At the ADAC Eifel Rennen this weekend we spotted the Chuck Porter Mercedes 300 SLS, the “S” defines that it was a wrecked 300 SL Gullwing and Chuyck Porter went about rebuilding the Mercedes marque.
After Mercedes-Benz retired their highly successful 300 SLR program, many racing teams and amateur drivers started creating their own versions from the 300 SL production cars. These became known as the SLS and most were prepared with a wide variety of modifications. One of the most famous of these is the Porter roadster which was actively campaigned in America.
Chuck Porter used a wrecked 300 SL Gullwing to create his own SLS. A new body was designed out of his body shop in Hollywood, California and executed by Jack Sutton from .064 aluminum sheet. For the most part, the body stayed faithful to the Mercedes-Benz styling. It featured a much wider front opening, no windscreen, removed doors and a custom interior.
Despite working from a fire-damaged hulk, Porter persisted with the SLS. After it was done, the car was considerably taller than the SLR, since the production SL is much taller than the SLR’s grand-prix chassis. This didn’t stop it from keeping up with the fastest cars in its class with drivers like Ken Miles, Billy Krause and Porter himself.
The car was used from 1956 until 1962, later being fitted with a few different American V8s. Throughout this colorful career, the Porter Special challenged even the Ferraris and Maseratis of the period. This was possible even though the engine was pretty much stock except for a factory performance camshaft.
Sports Car Illustrated tested the Porter SLS against a factory aluminum-bodied 300 SL Coupe and found the SLS to be considerably faster. In 1999 the car was restored by HK-Engineering and subsequently raced at the Monterey Historic Races.
Historic Pictures courtesy of Bill Tibbetts hopefully well see some more of the historic moments in time from Bill !
Eifel Rennen 2010 Gallery:- CLICK