Satisfy the oldest Mercedes-Benz SL Gullwing

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If you happen to be a enthusiast of traditional automobiles European automobiles, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing has to sit at or near the leading of your list. This episode of Jay Leno’s Garage functions two very unique Gullwings. Michael Kunz, manager of the Mercedes-Benz Basic Center, brought two of the earliest Gullwings in existence to the garage.

The two Gullwing coupes (codenamed W194) were made in 1952, but are very distinct from every other. The blue-and-silver race auto is the fifth Gullwing constructed, although the all-silver motor vehicle is the 11th Gullwing, and it served as a prototype for prepared 1953 racing-year updates. It also served as a template for the later on SL road auto, which is why Leno calls it the “oldest Gullwing.” 

To lessen excess weight, Mercedes engineering manager Rudolf Uhlenhaut devised a tube-body chassis that necessitated the Gullwing’s signature doors. The chassis required thick facet sills, which failed to go away plenty of place for common doors. Practicality was not a priority, as the 300SL was meant to be a race vehicle only. Mercedes only created a road model after lobbying by American importer Max Hoffman.

Early Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwings on Jay Leno’s Garage

Though chassis construction was fairly unique, the Gullwing utilized a 3.-liter inline-6 based mostly on the engine utilised in the day to day Mercedes 300 sedan. It was titled sideways to suit beneath the SL’s minimal hood, and fitted with dry-sump lubrication.

The blue-and-silver race car or truck has the Carrera Panamericana-spec motor, which is carbureted (later autos experienced a pretty early version of direct injection), displaces 3.2 liters, and makes 180 hp instead of the regular 170 hp for carbureted cars and trucks. The all-silver car has the afterwards gas-injected 3.-liter M198 motor that was equipped to the SL road auto, producing 225 hp.

The SL’s character transformed considerably about the ensuing decades, drifting absent from pure performance towards luxurious. In an try to deliver the vehicle back again to its roots, Mercedes tasked its AMG division with development of the newest SL. Just don’t assume any Gullwing doors.

Like most episodes, Jay gets at the rear of the wheel at the conclusion of the online video, which is a particular treat presented the automobile is the 11th SL at any time developed. It’s a scarce option to hear this automobile in motion.

For extra about these historic vehicles, and to hear Jay’s thoughts on how the Gullwing drives, simply click on the complete video above.