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View Poll Results: 1954-1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe vs ferrari 250 gto
Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe 8 40.00%
ferrari 250 gto 12 60.00%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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  #31  
Old 07-26-2011, 08:03 PM
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^^^ THAT'S what I should have done with the beat 356 1500 Hirth roller I had! Lovely piece of art!
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  #32  
Old 08-08-2011, 03:31 PM
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This 'which one?' question often gets mashed up among proverbial greats - it's a fun exercise but not really thought provoking. So as many already said, the comparison here is too far off. Suggestions, however: A Jaguar XKSS is actually a perfect comparison to a 300-SL. They are contemporaries, both are inline 6-cylinders of similar capacity, and both are derived from competition cars (D-Type and W-194) with very distinctive features that resulted from innovative chassis designs. You might also say they both represent the ultimate in open and closed sports cars of their time. The only real issue is how few XKSS examples survived the fire. As for the 250 GTO, it was out on an island, so there isn't a good option for comparison. However, you could go to 1963 and decide between the 330 GTO Le Mans Berlinetta and the Aston Martin DP-215, (which happens to be road registered in the UK right now). 'Two very similar cars in shape and stature, though the Aston is probably way ahead on desirability.
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  #33  
Old 08-08-2011, 11:35 PM
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Interesting comparisons.
Yes the XKSS became rare becaue of the fire (13 or so still around) but I think it is much closer to the D-Type than the W198 300SL is to the W194 racecar. The W198 was a separete development, while the XKSS used renumbered obsolete D-Type tubs (All XKSS also carry their original D-Type chassis number) adnwas thinly disguised race car. The W198 was also based on the same tubular frame as the W194, but developed primarily with road use in mind and not the track. (In Ferrari terms, the 250 Lusso is to the GTO what the W198 is to the W194).

Your remark about the desirability of DP215 over the GTO for me only holds true, let's say, body and rarity wise. Even with the 4 liter inline 6 at its highest tune, the Aston could never match the performance of the Colombo V12 mounted in a much more nimble and lighter car. And later on the Cobra coupes showed what shear power can do, even if mounted in a very crude chassis.
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  #34  
Old 08-09-2011, 06:02 AM
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Fair point on the Jaguar chassis swapping. I tracked XKD 575 as best I could and found it has switched back and forth between a D-Type and XKSS twice now. Either way, I do like the similar spirit of taking the monocoque and the chro-moly tube chassis and making road cars out of them, however extensive the development process became. The SL did get a lot of competition vestiges as well, including a massive fuel tank, all the familiar styling cues of the racing cars, and terrible cabin ventilation. Also in the "spirit of things" is the fact that the XKSS and 300-SL are two of the last prestige sports cars to rely on the in-line six. After 1957, an in-line six wasn't so exotic for the very top-end cars. (The exception here is Aston Martin.) Anyway, I shouldn't take all the credit for this comparison because 'Octane' ran an identical feature to this extent a few months back. They also threw in a '57 Testa Rossa for flavor - and because it was one owner who happened to offer all three for whimsical choosing.

The DP-215 and predecessors were apparently very fast, many say first over 200 mph at Le Mans, though I've no way to know for sure. But they were poorly vetted by the factory, that much is certain, and therefore no match for Ferrari's experience. I do wonder how good they could have been even in top form, given the limits of the 6-cylinder you pointed out. So yes, there's not much achievement to the car's own credit. The Ferrari 330 in front-motor guise wasn't much better, however, as it also ran up against the mid-motor wall. 'Kind of a battle of the aesthetically pleasing underachievers, here.

You mentioned the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe. That is interesting counterpoint to the 250 GTO. Slightly different methods from two vastly different companies, but the same basic platform aimed at the same goal. No grand touring pretensions on the Shelby, and such a limited program in comparison, but they stand together nicely.

I'm basically posting to get my avatar and signature settled, but I will say the chat is fun.
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