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.