1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupe “Gull Wing” Spark - S4959 (resin)
With the release of the W194 Gran Prix model in 1952, New York Mercedes distributor Max Hoffman, Daimler-Benz’s official importer in the U.S, suggested to Daimler-Benz AG’s management that a street version of the car would sell well, especially in North America. So development of the 300 SL started in 1953, and when it was first released in 1954 it was the fastest production car of its day. The body of the car was built around a welded aluminum tube space frame chassis that was light and strong. But since it encircled the cabin, traditional doors were impossible. So the solution was to use gull-wing style doors, that became the trademark of the car. The engine was an inline-6 with 2996 cm³ of displacement, with SOHC and mechanical direct fuel injection that produced 212 hp.
From 1954 to the beginning of 1957, Mercedes produced a total of 1400 coupes. By then production shifted to the roadster version (with a production run of 1858 units from 1957 to 1963). At the time it was a fussy car to live with, because of the complicated mechanical fuel injection and unpractical gull wing doors. However, nowadays it’s an iconic car. Without a doubt the 300 SL is the most famous Mercedes-Benz of all times. It’s a model known even to the non-car enthusiasts.
After I got my SLS it almost became mandatory for me to also have the 300 SL Gull Wing. I would settle for a Schuco but I was lucky to snipe one from Spark. And coming from Spark, you know what to expect: great paint job and outstanding detail level all around. The only thing that I could complain about is the wing mirror. It looks a bit too thick, specially in photos (trust me, in person it’s not too bad). But even with the mirror it’s still a true gem of a model.