 48 seconds in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR was a full 32 minutes ahead of the second place finisher, the also legendary Juan Manuel Fangio. The record time was never beaten, partly because Mercedes-Benz dropped out of motorsports for a while after 1955, partly because the Mille Miglia stopped after 1957 and partly simply because the combination of 300 SLR and Moss was just so perfect. A relationship which Petrolicious will explore in this video.
The 300 SLR started life as the W196, a full-on race car used for Formula 1 that won the two single championships it entered at the hands of Fangio. Dubbed W196S in this two-seat version, the 300 SLR was made for sports car racing, including the Mille Miglia and the dreaded 1955 Le Mans race that pushed Mercedes-Benz to exit motorsport altogether. Seeing (and hearing) the car being taken out on the roads again is pretty spectacular, especially what with the breathtaking cinematography for which Petrolicious is rightly famous.
Even though over six decades have passed since the model was unveiled at the 1954 New York Auto Show, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL still looks the business, with some people considering it the primordial supercar. The latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage features a Gull-wing, one which actually belongs to Leno himself and is currently in a restoration process. A ’55 model, the red Mercedes-Benz was picked up by the TV personality without an engine or a gearbox, but since then he’s tracked down most of the missing parts, some still available from Mercedes!
Leno was very happy to learn that the classic divison of Mercedes-Benz is still up-to-date with parts for cars that have been long out of production. That’s where he found the ribbed brake drums for the first step of the restoration process. After offering some interesting insights concerning both the model and his Mercedes-Benz memorabilia – including one of Juan Manuel Fangio’s actual F1 championship trophies – Jay Leno went for a drive with the 300 SL. Without a fresh coat of paint but with everything else in working condition, he proceeded to give it the full beans on Californian roads, and I would advise you to pump up the volume for the full experience. This car sound as incredible as it looks! That straight-six will put a smile on your face or I’ll eat this article.
Most people love the gull-wing doors, but I’m more infatuated with the 300 SL’s technology features, including the fuel injection system – a world first – and the aluminum spaceframe chassis that resulted in the peculiar door-opening solution.
We imagine it’s pretty hard to get Jay Leno giddy when it comes to classic cars, but it looks like all it might take is a $5,000 Mercedes-Benz with 327,000 miles on the odometer. That car just so happens to be a 1972 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3, which the car-loving funnyman refers to as a “German supercar” as he details the 43-year-old sedan in the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage.
Leno says he bought the clapped-out Benz seven years ago as a project with the goal of slapping a drivetrain from an SLS AMG underneath the body. After consulting his followers, he decided instead to keep the car as Mercedes had intended rather than turn it into a Stuttgart restomod.
The heart of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 was its 300-horsepower, 6.3-liter V-8 that was made possible thanks to the “money-no-object” Mercedes 600. Leno says that the “6.3” badge on the trunk was about as desired to German drivers as the “Hemi” badge was in America. And this car had the performance to back it up, too, with quarter-mile times said to be in the 14-second range. This Mercedes was so powerful and so refined that Leno considers the 2015 Dodge Charger Hellcat as a modern-day equivalent, and he even went as far to say that it is his “favorite Mercedes-Benz to drive."
After watching the video, it’s clear that Leno’s decision to keep the 300 SEL 6.3 intact wasn’t just based on the feedback from his viewers. He has a recognizable fondness for this car and its glorious engine that dates back to a dealership job he had in his 20s, which most car lovers can all trace back similar experiences. Leno spends most of the 20-minute video waxing nostalgic about his Mercedes, while providing plenty of excellent details about the Tri-Star as well.
Click past the jump to read more about the 1972 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3.
Every car addict out there should know that the best way to really enjoy your toy is to push it to its limits. Of course, there are many enthusiasts that prefer to keep their toys in a vacuum-sealed box, and only touch it with soft gloves. This certainly does not describe how Bob Sirna cares for his pride and joy, as he finds great joy in racing his pricey classic Benz on the salt flats of Bonneville.
Over the years we’ve seen plenty of unique cars running the salt flatsat Bonneville, but Bob’s rig it one that no one would expect to see on the flats: a Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing.
Why is this car unusual on the race track? Well, because with a price of over 1 million dollars, the classic 300SL seems to be perfect for a concourse or a museum. not trying to break land-speed records at Speed Week. Still, in the past 12 years, Bob has brought his Gullwing to the salt flats in an effort to break records and cure his "salt fever."
Check out the video to see a guy that lives by the "Enjoy your toys" motto.