While many date the birth of the Mercedes-Benz SL back to the racing 300SL of 1952 (and perhaps justifiably so) the fact remains the first roadgoing version of the iconic automobile was introduced in 1954 at the New York Auto Show. And, in the succeeding 60 years, the model has become a highly coveted icon.
Few cars enjoy the notoriety and desirability of the venerable Mercedes-Benz roadster. At once elegant and sporty, the Mercedes-Benz SL packs the performance to deliver a satisfying drive, while tempering its performance edge with a refined gentility almost diametrically opposed to the car’s true capabilities.
Interestingly, the duality of the car’s nature goes even farther. With its retractable folding hardtop, the contemporary SL is both coupe and convertible. Additionally, even though its two-seat configuration, and affable road manners would lead one to consider it an entry in the sports car market place, the fact is the technological refinement, luxurious appointments, and sheer gravity of the Mercedes-Benz SL make it one of the automotive universe’s most respected personal luxury cars.
In fact, if the Mercedes-Benz SL550 were a human being, and less self-assured, it might well suffer from a textbook case of schizophrenia.