Chasing Classic Cars: Mercedes 300SL Gullwing and Ferrari 250GT Lusso
The Mercedes Gullwing and Ferrari Lusso are among the most beautiful, powerful and desirable cars ever made and tonight on Chasing Classic Cars they'll be selling both.
The Gullwing Mercedes changed the U.S.’ opinion on Mercedes forever, from solid but staid to sporty and adventurous. And for good reason: being the first car to inject fuel directly into the cylinders, the 300SL was the fastest production car of its time, reaching a top speed of 161 mph.
The 300SL was originally a racing car, but American distributor Max Hoffman said it would be a commercial success in the U.S. as a street car, and he was right. Of all the 1400 cars made 80% were sold in the U.S.
Even though this car is definitely somewhere at the top of sexiest cars ever made it did have some issues. The car was more directed towards car racing than street driving: if not driven hard or long enough the car never reached a temperature high enough to evaporate the gasoline out of the lubricating oil. Furthermore, the car had unusually high sills that made exiting the car a bit problematic, even with the Gullwing doors. But who needs to exit a car like this anyway? Just bring some sandwiches and live in it.
The Lusso was made to bridge the gap between luxury and sports cars. Introduced at the 1962 Paris motor show, the Lusso was designed by Pininfarina with coachwork by Scaglietti. The car sported flowing lines and a fastback shape typical of the GT cars of the mid-1960s.
Under the hood was the 250 GTO's Tipo 168 engine with 250 PS (184 kW; 247 hp) and three Weber 36DCS carburettors. The general fabulousness of the car made it a popular car among celebrities. Eric Clapton owned one and a Lusso owned by Steve McQueen was recently sold for the humble price of $2.3 million. Nbd.
Tonight on Chasing Classic Cars, Wayne Carini will be selling an exemplar of each of these rides. Watch Velocity at 9pm to see how much they will sell for.
Photo Credit: Gullwing: Don Heiny/Corbis & Lusso: wikipedia commons/exfordy