In 1955 Mercedes Benz introduced it’s 300 SL Gullwing Coupé, at the behest of their American agent Max Hoffman, and over the next 2 years built 1400 examples.
For reasons that are not entirely clear to me Mercedes Benz did not introduce the almost mechanically identical roadster version until 1957.
The major difference between the two models is that the space frame required lower sills than the gull wing to permit front hinged doors.
The fuel tank and rear axle were also redesigned which allowed the spare wheel to be taken out of the boot /trunk and mounted beneath the floor panel.
With the space between the boot / trunk lid freed up Mercedes offered it’s customers bespoke suitcases to fill the space up, as there was no storage in the cabin area as there had been in the Coupé.
From 1957 to 1963 1,858 Roadsters were built, the example seen here has been in the same family since it was purchased from the used lot of a Chevrolet dealer in 1965.
It is one of less than 50 Roadsters, all built in 1957, to be documented as supplied with Rudge Wheels from the factory.
My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing today’s photographs, taken a couple of years ago at Danville Concours d’Elegance.
Thanks for joining me on this “Rudge Wheel Roadster” Edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !