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 |  Nov 07 2012, 4:32 PM

1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

Moving on, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL is an automotive icon, and not just for its distinctive roof-hinged doors. The car was a winner on the track and a blast to drive on the street.

The production version was introduced in New York on February 6, 1954. It was based on a racecar that debuted two years earlier. The competition version saw great success in campaigns ranging from Italy’s Mille Miglia to the Bern Grand Prix. In its opening season it even took home gold and silver medals in a little competition called the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

At its launch, the automotive press was bowled over by its looks, driving dynamics and comfort. Germany’s Auto, Motor und Sport called the 300SL a “dream car,” while British journal AutoSport said its performance was “virtually unbelievable.”

Propelling this car into the history books was an inline six-cylinder engine. Pretty standard fare for the time, but with direct fuel injection it delivered a 215 hp wallop.

In its day the 300SL was one of the fastest cars on earth. Top speed was about 250 km/h, roughly 155 miles an hour.

The original production run lasted from 1954 until 1957. All told 1,400 examples were manufactured of which 30 featured lightweight aluminum bodies. Understandably, these command huge prices today. A prime example will set you back about three-quarters of a million dollars.

  • be34st

    BTW, that is not a 1985 M5 pictured. The car pictured is actually not an M5 at all. It’s likely a 1991-1993 525i or 535i. Not having an M-Technik bumper gave it away. In 1985 The M5 was the E28 chasis, not the E34 chasis pictured. The E34 M5 (1991+) waas the best M5 ever btw.

  • James K

    Looks like they fixed the pic. Personally I’m a fan of the E39. The E60 was the worst.

  • Guest

    No Porsche 959?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Miller/743275334 Matt Miller

     +1 for the e39, but the e34s and e28s are raw too. The E60 just seems like it’d be a pain to own.

  • James K

     Seriously. Or how about ANY Porsche?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1521322033 Nate Kippert

    top ten? It cant be done…..too many choices, because i disagree with em all except the Buick grand national

  • Jwebb

    Your list is pretty shit, No F1, E30 M3, any Porsche, Jag XK220 or even VW GTI? but you have a BUICK, GT40 & UR Quattro? Your Petrol Head status revoked.

  • spacecadetglow

     Not just any Buick, the GNX was the fastest production car in the US, quite an accomplishment.

  • Guest

    I dont fully agree with this article, however, some people need to look beyond their personal favorites. Look at what each of these cars did for autos as we know it…

  • Jameswill

    Seriously? You’re hating on the GNX. Dude. You’re stuuuuuuupid.

  • Kmr0102

    nor 911! ridiculous 

  • James K

     The XK220 as a pile of crap. Beautiful… but crap.

  • Leo Rando

     Smoke any stock car made…..6 cyl Ta boot……..

  • colin judd

    I
    havea 2012 m bedmnz BN180 amnd it has terrible noisy fron wheel brakes wjhemn reversing it sounds like thefront end is falling out