Rudolf Uhlenhaut's 'Sport Leicht' (light sports) cars returned Mercedes-Benz to motor sport after the devastation wrought on the company in the Second World War. On a tight budget and utilising production-based engines and suspension, Uhlenhaut's team built a lightweight, aerodynamic coupé which won at Le Mans and went on to dominate the 1952 sport car racing season. This book charts the history of the Mercedes SL cars from these first racing machines, to the fabulous road cars which have followed over the next five decades.
In 1954 the race cars was developed into the 'Gullwing' 300SL road car, followed by a 300SL roadster prompted by Mercedes' US importer Max Hoffman. Fast and expensive, they were the ultimate cars for celebrities - owners included Sophia Loren and Tony Curtis, British comedian Tony Hancock, multiple world champion driver Juan Manuel Fangio and scotch whisky magnate Rob Walker.
Subsequent generations offered more and more safety and security on the road, together with comfort, elegance and speed. Today's SL still embodies those same virtues. In addition to a detailed history of all these cars Mercedes SL Series includes specification tables, biographies of important figures in the SL story, and chapters on the awesome SLR McLaren supercar and on buying and owning a Mercedes SL.
Including: competition history ~ 300SL 'Gullwing' ~ 300SL Roadster ~ W113 'Pagoda-roof' 230SL, 250SL and 280SL ~ R107 'Panzerwagen' SL ~ C107 SLC coupé ~ R129 300SL to SL600 and SL73AMG ~ today's R230 SL range ~ Mercedes SLR McLaren ~ and much more.
First Edition published by The Crowood Press in August 2004. Available from all good bookshops, or you can buy online.