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1960 Mercedes-Benz W198II, better known as "300 SL Roadster"
This car will be offered on auction in Arizona on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at a price over 1,100,000 USD... 

The introduction of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL was a hugely important moment for Mercedes-Benz and served to further cement the company’s position as the market leader in race-bred, performance automobiles. Massively ahead of its time, the 300 SL utilized an innovative space-frame chassis coupled with a highly advanced, fuel-injected in line 6 cylinder 3 lt. engine, the first of its kind fitted to a production car. It was crowned the fastest performance car in the world upon its introduction and could handedly outrun any other car on sale at the time. The car was conceived by American Mercedes-Benz importer Max Hoffman, who believed that a road-legal version of Mercedes-Benz’s successful W194 racer would be profitable and that the unique style and performance of such a car would resonate well with his American clients. Mercedes-Benz took Hoffman up on his idea, and so it was only natural that the new 300 SL would premiere at the New York Auto Show in 1954. The 300 SL coupe quickly earned the nickname “Gullwing” for its distinctive roof-hinged doors, and the public fell in love with the car, not only for its breathtaking design, but also for its earth-shattering performance. Looking to expand upon his success with the Gullwing coupe, Hoffman thought that a convertible version of the 300 SL would also sell quite well, and the 300 SL Roadster was introduced in 1957. Of course, as the 300 SL would lose its top, engineers had to reinforce and modify the space-frame chassis to fit conventionally hinged doors. Through lowering the height of the chassis, this simultaneously allowed for greater ease of entry. Cosmetic changes were minor and included a smaller grille opening and dual chrome strips along the side sills, giving the car a more streamlined and glamorous look. At the rear, the spare tire was repositioned below the trunk floor, necessitating a smaller fuel tank but also maintaining reasonable luggage space. These revisions to the roadster added some 250 lbs.(approx 125 kg) to the total weight of the car, mostly due to the convertible top. Looking to keep the speed and performance of the closed 300 SL for the new roadster despite its gain in weight, Mercedes-Benz fitted the more sporting NSL engine of the coupe to all roadsters as standard equipment. This gave the roadster 225 bhp and made the car capable of top speeds that ranged from 133 to 155 mph (215-250 kmh) , depending on the final drive ratio specified. However, the stunning performance and design of the 300 SL Roadster did not come cheap, at a list price of 11,000 USD; but it was worth every penny. Ownership of a 300 SL implied an exquisite taste in engineering and aesthetics, and it was the ultimate automotive statement. Naturally, many found homes in the garages of celebrities, racing drivers, and other successful individuals with an appreciation for fine automobiles. 



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