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Distributed for Dalton Watson Fine Books

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL

The Car of the Century

A lavishly illustrated tribute to one of the most beloved European cars of all time.

For nearly seventy years, no car has moved the lovers of classic cars more than the 300 SL. A legend since its launch in 1954 as a gullwing coupe, the 300 SL has been seen as the very model of what a sports car can be, its style and beauty perfectly matched to its power and handling.

This beautifully illustrated tribute volume brings together Hans Kleissl, one of the world’s leading experts on the 300 SL, and former Daimler historian and Mercedes-Benz archive manager Harry Niemann. The resulting book captures the magic and mystique of the car through history, photographs, insights into its technological breakthroughs, and firsthand accounts of its storied run. There’s no better gift for the passionate fan of the 300 SL.

374 pages | illustrated in color throughout | 9 3/4 x 11 3/4

Transportation: Automotive

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Table of Contents

Preface 08
Phoenix arising from the ashes 10
The W 194/11 42
The Triumvirate 50
“I’m a Mercedes man …” 52
Fuel Injection Pioneer 62
The Designer of the 300 SL 68
The Gullwing 74
Cost Center 8627 94
Private Drivers 102
Victory in the Green Hell 112
300 SLS Porter Special USA 124
Pilots and Racing drivers 132
The Doctor’s Aluminum Gullwing and the Mille Miglia 140
153.771 mph on the Salt Flats 150
At 204.778 mph on a bicycle 160
Hit the gas, life is beautiful 166
008 has survived 178
The last true Playboy and his SL 186
The prototype 192
“The Black Torpedo” and the Sindelfingen ghost 212
An American in Stuttgart and the consequences 222
The racy Roadster 232
The red Roadster from Rotenberg 248
“It’s Ron’s Roadster …” 256
A Star for the Star 262
Rudi’s last racer 270
Bella Diva, bella Macchina 278
Celebrities and the 300 SL 286
Rusty retrospectives 296
The most valuable scrapyard in the world 304
Racing successes of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL 308
Racing successes from the 1990s on 320
The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Club 326
Technical specifications 336
300 SL modifications 340
Colors and options 348
References 360
Footnotes 362
Acknowledgments 366
Imprint 368

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