Beneath the thin and streamlined skin of the 300SL is a tubular steel frame, longitudinally stressed, providing maximum rigidity and minimum weight which, with the 240-hp engine, makes for an outstanding power-weight ratio. The entire chassis weighs 2,040 pounds, with a curb weight (including the spare wheel, tools and fuel) of 2,855 pounds and a maximum total weight, with load, of 3,340 pounds.
THE CHASSIS IN ENGINEERING DETAIL
Racing car principles characterize the engineering of the 300SL: 1) finned aluminum brake drums, with self-adjusting, power-boosted brakes; 2) shock absorbers; 3) independent coil suspension springs; 4) steering arm; 51 dual radiator for oil cooling on right, water coolant on left; 6) four-gallon engine coolant tank; 7) air-intake system; 8) camshaft cover; 9) generator; 10) coolant pipe to radiator; 11) exhaust pipe; 12) muffler; 13) fuel tank for 34.3 gallons; 14) double coil, independent rear springs; 15) rear shock absorbers; 16) swing arm; 17) 12-volt battery; 18) drive shaft; 19) four-speed synchromesh transmission; 20) gearshift lever; 21) differential; 22) steering wheel, collapsible for easier access. Double springs plus swing axles are exclusive with Mercedes.
THE CAR IN PROFILE
Belly-panned and streamlined, the 300SL is designed for minimum drag and maximum roadability. In this drawing, the low hood line made possible by canted engine is clearly evident. Numbers indicate: 1) air intake system; 2) camshaft cover; 3) distributor; 4) dual radiator; 5) fuel injection nozzles (two indicated); 6) gearbox; 7) differential; 8) fuel tank; 9) spare tire.