1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL

1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL

HAER Number

CT- 194


New Haven, CT

Date(s) of Construction

Summer 1954

Original Owner and Use

Briggs Swift Cunningham II
Palm Beach, FL

Road use and sports car racing

Present Owner and Use

Dennis Nicotra
New Haven, CT

Display and exhibition

Designer / Engineer / Builder

Dr.-Ing Fritz Nallinger, Technical Director, Daimler-Benz AG
Rudolf Uhlenhaut, Engineer, Daimler-Benz AG
Alfred Neubauer, Racing Director, Daimler-Benz AG
Mercedes-Benz – Builder

The 1954 Mercedes-Benz Type 300 SL (W 198) coupe with serial number 198 040 4500003 is nationally significant based on its relation to four criteria. First it is associated with important events in automotive and American history as the first Mercedes-Benz 300 SL imported to the United States. The Mercedes-Benz Type 300 SL (W 198) coupe was significant as the first foreign mass-produced automobile built for and launched in America. Second, it is associated with important persons in automotive and American history. This automobile’s first owner was Briggs S. Cunningham, a prominent American businessman who achieved international success in automobile and yacht racing. This automobile was also associated with Maximilian E. Hoffman, an importer of foreign automobiles. Mr. Hoffman was responsible for persuading the management of Daimler-Benz to build a road version of the Mercedes-Benz Type 300 SL racecar and instrumental in the introduction and importation of many other foreign manufactured automobiles to the American market. Third, the Mercedes-Benz Type 300 SL (W 198) coupe features significant design and construction value. It was the first production automobile to use fuel injection. It featured a lightweight tubular space frame chassis, an advanced aerodynamic body design and unique “gullwing” doors that open vertically and became a hallmark of the model. Fourth, 198 040 4500003 was the first Mercedes-Benz Type 300 SL (W198) coupe to be sold to a customer. This car is an early production car and as such has certain components, materials and finishes that were later changed as production continued.




Video Thumbnail
THIS CAR MATTERS: 1954 Mercedes - Benz 300 SL (198 040 4500003)
THIS CAR MATTERS: 1954 Mercedes - Benz 300 SL (198 040 4500003) - youtube Video

News About this Vehicle