A South African dealer in Cape Town sells a Mercedes Gullwing built on a 2001 Mercedes SLK 32 AMG.
For many of us, a Mercedes Gullwing is a beautiful but intangible dream. A copy costs around 1 million USD or even more if it belonged to a star (Gary Cooper, Romy Schneider and Sophia Loren had one) and one of the only 29 copies with aluminum structure can reach a price of 5 million USD.
Therefore, when we see a price of 130,000 USD for a Gullwing, it is clear that it is something curious. The car in the picture is a tribute to Mercedes Gullwing which is based on a 2001 Mercedes SLK 32 AMG.
You immediately realize this when you notice that the proportions are not Gullwing’s. Both the hood and especially the rear overhang are shorter and more convex. SLK is a more compact model than Gullwing and that’s why Gullwing’s body seems to be shortened at both ends. Probably an SL platform would have been more suitable in size to keep Gullwing’s proportions.
The changes made are incredible and lasted 5 years during which a hand-made aluminum body was created. It is based on a wooden buck designed and constructed by the owner using data from a Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing 3D Scan. But the proportions have been modified to suit the short wheelbase of the SLK. Then, the body of the SLK 32 AMG was cut and a steel roll cage was added to restore torsional rigidity and safety.
The new aluminum body with gullwing doors as in the original Mercedes Gullwing was mounted on a roll cage and resulted in a car 400 kg lighter than a SLK 32 AMG weighing 1395 kg. This means that this pseudo Gullwing weighs just under 1000 kg.
But the rest of the main components of the SLK 32 AMG have been preserved so it turned out to be an agile sports car with a retro style. Thus, the 3.2-liter V6 engine supercharged with a mechanical compressor developing 354 HP was mated with a 5-speed automatic transmission.
The interior upholstered in red leather upholstery is similar to the one from SLK and the steering wheel is on the right side.
With its short overhangs, the car looks quite strange, but the doors and wide sills make us think of the illustrious Gullwing. And at the asking price of 130,000 USD you can go relaxed with this pseudo Gullwing and without fear that you could cause an accident with a car of 1 million USD or even more.
The car is for sale at dealer Crossley-Webb in Capetown.