The launch of the sixth-generation Mercedes-Benz SL this afternoon was the perfect chance for Mercedes-Benz Malaysia to highlight the rich history of the company’s celebrated Sport Leicht series, which started all the way back in the 1950s. That’s six generations spanning 60 years.

They managed to assemble a brilliant speciment of every SL generation, with some help from Sultan Ibrahim of Johor, who brought his two immaculate first-gen W198 SL300s – the famous Gullwing and a roadster. The silver duo were positioned on stage, flanking the freshly launched R231.

Below the stage, Mercedes parked the following SLs in a row, starting from the curvy 190 SL (a cheaper, less fast sibling of the Gullwing, related to Merc’s W121 Ponton saloon) to the recent “peanut eyed” pre-facelift R230 SL, which I think looks sleeker than the 2008 facelift and today’s SL.

Also in attendence were the second-gen W113, a bright red example of the 80s icon that was the R107 and the SL with the sharpest lines – the curve-free fourth-gen R129.

Simply beautiful. Gallery after the jump.