Flooring a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

The 3.0 version of the Mercedes-Benz M198 straight-six was called "the big six" for a reason. Or, more like 215 reasons.

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What would gullwing doors be worth without speed? That design on the hardtop was only made necessary by the complicated spaceframe under the metal, and at the end of the day, the 300 SL was faster without its roof anyway.

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No. What makes the 300 SL special is its engine. The 3.0 straight-six with its aluminum head, big valves and an even larger, 2.6 gallon oil capacity. And the "big six" wasn't fueled by the ancient trio of two-barrel Solex carburetors. Instead, it came with the latest Bosch had to offer, the world's first mechanical direct fuel injection system originally designed for Daimler-Benz's liquid-cooled inverted V12, which powered a number of Nazi planes in WW2.

Connected to a tight four-speed, this 215 horsepower straight-six was something else in 1952. And it still is.

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