There aren’t many cars on the road today with a direct lineage stretching back over 60 years, but the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is one of them. The 300 SL Gullwing appeared in 1954 with its infamous doors and exceptional 3.0-liter inline six, and to say it garnered the attention of pretty much everyone with an automotive pulse is a tremendous understatement.
64 years later, the SL is as exciting as ever with nearly 600 horsepower (447 kilowatts) available in top-dog AMG trim. Perhaps even more impressive, however, is that in all those decades, there’s never been a bad generation. Actually, there’s never even been a forgettable one, and that includes the 1970s when all cars came under attack for emissions and fuel economy requirements.
Thanks to BudgetDirect, all iterations of this classic German sports car are offered here in a convenient slideshow. It’s quite fascinating to see how the SL has evolved through the years, so join us for this brief trip through Mercedes history.