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.