Josh Clason is one of these people that uses Vimeo for the forces of good, covering the automotive realm with the same effort and craftsmanship seen on the restored cars featured in the Depth of Speed videos. In the latest installment Depth of Speed: Poetry in Motion, Clason depicts the life of a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing and an anonymous owner which understands that some beauty is best appreciated shaken, not stirred.
Much like other – equally valuable – classics, this particular 300 SL Gullwing attends the ritzy car shows in Vail and New York. But you won’t see it strapped down lifelessly to a premium tow truck. Instead, car and driver make cross-country commutes the old fashioned way, venturing out regardless of weather, paint chips, and windshield dings – living on the grit and determination of the sacred bond between man and machine.
The fact is that cars are meant to be driven. And just because a Gullwing might be worth more than some people ever see in a lifetime doesn’t mean they aren’t mobile anymore, to be confined in a so-called preservative state via garage or museum.
From 1954 to 1957, the Mercedes-Benz 300 XL featured a 212 horsepower 6-cylinder engine. Because of the vehicle’s flat and low stance, the engine had to be inserted at a 45 degree angle so that it would fit within a confined space. Power is produced at the rear wheels through a 4 speed manual transmission and optionally improved high axle ratios for performance.
But fancy technology isn’t the only reason to lust a 1955 Gullwing. In Clason’s video we can see the heart of the matter: sensuous perfection. The Gullwing looks, drives, and incites a hormonal response. After completing an Initial Test of an original model, Road & Track noted: “We are looking at a car where a comfortable interior is complemented by remarkably impressive handling characteristics, quite incredible roadholding, light and precise steering, and performance levels which are up there with – and even an improvement on – the best cars the automotive industry has to offer. There is only one thing left to say: the sports car of the future has become a reality.”
This is a car which deserves to be on the road. Josh Clason’s Vimeo coverage does an incredible justice to the Gullwing’s fragrant essence, a certain je ne sais quoi.
Vimeo: Josh Clason: http://vimeo.com/42913762
Serious Wheels: http://www.seriouswheels.com/cars/top-1954-1957-Mercedes-Benz-300SL-Gullwing-Coupe.htm