How Mercedez-Benz Turned the Iconic 300 SL Into Gallery-Worthy Prints


It could easily be argued that the automobile is the most major sculpture of our modern-day age. Certainly it’s the most ubiquitous. Above the several years, the most noteworthy autos have develop into design icons and objects of enthusiasm. A single of people is the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL.

Afghan-American photographer and director Daniel Malikyar has interpreted that 1950’s masterpiece in an art task commissioned by Mercedes-Benz. The series of images, accompanied with a quick film, elicit the aura of these unforgettable devices at rest and in movement. While only 27 years of age, Malikyar is no stranger to previous cars. When asked what it is about the 300 SL that he finds in particular alluring, the photographer defined, “Growing up, my dad drove an ‘86 E 300. There was one thing about the sensation, the scent, the seem of that car or truck that related me with Mercedes-Benz. To pay back regard to the 300 SL was a gratifying culmination.”

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There is no question the 300 SL is gratifying to behold. Created from 1954 to 1957, the “Gullwing” coupe featured a good 3.-liter, straight-six motor that generated about 215 hp in street form. It used 12 quarts of oil and gulped gasoline as a result of its Bosch mechanical fuel injection—a system as advanced as any devised at the time. In truth, the total motor vehicle was a rolling testbed for the future. Its tube chassis was as intricate as the Eiffel Tower, and was wrapped in voluptuous bodywork unofficially named for its doorways that distribute upward like wings. Even so, moving into, exiting and driving 1 could be a little bit of a problem, especially on heat days, as the facet home windows simply cannot be decreased and, without having air conditioning, matters get heat inside.

Mercedes-Benz produced 1,400 illustrations of the 300 SL coupe over the class of four a long time prior to switching to convertibles in 1957, making 1,858 examples of those via 1963 (with three unique orders done in 1964). Additional user-welcoming than its “Gullwing” counterpart, the Roadster drives like a substantially more recent car or truck, and could be the most fashionable-feeling, pleasant typical from the period. In possibly version, reliability and make excellent are important attributes that have retained equally model variants at the top of collectors’ desire lists for many years. And the range offered on the marketplace at any offered time is ample to maintain desire alive. The only barrier to entry is selling price, and the cost of a complete restoration can very easily creep toward seven figures.

On a scenic Malibu road, examples of the 300 SL “Gullwing” coupe from 1954 (left) and 1955 (right) are followed by a 300 SL Roadster circa 1963. - Credit: Daniel Malikyar

On a scenic Malibu highway, examples of the 300 SL “Gullwing” coupe from 1954 (still left) and 1955 (correct) are followed by a 300 SL Roadster circa 1963. – Credit score: Daniel Malikyar

Daniel Malikyar

The price of a 300 SL, let on your own three of them, was not shed on the photographer. Which is mainly because when Mercedes-Benz commissioned Malikyar to shoot a trio of them on public streets, the cars and trucks arrived from Mercedes’ Traditional Middle in Irvine, Calif., on a transporter, accompanied by a few specialist drivers, a entire file of avenue closure permits and the legislation enforcement personnel to make certain protection and careful—but unfettered—driving. These vehicles had been a 1954 “Gullwing” in light-weight blue metallic, a 1955 in white, and a 1963 Roadster in black.

Photographer Daniel Malikyar covering every angle of the coveted model. - Credit: Daniel Malikyar

Photographer Daniel Malikyar masking just about every angle of the coveted product. – Credit score: Daniel Malikyar

Daniel Malikyar

The sight of a one 300 SL on a concours garden is a rarity to see a trio driving in an idyllic placing is otherworldly. “This job was a really crazy knowledge,” states Malikyar. “Mercedes only manufactured 1,400 ‘Gullwings,’ so to have two of them with a Roadster pulling up the rear along an vacant Malibu coastline at sunset felt surreal.” So what is the great environment—and road—for a automobile like this? “My intention was to build a desire journey in an SL, 1 that encompasses beautiful scenery with no one on the highway.” says the photographer. “The destinations had been meticulously scouted, and shutting the streets down permitted us to evoke the emotion of the top Sunday travel, 60 years in the past, when capturing the soul of the automobile . . . the spirit of the brand.”

As a static object, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL undoubtedly inspires, but when it results in being kinetic sculpture, increased by appears and smells of interior combustion, it spreads its wings and will become alive. “My goal every single time is to capture a automobile at velocity. You can finest depict the experience of the car or truck when it is carrying out what it does finest,” claims Malikyar, who acknowledges that, in photographs, freezing his matter even though in motion is rather different than shooting it when it is static—on the tarmac or on the grass. “It’s also substantially more technically tough. You have to shoot at slower shutter speeds, and lean out of a shifting chase motor vehicle. I’m super detail-centric, and so that involves a great deal of thorough way. It’s a lot more enjoyable, far too.”

The shoot included three professional drivers, a full dossier of street closure permits and law enforcement personnel to ensure safety. - Credit: Daniel Malikyar

The shoot incorporated a few specialist motorists, a comprehensive file of avenue closure permits and regulation enforcement staff to guarantee security. – Credit rating: Daniel Malikyar

Daniel Malikyar

But the advantages of even now photography had been absolutely exploited with the 300 SL project as well. “When you capture the autos even now,” spelled out Malikyar, “it makes it possible for the photographer final control, carrying out items you couldn’t do in movement. The stationary photographs enable you to capture the automobile properly.”

Pics notwithstanding, Malikyar created a stirring video that files the automobiles in movement, as effectively as showing at the rear of-the-scenes footage of the photographer at work as the shoot arrived together. The pictures will be launched as wonderful artwork prints available solely by Santo Gallery in Los Angeles.

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