Mercedes-Benz’s in-house tuner AMG was only established in 1967 but the company had built a handful of original 300SLs in the past, including this 1954 Gullwing. The project was conceived originally for the Sultan of Brunei who asked AMG if it could take an original 300SL Gullwing Coupe and 300SL Roadster and fit them both with modern internals. Approved by Project Manager Volker Niewig, AMG went to great lengths, reengineering the driveline and other components to turn the graceful 300SL into a modern day supercar. Six cars were sent to Brunei for inclusion into the massive royal collection. These included both versions of the Gullwing Coupe and Roadster.
The project was kept secret but AMG offered the model to other select customers at a price over €1,000,000 ($1.39 million at current exchange rates) each. Due to it’s high price and lack of catalogues or press releases, only five cars extra cars were ordered. So altogether AMG converted 11 original 300SLs - eight Coupes and three Roadsters. Each individualized for their particular customer.
The chassis and body were original but most of the rest of the car was new. Instead of the original straight-6, it was powered by a 6.0L V8 rated at 380 hp and 427 pound-feet of torque. The 300SL’s original swing-arm rear suspension had also made way for a modern five-link setup, and also added to the mix were Bilstein shocks and AMG light alloys. Power steering, disc brakes and a four-speed automatic transmission had also been added. Top speed was about 250 km/h / 155.25 mph.
The interior was almost completely new and features a mixture of Nappa leather and Alcantara trim. The car also got a HWA steering wheel, a Sony CD changer and carbon fiber protective panels. Other subtle interior touches included a steering-column lock for heightened security, as well as a complete set of original 300SL instruments which were adapted to modern comfort and electronic operation. A modern heating and air conditioning system was also adapted. (supercars.net & motorauthority.com)
Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupé (W198) (1954–63)
(Photos from supercars.net, gtspirit.com, autowp.ru & motorauthority.com)