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Mercedes 300SL Gullwing – the return

Sat, 09 May 2009

Gullwing GmbH are to create a faithful reproduction of the iconic Mercedes 300SL Gullwing

The 1950s Mercedes 300SL Gullwing is an iconic car. Remembered affectionately by those old enough to remember it first time round (which I actually don’t!) and associated in the minds of car nuts with Sir Stirling Moss and his exploits in the Mille Miglia (it seems every classic Gullwing that comes on the market is somehow miraculously ‘Driven by Stirling Moss’), it is the epitome of ‘Cool Car’.

The huge appeal of the classic Gullwing is also responsible for the direction of the new Mercedes SLS, which pays huge homage to the design of the original. But those who are enamoured of a Gullwing Mercedes are now going to have two modern options to choose from, as Gullwing GmbH (the same people responsible for the new Morgan Aero Super Sports Gullwing roof) are to create a faithful replica for production in limited numbers (around 30 a year).

In all design areas the replica Gullwing is faithful to the original, except for the addition of aircon and satnav. But the period details are all there, and at around £175,000 it will be a good chunk cheaper than an orginal Gullwing (and more reliable). It will also come with a 400bhp, 5.5 litre V8 lump and 7-speed auto ‘box, instead of the 3.0 litre straight six of the original (which did deliver something in the region of 200bhp – quite incredible for the 1950s). So, purists apart, this will be better than the original especially as it also has a modern chassis and brakes.

But this isn’t the only 300SL replica series to come out of Germany. AMG’s specialist division HWA (which also produced the Mercedes CLK-GTR Roadster) has built a number of 300SL Gullwing replicas. Their version uses a 6.0 litre AMG lump and a four-speed auto ‘box, and features a modern interior, which is actually a bit of a let-down. And to make matters worse it costs at least twice what the Gullwing GmbH version will cost.

I do love these cars. They really are cool. And the Gullwing GmbH does seem to offer the best of all worlds. Classic cool and modern reliability. Just like the Jensen Interceptor SX or the Eagle E-Type.

By Cars UK