Why Mercedes chose gullwing doors. Details matter

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IN THE SPIRIT OF BOD AND JENKS

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Details matter.

Das wertvollste Auto der Welt: Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé.The most valuable car in the world: Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé.

Uhlenhaut 300 SLR

As we report on page 106 this month the Uhlenhaut 300 SLR has sold for a record amount – but why gullwing doors? Mercedes first used them on its 1952 racer, the W194. Its tubular frame’s high sides meant normal doors would leave too small an entry. When a US importer persuaded Stuttgart that Americans would buy a car with these bizarre openings, the production 300SL was born. Since the later racing SLR had a similar chassis and styling, there was a ready-made hardtop option.

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