Watch Matt Farah Experience the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Today’s Smoking Tire One Take features the OG super-Benz: the 300 SL Gullwing.
It may be a bit of a cliche nowadays, but "race car for the street" wasn't always the default descriptor for any car that happened to be low slung and brisk. One of the key pioneers of the practice of actually repurposing race cars for public consumption was the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, which was based on the W194 endurance racer. It was one of the first cars—if not the first car—to feature flamboyant doors, a supercar trope that persists to this day in modern McLarens, Lamborghinis, and even electric crossovers from Silicon Valley. Today's One Take from The Smoking Tire sees Matt Farah have a go in one of these 50s classics and the result is, predictably, pretty glorious.
This particular 1955 example comes from Dieter's Motorsport in San Diego, with a pretty cool origin story to boot. After a little trouble and confusion getting the 60 year old classic started, Matt sets off only to be shortly interrupted by a small convoy of horses. Once the coast is cleared, we're treated to unadulterated sounds, stories, and driving impressions of one of the most iconic Benzes ever made.
The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing only held the title of fastest production car for four years before being usurped by the Aston Martin DB4 GT in 1959. Farah suggests that as baller a car as it was back then, it's even more baller now. We at The Drive are inclined to agree.