Debuting at the Geneva Motor Show, the 300SL Roadster was no hasty solution to owner demands. Mercedes went the extra mile, completely reengineering the car to address some of the 300SL’s issues, particularly its suspension. They lowered the pivot point, improving handling and reducing oversteer tendencies.
The 3.0-liter straight-six engine, featuring pioneering fuel injection, received a power bump from 215bhp to 225bhp, maintaining its torque at 202lb-ft. The chassis was redesigned to accommodate conventional swing-opening doors, though it added some weight to the SL, increasing it from 1,310kg to 1,420kg.
To create space for the folding fabric roof and increase load capacity, the fuel tank was downsized from 130 liters to 100 liters. The Roadster’s most significant advantage over the Gullwing was improved ventilation, offering a more comfortable experience during long journeys.
Despite a higher price tag of $10,950, the refined Roadster was a compelling choice for collectors and enthusiasts. Unlike the coupe, which had a brief production run of under three years, the Roadster remained in production until early 1963, with a total of 1,858 units built.