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Here's Nico Rosberg Driving His 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing In Monaco

Among classic cars, the Gullwing holds a special place for all the right reasons. Bite-the-back-of-your-hand beautiful and extremely rare, the W198 also happens to be a milestone in terms of performance thanks to 3.0-liter M198 straight-six engine.
Nico Rosberg's 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing 31 photos
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As opposed to the “big six” before it, the M198 and subsequent M189 feature fuel injection instead of carburetors. The system in the Gullwing is that more special because it’s direct as opposed to indirect in the W189, W112, W108, and W109.

Thanks to this advancement in internal combustion, the W198 could hit 260 kph (162 miles per hour) on full song, making the 300 SL Gullwing the fastest production car in 1954. Does it even come as a surprise that A-listers of the day, including Clark Gable, Tony Curtis, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Sophia Loren, and five-time Formula 1 world champion Juan Manuel Fangio, were driving Gullwing models?

Even though there are faster, more modern cars available right now, the Gullwing remains a favorite among famous people to this day, including among racing drivers. Nico Rosberg, the 2016 Formula 1 world champion who retired from the sport at the end of that season, owns a cream example of the breed with a red-and-beige interior.

The leather wrapping the seats and upper part of the dashboard is original, being as old as the car (1955 model). Other than the cracked, worn leather, it’s a bit of an undertaking to start the car. Getting in is a hassle due to the low roof and high door sills. Once in, the driver has to lock the steering wheel back in its regular position.

The starting procedure starts with switching on the electricity, the fuel pump, then the driver pulls out the choke. The last step is to push the key in, then turn it to the left to start the engine. Five seconds later after start-up, push the fuel pump button to its off position and the choke as well. Quite different from today’s cars, isn’t it?

If you were wondering what’s it like to drive the Gullwing in 2018 on the streets of Monaco, press play and let Nico talk you through it all.

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