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Snapshot, 1958: Prehistoric pedal power for the new 300 SL?

It’s October 1958, and the newest alloy body of a 300 SL roadster is getting a tour of Mercedes-Benz’s Sindelfingen plant via two men — Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble style…

Unlike the cars of the Flintstones cartoon, the 300 SL is no prehistoric vehicle made up of rocks and wood — it is a technological tour de force. Based on the Mercedes grand prix racer of the early 1950s, the 300 SL roadsters feature a space frame chassis, an updated six-cylinder engine with a competition camshaft, revised rear suspension, and direct fuel injection —making it the fastest convertible of its time. The aluminium body— the sole reason why these two men are able to carry it with such ease — weighs only 185kg, helping the car to produce a top speed of 140 mph. In due time, the body of this 300 SL roadster will soon be married with its chassis, engine, and tyres, and will have to rely on pedal power no more.

Photo: Daimler AG©