We use cookies

We want to make our website more user-friendly and continuously improve it. If you continue to use the website, you agree to the use of cookies.

For more information, please refer to our Cookie Statement.

Dear visitor,

Daimler AG has undergone a reorganization. From November 1st, 2019, Mercedes-Benz AG will be the controller of this website within the meaning of the GDPR.

Privacy Statement (update as of November 1st, 2019)

1957 - 1963: Only flying is better.

By the late 1950s, open-top two-seaters were so popular that Mercedes-Benz decided to convert the 300 SL (W 198). In spring 1957 the legendary “Gullwing” was succeeded by the 300 SL Roadster, thus bringing the thrill of open-top driving to the range of high performance sports cars. Equipped with a new rear axle design, this model boasted state-of-the-art handling characteristics and in 1961 became the first Mercedes-Benz production car to be given disc brakes on all four wheels.

Discontinuation of the 300 SL Roadster marked the end of an era: the last Mercedes-Benz passenger car with independent frame left the Sindelfingen plant in 1963.

Concealed beneath the stylish bodywork, the spaceframe remained the roadster’s loadbearing structure, although it featured a number of modifications. Lower at the sides, the new frame design now made conventional front-hinged doors possible. This not only made getting into and out of the car easier, it was also a key design prerequisite for any opentop vehicle. Thanks to the frame’s flatter rear-end and a redesigned fuel reservoir, the spare wheel was now stowed underfloor and the area beneath the boot lid could properly be called a boot. The soft top was easy to operate and was stowed under a purpose-built hatch behind the seats when not required. From late 1958 Mercedes-Benz also optionally supplied an elegant and easy-to-fit hardtop for use when the weather turned colder. In 1957 a slimmed-down version of the 300 SL Roadster, the 300 SLS, made a number of headlinegrabbing appearances when Paul O’Shea won Class D of the American Sports Car Championship by a convincing margin.

Highlight: Pagoda roof.

The detachable concave coupé roof was more than just avant-garde design. It was a tangible expression of the principle that “form follows function”. In spite of its lightweight construction, the design offered a very high degree of rigidity and in combination with largeformat windows gave the driver excellent visibility.