Style & Culture
Thu Jun 06 2013 15:32:25 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
"Although bearing a strong outward resemblance to its predecessor and continuing the previous numbering system, the 300 SL Roadster was much more than a Gull Wing with a soft top. Even though the radiator, motor, transmission, front suspension and numerous small parts were interchangeable, substantial chassis changes allowed for installation of a lower roll center single pivot trailing arm rear axle to replace the prior dual pivot system. With this rear axle change the Roadster's corning performance was much more neutral and the tendency to oversteer was reduced significantly. Wheel width was increased to 5.5" and the standard axle ratio was changed to 3.89:1 for cars designated for USA delivery with the previous ratios remaining available upon special order.
A major revision of the space frame design accommodated conventional doors also allowed for roll-down windows. A removable hard top was available as an extra cost option. Instrumentation was revamped along with revised heating/ventilation controls.
Fuel tank capacity was decreased to make room for the spare tire and to provide a modicum of trunk space. Headlight and taillight designs were altered to provide a more contemporary appearance.
The total number of Roadsters produced between 1957 and 1963 was 1858." Photo by F. C. Gundlach, Berlin 1956 Text source: http://www.gullwinggroup.org/content/production-summary