Last Sunday two organizations that I belong to – the Mercedes-Benz Club of America and the Larz Anderson Museum of Transportation held a Mercedes Day at the Larz Anderson Museum in Brookline, Massachusetts. I had the pleasure of attending this event.
There was a wide range of Mercedes-Benz cars there, all from the post-war era. I have picked out a few photos of the some of the more sporty cars from among the gathered cars.
The 170S Cabriolet shown below was the sporty version of the modest Mercedes-Benz 170 line of the late 1940s and early 1950s, but it only had 52 horsepower. This car retained a lot of the elegance of the pre-war Mercedes-Benz cars. The suicide doors are a nice design style on this car.
Early 1950s Sporty Mercedes-Benz 170S Cabriolet
While the Mercedes-Benz 300SL cars get most of the attention, the more modest Mercedes-Benz 190SL, as shown below, was the Mercedes-Benz sports car in the 1950s for the masses. In recent years these 2-seat sports cars have significantly increased value as the more desirable but visually similar Mercedes-Benz 300SL cars have reached prices only affordable to hedge fund managers.
In the 1960s Mercedes-Benz updated the SL range to the 230SL, the 250SL, and finally the 280SL. I have shown a picture of a 280SL that was at the Larz Anderson show. All of these cars had in-line 6-cylinder engines that with each model got a little bigger. The 280SL which was produced from 1968 to 1971 had a 2.8 litre engine that produced 170 horsepower. These cars have a very stylish look to them.
The Mercedes-Benz 280SE from the early 1970s shown below looked great with the coupe design. This car had a 3.5 litre V8 engine that produced 200 horsepower which provides reasonable performance for full size car.
In the 1980s Mercedes-Benz modified the SL model line and this culminated in the Mercedes-Benz 560SL as shown below. I have fond memories of the Mercedes-Benz 560SL cars as Harald von Langsdorff and I won our class in two Northeast Rally Club rallies with Harald’s 560SL. The 560SL had a 5.6 litre V8 engine which produced 227 horsepower.
There were some modern Mercedes-Benz sports cars at the Mercedes Day as well. The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG shown below clearly takes design cues from the older Mercedes-Benz sports cars. The SLS AMG is capable of accelerating from 0 to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds, and can reach a top speed of over 190 miles per hour. The SLS AMG can also post a quarter-mile time of 11.7 seconds at 125 mph.
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
As a Mercedes-Benz owner I found the Mercedes Day to be very interesting and a little inspiring. It also was a demonstration that Mercedes-Benz has been making good cars for a long time. As Mercedes-Benz founder, Gottlieb Daimler, reportedly wrote: “The best or nothing at all.”