The phrase "instant classic" gets thrown around a lot these days, and applied to all sorts of mediocre stuff, from mass produced retro muscle cars to Italian exotics that are astonishing only by virtue of price. Truth be told, you can probably count the numbers of cars that have ever been deserving of such a label on one hand (and perhaps have a finger or two left over). Certainly the Mercedes-Benz 300SL is one of the few.

First introduced at the 1954 New York Auto Show and produced for only four years, the amazing "Gullwing" is as shocking a sight to behold today as it was some six decades ago. Seeing this icon on the street was rare even in period, as Mercedes sold fewer than 1,500. Today, with values in the $800,000 range, Gullwings are more often than not ogled from afar or treated with care more befitting a Faberge egg than a 160-mile-per-hour sports car.

That circumstance only makes this four-minute video all that much more wonderful, as it is likely the best modern footage of a 300SL extant. With plenty of artistic camerawork and excellent sound recording of the direct-injected 3-liter six at full throttle, we're betting you'll want to watch it twice. Hearing the car's unidentified owner talk about owning and driving it made us want to cheer a little, as he's our kind of car guy, someone who feels that cars were meant to be driven and enjoyed rather than locked away in a museum.

Scroll down to watch the full video, and here's to hoping that maybe director Josh Clason might cut together an extended version.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Hearing the car's unidentified owner talk about owning and driving it made us want to cheer a little, as he's our kind of car guy, someone who feels that cars were meant to be driven and enjoyed rather than locked away in a museum." That summed it up right there. It's amazing to hear a car owner talk so passionately about a vehicle he owns. He also gives solid advice in that you work hard early, you reap the benefits later on in your life.
      • 3 Years Ago
      What a glorious looking and sounding machine! I love this mans philosophy and believe in it as well. His bird is not caged, he lets it flap its wings like nature intended. Although nowhere near the same level of dollar value, the day if finish my 73 911, it will used and driven as it was meant to be.
        Just Stuff
        • 3 Years Ago
        I agree. I had a car in the Car Craft Nationals in 83 and saw a t-shirt there that said it all. "Trailered Cars Suck". What's the fun in owning something if you can't drive and enjoy it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Life is too short not to enjoy beautiful cars..! What an epic video..! makes me happy..
      • 3 Years Ago
      Awesome car and awesome owner.
      Sorten Borten
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      The characteristic growl of a straight-six be it Jaguar, Mercedes, BMW (or even Volvo with the XC90) is unmistakable and oh so glorious to me.... I LOVE MY I-6
      • 3 Years Ago
      One of the most gorgeous vehicles ever produced. Gotta love this owner too. Cars are meant to be driven and belong on the road. I hate trailer queens.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I feel pretty lucky- here in Athens, GA we have car shows regularly at the local Varsity. So far this season we have had two authentic original Gullwings. They are in great original condition and the owners let you check it out without freaking out. I truly appreciate owners like them- they let people go throughout the cars. They are not trailer queens and that makes them all the more beautiful!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I recall admiring one of these in Houston in the early-1980s. It was for sale for about $80,000 - a lot of money then. This one still had its matching luggage!! The corner suitcases had curved sides to fit properly in the back behind the seats.
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      The 300SL was truly an incredible car for it's day and a beautiful piece of automotive design. Recently, Mercedes-Benz brought out a re-make of this awesome car, the SLS, which is probably a great car to drive but doesn't have the same beauty as this. If I had the choice, there is no question: I'll take the poetry in motion 300 SL Gullwing over modernity of the SLS.
      • 3 Years Ago
      What great passion! I wish him good health for many years so he can enjoy his beautiful 300 SL
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