With the cancellation of this weeks Cars &Coffee / Irvine event (due to facility maintenance being performed on one of the site buildings), I had the opportunity to sit back and reflect on the many different makes and models of cars that frequent the event, and that I have had the pleasure of shooting. Next to photographing Porsches, another favorite subject of mine over my past three years of attendance has been the Mercedes-Benz 300SL.
I first became aware of the Mercedes 300SL back in the early 1960’s. A friend of my fathers owned a 300SL roadster, and I remember seeing him out driving it around town always with the top down. But it was the 300SL gullwing coupe that made an even greater impression. Here was a beautifully styled coupe, abounding in detail, and with the most magical doors I had ever seen. Several other details had also made a lasting impression; a steering wheel that hinged down to allow easier access into the driver’s seat, the wide side sills that required sliding over in order to sit in the bucket seats, and an interior design that was stark by today’s standards, yet purpose-built for performance. I realized that the attention to detail found throughout the 300SL was genetic, and could also be seen in the earlier models, such as my grandfather’s Mercedes 220 A cabriolet. Thus the 300SL gullwing quickly became one of my favorite Mercedes-Benz models, and still is to this day.
So imagine my surprise when I encountered my first 300SL at Cars & Coffee, knowing the rarity of this particular model. Due in part to this events location, and combined with good sunny Southern California weather, there is a strong possibility of seeing at least one 300SL, be it a Gullwing or a Roadster, almost on a weekly basis.
The following photos were taken from my ongoing “reflection study” series, and highlights the Mercedes 300SL gullwing and roadster models.