The Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing is an automotive icon — and today I’m reviewing it. I’m going to take you on a thorough tour of this amazing car and show you all the quirks and features of the 300SL Gullwing — then I’m going to drive the 300SL and show you what it’s like on the road.
The Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Is a $1 Million Sports Car Icon
The Mercedes Benz 300SL can’t be undersold for its place in history. While many, including myself, firmly believe that the Lamborghini Miura was the first true supercar, the Gullwing has its fans. That’s because it offered things no other car had to that point in history.
It was ferociously fast and powerful. It looked like absolutely nothing else on the road. And finally, those doors were bold, daring, and so unique that the media gifted the car its nickname: Gullwing.
Doug starts his tour with the mechanism that allows one to open the door of the Gullwing. On the side of each door is a small protruding nub that requires one to push it toward the car’s rear before a handle pops out. Pull on that handle, and just like that, the door starts to ascend.
Then he notes the trick steering wheel, which folds to allow for better ingress and egress, a feat not so easy thanks to the tubular chassis in the 300SL.Once in the vehicle, he noticed that none of the gauges or switchgear were labeled.
He tells us that the lack of labeling was a point of pride for many SL owners. In the same way that only pilots really understand what’s laid out in a cockpit, the same could be true of 300SL owners of the time.
What’s perhaps most shocking during his review are the windows. SL300 Gullwing windows don’t roll down. So those who want them open must be push them out, which can be done via a small latch that holds the window in place until you want to remove it.
The drive is just as unique. Doug immediately remarks about how special it feels to drive something so special. Then he is a big fan of the clutch and shifter action. He says it’s not too dissimilar from a modern vehicle.
The view is “incredible,” he says. It’s easy to understand, considering what you can see from the interior of the 300SL. In fact, the view isn’t the only special facet of the car. Doug is amazed by how well it’s made and how good it feels to drive.
No matter how you personally view the whole “first supercar” argument, there’s something about the 300SL that’s so special. Its DNA is still deeply entrenched in the way many modern AMG cars are made and how they drive.