Artist: Jan Matthias
Photographed with extreme attention to technical details, body reflections and distinct line work, Jan Matthias added additional application of color pencil, marker and gouache.
Size: 11 x 17
Story behind this piece:
The Stuttgart-based brand unveiled its new sports car in February 1954 at the International Motor Sports Show in New York.
The original Mercedes-Benz 300 SL was conceived initially as a purpose-built racing sports car,
model W 194, bringing home a long list of significant wins at major races, stating in 1952:
24 hrs at Le Mans, GP of Switzerland in Bern, Nuerburgring, Carrera Panamericana.
The green light for series production of the road-trim 300 SL was given for model W198,
with a fixed price of 29,000 Marks – quite an large sum at the time.
The car’s aluminum skin was stretched over a tubular frame, which – in the interest of stability – rose much further than usual up the sides of the vehicle, making it impossible to fit conventional doors.
The response of the engineers was to devise an upwards-opening door concept, which resulted in the iconic nickname“Gullwing”.
The frame weighs only 82 kilograms, whilst the complete car in ready-to-drive condition and including the spare wheel, tools and fuel weighs only 1,295 kilograms.
Its standard 3-Liter, 6-cylinder, fuel-injected engine delivering 215hp, had to be slanted 45 degrees to the left, to fit under the low-slung hood, providing a max. top speed of 260km/hr.
Only 1400 units of the 300 SL coupe were made between 1954 and 1957, with only 29 cars with an all aluminum body.
With its beautifully proportioned and highly aerodynamic, graceful body, the 300 SL has lost nothing of its freshness and was voted “Sports Car of the Century” in 1999.