Less than a decade after World War II ended, Mercedes-Benz – having survived the destruction of its factories – decided to compete for the World Sports Car Championship with a roadster known as the 300 SLR (Sport, Leicht, Rennen, or Sport, Light, Racing). Originally, nine SLR roadsters were created
Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson finished first in the 1955 Mille Miglia, covering 992 miles in a remarkable ten hours and seven minutes, at a record-setting average of 97.7 miles per hour. The 300 SLR won four more races and captured the World Sports Car Championship.
During the 1955 24-Hour Race at Le Mans, a 300 SLR crashed killing an estimated 84 spectators, and injuring dozens more. Mercedes-Benz withdrew completely racing from in 1956.