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Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Not willing to buy the new SLS AMG? Stick with the original Gullwing. Almost original

The magic around gullwing doors and the car that is most widely associated with them, Mercedes-Bens 300 SL, is huge. So huge Mercedes-Benz has even decided to bring to life a sort of new generation of the car under the name SLS AMG. Although it has not been entirely presented, there are many that still think the classic Gullwing has no substitute. For these people, Gullwing GmbH, from Heyda, Germany, has decided to offer the Gullwing itself. Well, sort of. The company has created a fantastic replica of the car. Have a look below and try to say you are not in front of an original 300 SL.

Gullwing GmbH is the same company that produces the AC Cobra Mk VI for AC Cars. We manage to find the company because of our article on the future 300 SL Panamericana. Created by Arturo Alonso over the Gullwing produced by Gullwing GmbH, it will be an homage to the racing version of the car, produced back in 1952. Anyway, the technical information and performance numbers we have given you at the time were not very accurate. They are much better.

"The Gullwing is issued with the most modern Mercedes V8 engine with 5,5 litres and
producing 405 hp in its standard form", said Jürgen Mohr, from Gullwing GmbH, to MotorTips. In fact, this engine has a respectful signature over it: AMG. "This engine is equipped with the latest 7 speed automatic gearbox (7G-TRONIC), giving the choice to the driver to select gears conventionally or via paddles behind the steering wheel."

Considering the original car had an in-line six-cylinder engine with 3 litres and 215 bhp, Gullwing had a good deal of work to make the car manage the new powerful heart. "We are manufacturing the Gullwing here in Germany, but completely changed the design and layout of the car's chassis and suspension to make it handle engine power of up to 650 bhp and to make it good enough to be used on the racetrack with
pleasure", said Mohr. "We put all our energy in the redevelopment of the cars and only will start now with marketing efforts."

This version of the car will cost 165,000 euros with taxes and extra equipment included. In other words, the car will feature ABS, air-conditioning and other modern life conveniences such as the Becker Mexico audio system. It seems an old sound system, but it offers the car passengers with more than music. Bluetooth, internet, voice command and GPS navigation are also on the package.

There will only be 30 units for sale every year, at least for now. "We will do the sales for the coming three years from Germany directly through Gullwing GmbH and I am the person in charge. Delivery time at the moment is from 10 to 18 months. The cars are made to order only, which means each car is build to individually satisfy the requirements of our clients from all over the world. We expect an order with a deposit of 50,000 euros, but we will appreciate if people come and visit us before buying to make sure the cars are build to their individual requirements. The cars can be testdriven at our factory near Dresden, about 2 hours drive from Berlin", said Mohr.

If you are more into the Roadster or wants to buy a cheaper version of the car, 2010 is the year for you. "For 2010 a version with the 3,5-litre V6 with 320 bhp will be launched." It will be the closest version to the original Gullwing, considering Mercedes-Benz does not have in-line six-cylinders anymore. "This engine can be connected to a six-speed manual gearbox", Mohr stated.

When we wrote about 300 SL Panamericana, we have mentioned Hooper & Co, but the British company is no longer heading the replica's production. "Hooper is the company who used to own the Gullwing project and later sold it to us", said Mohr.

If you are interested in your own Gullwing, get in touch with the company through their official website, Meanwhile, take a look at the other pictures of this beauty. If only we had 165,000 euros on our bank account...

Source: Gullwing GmbH

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