Mercedes-Benz introduced a Roadster version of the 300SL at the 1957 Geneva Motor Show. It effectively replaced the gullwing coupe which was retired that year. At $11,000, yep less than 9000 Rand in the years of yore was more expensive than the outgoing coupe and it benefited from a host of upgrades.
Like the Gullwing, the Roadster featured roughly the same engineering underneath, but the body was changed to incorporate regular doors. Detail differences included larger front fenders, larger euro’ headlights, a smaller grille, a rounder front windscreen and a chrome accent strip running down the side of the car.
To maintain rigidity , Mercedes-Benz engineers had to add more structural integrity into the chassis. Thus the Roadster is slightly heavier than its coupe counterpart. The rear suspension was also revised with a single-point swing axle and an additional coil spring. The engine was only slightly updated to include a sports camshaft and a higher 9.5:1 compression ratio. This helped the car achieve a top speed near 250Kmh
Like the Coupe, the Roadster was available with a wide array of options, some of the more desirable include the hardtop, knock-off Rudge wheels and fitted rear luggage.