These days, having race-inspired sports cars on the market is a norm. Supercars have become part of our lives, or at least, for those who can afford them. Just think about the LaFerrari inspired by the Formula 1 car or the McLaren F1 and so many others. There's no real surprise in having these beauties around.
But in the '50s, sports cars were just emerging as an innovative blend of style, power, and sophistication. Having "race cars for the road" was a new concept after World War II, which brought some of the most praised cars we call classics today.
Mercedes-Benz was one of the manufacturers to lead the trend. With its 300 SL, the German brand made a big statement, producing one of the fastest road cars back in the day. The 300 SL Gullwing with its innovative doors, among many other new things, is still a ride many people desire in 2022.
However, the Gullwing also has a roofless sibling that may well be even the prettier version. No less iconic or desirable, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster is a true specimen of classic super cars one would pay a fortune to have in the garage. But what makes people love it so much?
We'll be more specific by listing our reasons for loving the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster through the 1960 model. Stay with us to learn more about this precious jewel.
The 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster Has An Iconic Status
After WWII, the first racing car Mercedes-Benz produced was the W194 300 SL. Needless to say, it was a big success. The W194 achieved quite a few victories, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Carrera Panamericana. Most of its success was attributed to the innovative lightweight chassis that also inspired the name (SL, meaning Super Light).
Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz importer at the time observed the W194 and concluded there's no reason to skip on making a road version of it. Max Hoffman, therefore, influenced the German brand, and the 300 SL was born.
Introduced in 1954, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing is a coupe that turned the heads of all sports car enthusiasts. It was not all about the impressive styling, but technology too. The Gullwing was the first four-stroke production passenger car with a direct mechanical fuel injection system. The inline-six produced 215 horsepower and reached a top speed of 155 mph, situating itself as the fastest production car at the time.
But Mercedes-Benz didn't stop there. After a few successful years, the manufacturer recognized that customers wanted an open-top ride. Thus, the Roadster came to be. With improved specs and styling, the Roadster was as much a performer as the Gullwing, only prettier, we dare to say.
The Roadster Is More Enjoyable To Drive Than Its Sibling (And It Looks Incredibly Good)
So, the Gullwing was a special car with those innovative doors and ultimate specs, but the Roadster had its own unique appeal. Engineers at Mercedes-Benz didn't just cut off the roof of the coupe and put on the new doors. They made sure to redesign the Roadster carefully and make it as aesthetically pleasing as it can get.
Therefore, the Roadster gained a reinforced and low space-frame chassis, along with the traditionally hinged doors. Sitting lower than its sibling, the Roadster allows easy access to the passengers and provides a unique driving experience. It's practically a refined version of the Gullwing, although it all comes down to personal preferences in the end.
Either way, the 1960 Mercedes-Benz Roadster blends luxury and performance for an outstanding driving experience. We love everything about its styling, from how it sits on the road to how it complements one's car collection. Add to the equation its classic interior with wood and leather finishes, as well as the wind it sends to the hair, and there's not much left to ask from this amazing sports car.
We Love That The 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster Because It's A Rare Gem On The Market
Produced between 1957 and 1963, the 300 SL Roadster saw only 1,458 units. In 1960, just 241 units were made. Such low production numbers for a highly rated car were a norm back in the day, just as much as they are today. It's not easy to find the 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster available at auction.
Hence, if you're lucky enough to find one on sale, you'll notice it comes with a hefty price tag. Both the Gullwing and the Roaster require you to spend about a million or even more to take them home. Still, that comes as no surprise. Considering the racing history behind the models, the astonishing styling, and the low production numbers, we pretty much expect the price to even go further up.
Once again, it's hard to complain about the pricing due to the 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster being such a rare gem. We love the prestige that comes with owning this sports car and probably wouldn't want it any other way.