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Sports Cars & Luxury Vehicles

1954-1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL (Golfwing)

1954-1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL (Golfwing)

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (chassis code W 198) is a two-seat sports car which was produced by Mercedes-Benz as a gullwing coupe (1954–1957) and roadster (1957–1963). It was based on the company's 1952 racer, the W194, with mechanical direct fuel injection which boosted power almost 50 percent in its three-litre overhead camshaft straight-six engine. Capable of reaching a top speed of up to 263 km/h (163 mph), it was a sports car racing champion and the fastest production car of its time.
Max Hoffman, Mercedes-Benz's United States importer at the time, inspired the 300 SL and saw an American market for such a car. The company introduced the 300 SL in February 1954 at the International Motor Sports Show in New York City (instead of Europe) to get it into US buyers' hands sooner.
SL is the short form for "super-light" in German (super-leicht) – Mercedes' first use of the designation, referring to the car's racing-bred light tubular-frame construction. The 300 SL was voted the "sports car of the century" in 1999.

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL

300 SL Roadster next to its coupe version



Body and chassis

Class N

Sports car
Grand tourer

Body style

2-door coupe, roadster


FR layout


Coupe W198 I, Roadster W198 II


Gull-wing (Coupe)
Conventional (Roadster)


Mercedes-Benz W121 BII (190 SL)



2,996 cc (182.8 cu in) M198 straight-six engine


4-speed manual

Description 1954-1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL (Gullwing)

Our model is a 1:18 Scale die-cast metal with plastic parts of one of Mercedes icon cars of the 1950’s. This is a model that is a good copy of the original car that I purchased back in 2019-2020. If purchasing one, try if possible to get a later produced model as this model is perhaps not as complete as other models.

The Body

Looking at this model for the first time out of the box, is that it has a nice body, with the paintwork up to scratch, with no paint defects. It's a 2-door model that opens upwards and opens quite wide, giving a good look into the interior. The engine bonnet opens forward and this opens a lot to give an excellent look at the engine. The boot also opens but could open just that bit higher. Now one small point in regards to the doors. On this model, there are no windows in the doors. And with this model it has what are called quarter windows.,. However the exclusion of the actual glass sort of makes the door incomplete. You can clearly see the window lever that opens it.The chrome work such as the grill facing as well as the bumpers have not been over chromed and this extends to the door handle and the side air vents on both mudguards. Emblems and decals are excellent and can be seen quite well with the Mercedes Benz 3-star represented on the centre grill, as well as the boot and on the hubcaps. Decals have been placed correctly with no creases. This body presents well with only small minor problems.

The Interior

With these gullwing doors opening wide, it gives us a good look into the interior. Now this model was built a while ago, and with the availability of new dies and moulds, would present differently today. Chrome switches on the console are too bright, and they are larger than a lot of the newer model, But as I said, die making has improved since then. It would be interesting to see if there has been a new release since this release was available to see if there is a difference. The instrument panel displays all of the instruments as per the real vehicle. The inclusion of the gearbox (a little large) and handbrake are correct, and looking on the floor, one can clearly see the foot pedals. The seating is similar to that one has seen on the Jaguar models made by this manufacturer. The brown seats set off the creamy white interior. Steering wheel with its Mercedes Benz icon, turns the front wheels.

The Engine

The first thing one notices when you look at this engine is the colour scheme. The creamy white from the interior extends to the engine bay and spoils the effect. This should and could have been done better. That part in regards to the detail of the Parts, are in the majority hurd to identify. The actual engine itself is good with the detail at least the top part identifiable. But again the use of the chrome for the lower part of the engine is not so good. I think, with the use of different colours on the fenders creamy white and the chrome parts will make this model stand out a lot better than it does at the moment.

The Boot/Trunk

This is a very accurate depiction of the actual boot. But one thing that one notices, is that the fuel filler actually is in the boot. So when you wish to refuel your car, you need to open the boot to do so. Strange, but it is on the real vehicle. I would worry about the petrol fumes myself. The spare tire is included. It has only a small luggage capacity, so you could not go for long distance travel I think.

The Undercarriage

The undercarriage is well detailed. The spoiler is the use of chrome. Since this is a part not moulded as with the main interior part, there is no reason that another colour should have been used. While some would say that because it’s underneath the model, no one can see it.

The Conclusion

This was one of Mercedes Benz's attempts to make the ultimate sports car of that period. Using those gullwing doors made this a hot car. When one builds models of these vehicles that originate from premium makers, one must understand that using those prestige means that these models should reflect the quality of those real vehicles. These models should reflect this quality and be made to show that this model represents that quality. They need to understand this as collectors look for the same quality as if it were the real vehicle. With just a little more time and preparation, this would be a top model. So it has a number of design faults, and I will give this only a 3.0/5.0. Robin Finlay 14/03/2023.

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