Six Decades Later, the ‘World's First Supercar’ Is Still a Real Charmer

The 300SL might be the most beautiful Benz ever

By Evan Bleier

 
Six Decades Later, the ‘World's First Supercar’ Is Still a Real Charmer
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30 October 2017

When Road and Track road-tested the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster in 1958, the publication concluded that the model was “a true sport car with a double soul.”

Even though those words were written nearly six decades ago, they still ring true today.

Hailed as the “world’s first supercar,” the 300SL (Sport Light) was the first production car to use modern fuel injection. The winner of four of its first five races — including victories at Le Mans and the Carrera Panamericana — the 300SL Roadster was blessed with a 0-60 time of seven seconds and could reportedly top out as high as 161 MPH (another first at the time for a production model).

Hailed as being one of the most beautiful Benz models to date and a star of the silver screen, the 300SL was also quite innovative and got its power from a slanted inline six-cylinder that Mercedes had previously stuffed under the hoods of 300-series sedans and limousines.

Mercedes called the 300SL a “symbol of success for the rich and the beautiful of its day and age" which was "for many a dream they were at least able to see and hear every now and then.”

It's also a dream that’ll likely take about a million bucks to turn into a reality. The car notoriously often sells for six or seven figures. That includes the ‘57 model you see above, a 300SL Roadster model that went for $1,041,596 at a Bonhams auction in Italy over the weekend.

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