1954-1957 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing

Michael Furman

Designed by Friedrich Geiger and Walter Hacker
The Gullwing was the road-car evolution of the Mercedes-Benz 300SLR racing cars. Because conventional door cutouts would have weakened their tube-frame chassis, those first racers used top-hinged doors consisting of a side window and a roof section only. Mercedes was worried that the unconventional doors might be challenged if the car won, but racing chief Alfred Neubauer had scrutinized the rules and concluded, "Nowhere is it written that a door can open only sideways."

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