The fascination of the Mercedes SL

When the term Mercedes SL is mentioned, the image of a lively sports car with a powerful engine immediately springs to mind. The term SL-Class was introduced in the mid-1990s. Originally, the abbreviation “SL” stood for “super-light”, but was increasingly translated as “sports light”.

As early as the early 1950s, Mercedes developers and engineers were aware of how enthusiastic Mercedes customers in the USA would be about a lively sports car. This was the birth of the SL sports car.

Mercedes-Benz SL-Classes – the beginning of an era

As early as 1953, Max E. Hoffman was convinced that the Mercedes-Benz SL-Classes would be an absolute success in the USA. That is why the brand’s importer for the eastern US states set off for Untertürkheim, the production site and birthplace of the Mercedes models. Mercedes-Benz already had a very good reputation in the USA. People were expecting a new and exceptional vehicle for the launch on the American market.

After several discussions, the two models Mercedes 190 SL (W 121) and Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing (W 198) were finally developed and shipped to the other side of the globe. And Hoffman was proved right: In 1954 and 1955 alone, 85 percent of the 300 SL Coupé models produced were exported to the USA. All subsequent SL model series continued this story and became increasingly popular. This was the beginning of a new era.

Mercedes-Benz SL 300 – the birth of the Gullwing

Almost 70 years ago, not only was the SL generation born, but the foundation for the entire Mercedes-Benz sports car family was also laid at the same time. Mercedes-Benz only built 1,400 examples of the 300 SL Gullwing, making it a rarity and an absolute treasure in the automotive industry.

Rudolf Uhlenhaut, head of testing at the time, developed the first SL sports car with an innovative spirit, which was sent onto the international race track as early as 1952. After a very successful year for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, everyone knew that a supercar on wheels had been invented. Since then, the letters “SL” have stood for unique automobiles and legendary sports cars. Among automobile enthusiasts, the SL models are highly coveted collector’s cars. This even went so far that in 1999 the 300 SL “Gullwing” was voted “Sports Car of the Century” by a jury of specialist journalists.

From roadster to convertible – SL-Classes remain a legend!

For almost 70 years, the Mercedes-Benz Classics have been absolute style icons and unique sports car legends. Today, there is a wide variety of models in the Mercedes-Benz SL model series:

This was just a small selection of the wide variety of vehicles. You can obtain all spare parts for your Mercedes SL classic car in our online store! We will be happy to help you make the right choice.