When car experts write up their lists of top cars of all time, there are almost always a few Mercedes-Benz models that make the cut—and with good reason. Credited with making the first-ever gasoline-powered automobile, Mercedes-Benz has a long history of designing some of the best cars to have ever graced our roads.
Each year, new models impress reviewers, auto mechanics, and car buyers everywhere. But, every once in a while, one particular model with excellent performance, innovative technology, incredible luxury – or a combination of all three—sets itself apart from the others.
Read on to find out which three Mercedes-Benz models did just that, and how they have endured as icons in the history of auto making.
300 SL Gullwing: A Combination of Impeccable Design and Cutting-Edge Auto Technology
In the 1950s, Mercedes-Benz introduced its 300 SL model—a car which boasted many firsts, including direct fuel-injection and the iconic doors that gave the car its nickname; “gullwing.”
Originally created for the racetrack, the 300 SL was designed with performance in mind. It was powered by a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine, and had a top speed of almost 260 km per hour. The car’s light tubular frame was also designed for performance and, as a result, included tubes in inconvenient places—like where conventional doors were usually placed. To help fix this problem, engineers at Mercedes-Benz created the iconic gullwing doors—students pursuing auto body technician training know that these are doors that swing upwards to open.
Check out this video to get a glimpse of the 300 SL Gullwing:
A Celebrity Favourite Automobile: The 600 Pullman
The 600 Pullman was a symbol for luxury back in the 1960s—in fact, it is often referred to as “one of the most luxurious cars ever made.” It boasted a unique hydraulic system that controlled everything including the doors, trunk, seats, and even windows. The 600 was a massive limousine, and to power it and its hydraulic system, Mercedes-Benz secured a 6.3-litre V8 engine under its hood.
As the ultimate luxury vehicle, the 600 Pullman became a celebrity favourite and was owned by pop culture icons such as John Lennon, Jack Nicholson, Coco Chanel, and Elvis Presley—among many others.
Take a look at the car here:
C111: The Concept Car that Launched Many New Auto Technologies
Car experts in Canada and around the world look forward to when auto companies unveil their latest concept cars. Such concepts are often created to visualize or try out bold new designs, as well as futuristic new technology.
In 1969, Mercedes-Benz unveiled a concept car that combined both: the C111 was, right from the start, a bold combination of excellent design and engineering. It was used to test out new cutting-edge technologies like air conditioning, diesel engines, and the Wankel engine—an internal combustion engine that converts pressure into rotating motion.
The C111 was also stunning to look at. Its futuristic sleek design and gullwing doors dazzled car enthusiasts. Many potential buyers desperately wanted to purchase the C111, with one fan even sending a blank cheque to the car company.
Even though it was never made into the supercar that it likely would have been, the C111 certainly raised the bar for the design of future sports cars.
See the Mercedes-Benz C111 concept here: