Mercedes Gullwing restored to its original splendour
One of the rarest cars ever made has been carefully restored back to its original splendour after several years of innovative and outstanding work. The aluminium-bodied Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing is one of just 29 vehicles made of aluminium in existence today.
The car made its first public appearance since its completion at the Ellerslie Intermarque Concours d'Elegance, where it claimed first prize in the Master Class event for the best vehicle on display in the show.
The Gullwing's elegance and style are timeless and fascinate car enthusiast the world over. In 1999 it won the ultimate accolade when it was voted Sports Car of the Century by a jury from around the globe. Only 1,400 Gullwings were built between 1954 and 1957 and the vehicles that remain are amongst the most sought-after vintage cars ever produced.
The Gullwing has the original upholstery and paint combination of Elephant Ivory paint with a mainly red and green tartan interior. Records show that this particular car was first driven at the beginning of 1956 in England. Gullwings had six-cylinder 3.00-litre engines and were the first Mercedes production vehicles to have mechanically controlled direct-injection engines; indeed, they were the state-of-the-art models of the time.
The Gullwing is famous for its iconic doors. The then-head of the Mercedes styling department, Freidrich Geiger, hinged the doors onto the roof, which gave the car a distinctive look and made it more aerodynamic.