One memory of my visit to “La Cité De l’Automobile” in Mulhouse, France.
From its earliest beginnings, the doctrine of Daimler-Benz has always been to enter competition only if the participating cars have every chance of winning. History has demonstrated this principle in 1908, 1914, 1935, 1938 and 1939, among other boom years. It could not be otherwise when Daimler-Benz returned to competition in 1952, after an interruption due to the war. So, a year after the launch of the very modern 6-cylinder type 220 and 300, the Mercedes weapon is ready: the 300 SL overprofiled coupe. Again, the “house” doctrine won the 300 SL the major races of 1952. It ranked 2nd and 4th at the Thousand Miles, won the Swiss Grand Prix and a few weeks later, two 300 SL signed the double at 24 Hours of Le Mans. She then won the first three places at the Nürburgring. In November of the same year, she won the fearsome Carrera Panamericana, a 3,100 km race over five days in the mountains and deserts of Mexico, after having fought ... against the vultures! One of the two drivers, Hans Klenk, was knocked out by a vulture who hit the windshield at the start of the race. These triumphs, to which is added the unanimously recognized beauty of the car, makes it a commercial success when it goes into series production.
Its engine, powered by direct injection and tilted at 50 °, derives from that of the type 300 S while the structure of the car is entirely new. This structure rises high on the sides, hence the presence of hinged doors.
It also offers exceptional technical characteristics: a typical Mercedes front suspension with superimposed triangles and a highly efficient rear suspension, assisted drum braking, 6-cylinder in-line powered by Bosch direct injection developing 215 horsepower and propelling it to 240 km / h, making the world's fastest production car. It goes from 0 to 100 km / h in 7 seconds.