They don't build 'em like they used to. Actually, they usually built them better, but they don't design 'em like they used to. Or so Gullwing-America figures. The classically-enamored garage is planning on relaunching the original SL's iconic shape with modern technology and fabrication in what could very well be the ultimate blend of old and new.
The 2009 Gullwing-America 300 SL Panamericana is the brainchild of Arturo Alonso, the same engineer behind the Bentley S3 E concept. With that model already on its way to market, Alonso has turned his attention to the Gullwing. With a body of fiberglass-reinforced aluminum over a powder-coated steel chassis, the Panamericana will apparently draw its power from Mercedes' own M-133-55 engine, the same 5.5-liter V8 underpinning the SLR McLaren's supercharged unit, albeit tuned to produce 370 horsepower. Plans are also afoot to make a smaller V6 available, either mated to a six-speed manual or a seven-ratio Speedtronic automatic transmission.
Riding low on 17-inch AMG wheels with a custom independent suspension, to our eyes, the 300 SL Panamericana looks a lot hotter than the camouflaged versions of the forthcoming AMG-tuned Gullwing, but they'll need some orders to get the project off the ground and on to the street. Follow the jump for the press release and check out the renderings in the high-resolution image gallery below.