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.
Tony Ostermeier built 250 Gullwings in the 80’s in California. Most cars have been purchased by original Mercedes 300 SL owners, who preferred to use an Ostermeier one as a daily car instead of the ‘Museum Gullwing’. All the cars were fitted with a 2.8 or 3.0 straight six Mercedes engine / 180 hp. The bodies were made in composite aluminium, the GLARE (Glass Laminated Aluminium Reinforced Epoxy), developed for the aéronautical industry. Only 2 cars were built with the new AMG 3.4 straight six engine, with a desirable 280 hp, which turns it into a real sport car. This car is one of those 2.
In 2015 this rare AMG example underwent a comprehensive restoration by Rotscher Classics who are a renowned Mercedes-Benz specialist in Germany. The restoration was well-documented and consisted of up-rating the original 4 speed automatic gearbox with a manual 6 speed. The car has covered a mere 58.000 km from new and only 800 km since its restoration.
The Ostermeier cars are the only Gullwing replicas available in the world that were built before Mercedes-Benz Company, trademarked the shape of the 300 SL. Since the 80’s the Ostermeier Gullwing value, has always been at the very least 25% of the original Mercedes Gullwing price.
Offered with a great history and German registration papers, this example can only be described as good to excellent condition throughout.