Launched in 1954, the production 300 SL retained the spaceframe chassis and lightweight aluminium-alloy bodywork of the W194 racer while its mechanical underpinnings, like the latter’s, owed much to the contemporary Mercedes-Benz 300 luxury saloon. A 2,996cc overhead-camshaft inline six, the 300 SL’s engine was canted at 45 degrees to achieve a low bonnet line and produced 215bhp (DIN) at 5,800rpm using Bosch mechanical fuel injection. A four-speed, all-synchromesh manual gearbox transmitted power to the hypoid bevel rear axle. Suspension was independent all round: by wishbones and coil springs at the front, with swing axles and coil springs at the rear.
The company’s U.S. distributor, Max Hoffman, decided that there was a market in America for a fast, sensual Mercedes-Benz coupe, and a production version of the racing 300 SL (complete with the fascinating gullwing doors) would be it.
This 300SL Recreation was built by the well known Anton ‘Tony’ Ostermeier. As a former Mercedes employee, Ostermeier had a workshop in Gardena, California called Gullwing Car Company. From that location the well-made, hand craft ‘gullwings’ were created. This SL on offer is a Tony Ostermeier car with many original Mercedes components.
The cars were built on a modern 300E chassis, featured an updated drivetrain, suspension, and brakes that made for a very usable street car. Molds were made from an original 300 SL Gullwing, ensuring accuracy. The panels were made of aluminium reinforced with aircraft epoxy/fiberglass and steel.
The parts crafted by Tony were so accurate and of high quality that they were ultimately purchased and used on authentic 300SL coupes and roadsters. Mercedes-Benz in Germany was one of his customers.
The running gear and suspension were borrowed from the E-class Mercedes 300E. Most of the cars built were shipped to Japan and Germany, and only a few made it to the United States. In total, it is believed that only 50 of these Gullwings were created. The 3-litre, six-cylinder engine produces 177 hp and is mated to a manual transmission, the car is stopped by all four wheel disk brakes and sits on Rudge wheels.
The vendor informs us the current V5 document dates the car as a 1954 vehicle, and the vehicle has had only two owners from new, with a prestigious first owner. Having covered only 32,000km this car is a brilliant opportunity to own one of the most sought after recreations of the iconic Mercedes-Benz 300sl ‘Gullwing’, at a fraction of the cost of the £1 million pound plus, that the original examples are currently commanding.