The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Was An Ergonomic Nightmare But An Engineering Dream


A lot has been written, said, and recorded about the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, but the ergonomic issues of its interior can oftentimes be glossed over and the legendary gullwing doors are just the beginning.

Designed to accommodate the very light, but very tall tubular spaceframe that underpins the car, Mercedes decided that the vertical opening doors were the easiest way to allow occupants in and out of the car, something the later 300 SL convertible didn’t need because the company had become better at designing tubular spaceframes.

That spaceframe, though, meant that the car’s side sills are extremely wide making the car challenging to enter and exit, fancy doors notwithstanding, as Doug DeMuro proves in his latest video. Although the steering wheel flips down offering the driver’s legs more room, it flips down into your chest, which still seems less than ideal, especially for a car whose value is measured in millions these days.

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