Of all the blue chip classics, an original 300 SL ‘Gullwing’ is probably the last car worthy of a resto-mod, but that’s exactly what we have here. Fortunate for purists, this car doesn’t stray too far from officialdom and is a product of AMG in Affalterback. They went to great lengths, reengineering the driveline and other components to turn the graceful 300 SL into a modern day supercar. For those that might consider this a ruined classic—fear not, since only 11 such examples have been converted.
The project was conceived originally for the Sultan of Brunei and approved by AMG Project Manager Volker Niewig. Six cars were sent to Brunei for inclusion into the massive royal collection. These included both versions of the Gullwing Coupe and roadster. The project was kept secret but AMG offered the model to select customers at a price over €1,000,000. Due to it’s high price and lack of catalogues or press releases, only five cars extra cars were ordered.
AMG went to great lengths to modernize the ‘Gullwing’ and didn’t leave a single system intact from the original design. Only the steel bodies were left untouched except for the relocated fuel filler. The cars are easily identified by their modern AMG wheels and low profile tires which is a common criticism of the design.
The most drastic upgrade included shoehorning the V8 from the then current AMG line. The 6-litre engine was much larger than the six-cylinder engine it replaced, necessitating the modification of the front spaceframe. This was fitted to a W4A four-speed automatic, probably because there wasn’t any room for traditional clutch linkages. AMG also fitted catalytic converter for exhaust emissions.
The swing-arm rear suspension system was also updated to the five-link system from the SL range with its braking system. Included were Bilstein adjustable shock absorbers and brakes from the AMG C 36. A power steering rack was also fitted.
Upon inspection of the interior, the breath of the project becomes apparent. All the original gauges were converted to work with the electronic management systems and their related sensors. Fully adjustable Recaro leather seats were fitted as was an air-bag equipped steering wheel. The entire upholstery was replaced with Nappa leather and Alcantara. Carbon fiber was used to fabricate the custom dash with the adapted gauges. For interior comfort a modern heating and air conditioning system was also adapted.
In total 11 cars were made, each individualized for their particular customer. Three were ordered as roadsters and five of the total production went to Brunei.
1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL AMG Coupé – sold for €519,750 The AMG light alloy wheels and electrically operated rear-view mirrors were fitted to this particular example upon the original client’s request, but the next owner could easily fit period-style mirrors and wheels if desired. The 300SL has been recently serviced by AMG in Germany and, as offered, complies with Euro2 exhaust-emission requirements. It is currently registered in the UK on 1954 period correct licence plates. It also comes completewith its original 300SL registration documents, as well as an additional German TuV Certificate.