• May 7, 2009

The Retro Gullwing – Click above for high-res gallery


The Gullwing is making a comeback, and making it big. As if there weren't enough concept cars, custom rods and Hollywood time machines sporting the classic-yet-avant-garde door configuration, Mercedes is preparing a new SLS AMG supercar to revive them, plus an anticipated hybrid SL variant to join the fold. But for every revival there's a newfound affection for the original. That could explain why Bathing Ape's Nigo commissioned AMG to make him a new one with a six-liter V8 under the hood and all done up in camouflage. It could also explain designer Arturo Alonso's latest project, an update on the classic 300SL. And it could explain this continuation Gullwing still being built in Germany, but with the benefit of modern powertrain technology.

Gullwing GmbH is the company responsible for this heritage ride. They're also the company building the latest AC Cobra, complete with gullwing doors of course, and providing the underpinnings for Arturo Alonso's aforementioned Panamerica concept. The design, as you can plainly see, is faithful to the original, but Gullwing has made some updates to the circa-1952 engineering. The 3-liter, straight six, 215-horsepower beating heart of the original has been replaced with Benz's latest 405-hp 5.5-liter V8 with accompanying 7-speed automatic gearbox. Gullwing has also redesigned the chassis, suspension and brakes to deal with the extra power, and added a host of modern features from ABS to air-conditioning, capping off the authentic interior with the retro-style Becker Mexico radio/sat-nav unit. So equipped, a "new" Gullwing will set you back €165k (about $220k), but you'll have to wait 10 to 18 months for delivery, put down €50k ($66k) in advance and hope they haven't received more than 30 orders this year, 'cause that's the most they'll make each year at their factory in Dresden, Germany. By then a stick-shift six-cylinder version should be ready, along with a roadster, to say nothing of the new SLS AMG. Maybe "Back to the Future wasn't so far off after all.




[Source: Gullwing GmbH via MotorTips]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      That. Is. SWEET.
      • 5 Years Ago
      300SL replica? That is so awes...

      "with accompanying 7-speed automatic gearbox."

      ...oh.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That hardly stops me from wanting one of these.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Gullwing doors rule. Everyone should have them. Dents in the carpark would be a thing of the past. Naturally, shopping carts would be banned. But it wouldnt matter, nobody would do their own shopping anyway.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Like, want!
      • 5 Years Ago
      OK, I'm not hating on this, and it's obviously an icon of automotive design. And I would buy one in a heartbeat if I was in that demographic (rich enough!).

      I'm just wondering if it should look a little different. Less literal and more tribute. If it looks so much like the original, does it seem you're trying to fool people? Like kit cars do - just, you know, good.

      Or am I missing the changes?
        • 5 Years Ago
        There is a new 2011 Gullwing. This is not it. What you just did is look at an Art Morrison Corvette and said, "They should have made that ZR1 look more modern."


        • 5 Years Ago
        No changes. well aside from the engine, transmission, and i'd say handling. So everything relevant to the driving experience. There's a growing trend of small builders looking to return the classics to the fold with modern updates. I'm not sure it's a bad thing. I could see someone wanting a gullwing to use as a daily driver and not wanting to take their prized original out. I
        • 5 Years Ago
        Oh, I'd hate to see it modernized. I'm getting really tired of the retro thing.
        But some design cue that tells me it's not an original, but this very cool new thing.
        What would you feel if someone said "Wow, awesome car. Is it real?" Would you try to explain "no, but it's better in many respects...." or would you just say "yeah."?

        But just thinking out loud. I do think at least top five best car designs ever. And I'm getting close to a point of being able to buy a 190sl. No not the same. But enough DNA to be gorgeous.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Updated Classic. That is awesome.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Best. Looking. Car. Ever.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Total Porn, I want one. I am ordering mine with modern seats.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Spanking gorgeous
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like how they have a double wishbone suspension front and rear. If I could swing it, id much rather have one of these than an original... so I could actually enjoy driving it and not worry about terminal lift-off oversteer from the Ur swing axle.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's pretty awesome they kept it original looking.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just great. An all-time favorite classic updated and ready to buy as new. I think it's perfect.
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