Here's a Gullwing Mercedes You Can Maybe Afford

Photo credit: Car-Special
Photo credit: Car-Special

From Road & Track

In the market for a Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing? Prepare to spend well over a million dollars. At that price, you can see why most Gullwings never get driven. We've come across a potential solution that's only about 60 percent sacrilegious.

Listed on ClassicDriver, this Gullwing replica nails the proportions and details of the real thing-and at just under $225,000, it's a bargain compared to the real thing.

German dealer Car-Special has a ton of photos and details about this knockoff Gullwing. Based on a 2000 Mercedes-Benz SLK320, this 300SL tribute has all the modern features of the donor car: Airbags, climate control, ABS and traction control. It's powered by the stock SLK's 3.2-liter V6, sending 216 horses to the rear wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission.

What's most impressive to me is the accuracy of the Gullwing body. Fiberglass replica bodies pop up occasionally, though Mercedes cracks down on the practice when possible. It's not clear from the listing whether this replica is fiberglass or steel, but whatever it's made out of, it's mighty convincing.

And, yeah, admittedly the Y2K dashboard and airbag steering wheel take a little away from the overall aesthetic. I don't mind it. Worse would be if the builder tried to hide this car's modern roots under a haphazard vintage-style dash and knockoff steering wheel. This way, the knowledgeable onlooker can immediately tell what's going on. I respect that kind of transparency.

Anyway, the whole reason a replica like this exists is so you can walk up to one of the most beautiful car designs ever created, hop in and drive off. I think this accomplishes that perfectly. And for one fifth of the price of the real thing? Yeah, that's a bargain to us.

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