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Jack Mugan
64 articles

Back to The Classics

January 18, 2016 · in Automotive · · 19 · 2.8K

(Google is my friend)
The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class (formerly known as the SL Roadster prior to 1994) is a grand touring roadster manufactured by Mercedes since 1954. The designation SL derives from the German Sportlich-Leicht, (English: Sport Lightweight) and was first applied to the 300 SL, often referred to as the "Gullwing" due to its gullwing or upward-opening doors .The term SL refers to the marketing variations of the vehicle, including the numerous engine configurations spanning six design generations.
The car was introduced at the 1954 New York Auto Show. The idea of a toned-down Gran Prix car tailored to affluent performance enthusiasts in the booming post-war American market was suggested by Max Hoffman. Mercedes accepted the gamble and the new 300 SL – 300 for its 3.0 litre engine displacement, and was immediately successful. The 300 SL stood alone with its distinctive doors, first-ever production fuel-injection, and world's fastest top speed. The original coupé was available from March 1955 to 1957, the roadster from 1957 to 1963.
When brought this classic out I had to get one, and contrary to my usual habit, started the build as soon as it arrived. My first impression was this was a very complicated kit based on the detail in the frame and chassis, but once I started the project, it went together without any problems as long as I followed the instructions in the proper sequence
You will end up with three sub-assemblies as the build progresses, and I held my breath when it became time to fit them together, but as usual, typical of most Tamiya kits, everything went together as it was designed to do The semi-clear full belly pan was a really nice touch to this kit. They recommend painting it, but I left it as it was.
I found a photo of this paint scheme on Google, and though I did not replicate it exactly, I did keep the styling cues I liked best, like leaving the bumpers off. The big decision was whether to display it with both or just one door in the up position. In the end I decided that it was a Gullwing and decided to go with both doors opened.

I really liked building this kit of one of my all-time favorites. Back in the fifties European sports cars were just starting to gain popularity in America and this one has become an icon of that time.

Reader reactions:
7  Awesome

9 additional images. Click to enlarge.

19 responses

  1. I started a WIP on this kit, but then came a period when I wasn't able to post anything on iModeler for a while, so I never got round to showing the finished photographs. I don't need to now as you've done a fabulous job with this one. I really like how you've finished it, sans bumpers and with the red flashes on the front wings. You're right, it's a great kit so long as you follow the instructions, the only problem I had was painting some of the chromed pieces, I seem to remember the dashboard was a bit tricky, along with the hub caps, but you've obviously mastered those!

  2. It was your WIP that inspired me to build this kit George, and I hope you are going to post your pictures. I brush painted the white on the hubcaps and the dashboard. I wanted to put whitewalls on this car, but could not find narrow whites that fit. I tried wide whites, but did not like the look, so in the end I went with the stock tires.

  3. That's stunning work, Jack...very nice job. Tell did you achieve that "cloud" effect in the headline photo?

  4. A real beauty, Jack.

  5. Classic kit , built wonderfully Jack.
    Well done mate.

  6. Jack, beautifully done!

  7. Beautiful job as always, Jack!

  8. That is one impressive SL Jack! Beautiful car indeed...:)

  9. Nice job Jack, I seem to remember building a gull wing Mercedes when I was a kid. Had to be a Revell kid and remember it being silver. Or I could be suffering from sometimers,. Some times I remember some times I don't.

  10. Whoaa! Jack! This is a stunner. So well done in every respect. But what caught my eye is that you left (or painted) the steering wheel in it's original yellowish Bakelite color. Every model I have seen of this had been painted white or black. Every real prototype has the Bakelite yellow.
    Nice modeling Jack.
    California Steve

  11. Wonderful job, Jack !

  12. Great looking model, Jack. A mechanic friend of mine works on one fairly regularly. He likes to tell people that he's unworthy of opening the hood, but suffers through it. Having inspected the car myself, the mechanical details are astounding for the period.

  13. Very nice - and with the doors open, it almost qualifies as a winged subject!

  14. Thats beautiful!

    My favorite car, ever.
    I have 3 of these in the pile, along with an AMT kit, and a huge Entex one.
    I'm afraid to start any of them, sadly...I don't think I can do them justice.

  15. Really nice Jack. Looks almost real !

  16. beauty...make Wayne Carini proud...nt

  17. Beautifull model-cool looking paint job!

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