Tuesday, September 01, 2015
Form over Function
The classic 1950's gull-wing design of this early SL has a timeless appeal. It is the wet dream of many motorheads, the poster art hanging on the walls of teenagers for nearly 50 years. It is a sharp looking car. It also has a functional issue. Look how high the door sill is in relationship to the seat back. It was described as an athletic event to climb in and out, many older owners had to stop driving the car because they couldn't get out of it. The door sills are that high to accomodate the frame needed to give the car stiffness so it will corner like a sports car instead a cabin cruiser.
This one is in the Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart, across the street from Daimler's world headquarters and across the street from Mercedes Stadium. The collection is stunning and arranged to tell a history of the motor car, the building is a master piece of modern design with fantastic function, some of the cars, not so well balanced.