Essen 2009: 1,050-hp 1956 Mercedes Gullwing drag car

Gullwing dragster - Click above for high-res image gallery

This ungainly little creature had an area all to itself at this year's Essen Motor Show. Built over four years by Swiss drag racer Stefan Winter – who is a roofer by trade – the most important thing to say is this: Winter did not mangle a genuine 1956 Mercedes 300 SL to create this beast, and we can thank all the gods that be for that. He copied the body in fiberglass and placed it over a tube chassis, hiding a small block Chevy in front that's been bored out to 422 cubic inches.

With modified pistons, crankshaft, cylinder heads, and a bit more black-art-ness, the gullwinged monster puts 1,050 horsepower to the ground through a 3-speed transmission and rear tires 15 inches across. The 1/4-mile rolls off in 8.1 seconds at 166 mph. If nothing else, at that speed he shouldn't have any problem with keeping the car's interior cool, a problem the originals were known for...

[Source: Das Auto Blog ( translated) via]

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