The 300 SL stood out from the crowd not only because of its design, but also because of technical innovations, such as the powerful three-litre six-cylinder engine, the intricate tubular space frame design or particularly the gullwing doors granting unconventional access to the vehicle interior. After an open-top variant, the 300 SL Roadster, succeeded the 300 SL Gullwing in 1957, it took many years until a vehicle bearing the star would once again catch the attention of the public with its gullwing doors.
With the C 111 it was once again a supersports car, but not a series production vehicle. The C 111 may have claimed countless records on racing and test circuits, but it never competed in actual races. At the 1969 International Motor Show in Frankfurt the world premiere of the C 111 in a weissherbst livery – a colour that was fashionable at the time – proved to be a real jaw-dropper for visitors.