Automobiles don’t look like they used to. Granted, modern cars perform better, last longer, and have a few points shaved off their drag coefficient; but in too many cases, they’ve sacrificed aesthetic appeal for those things. Don’t get me wrong, if I could have only one, I’d choose substance over style… but ideally I’d want both.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could take a 1966 Maserati Ghibli and make it perform like a 2009 Maserati MC12; or a 1968 Corvette drive like a 2009 ZR1; a 1966 Lamborghini Miura zip like a Gallardo; a Nissan 240Z go-go like a Nissan GT-R; or an original Jaguar E-Type drive like, well, anything but a modern Jaguar. You get the picture. Old style combined with modern quality components, that’s the dream, and that’s exactly the point of the 2009 Gullwing-America 300 SL Panamericana. Engineer Arturo Alonso is the man behind the concept and his idea is to create a near perfect replica of the original Mercedes 300 SL using 100% modern technology.
Check out the proposed specs and a gallery of pics:
The original Mercedes 300 SL
In 1955, the 300 SL was pretty much the car to beat. It was the fastest production car on any road, anywhere. It was light, high quality and high-tech for the time, being one of the first cars to use direct injection (fuel injection directly into the combustion chamber). And it was stunningly beautiful. It made a huge impact in the auto world. In fact, the modern Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren is usually thought of as the “spiritual successor” to the original 300SL.
Fast-forward 50+ years, and Arturo Alonso wants to bring back the aesthetics of the of the original 300 SL, with all new componants. His 2009 Gullwing-America 300 SL Panamericana, if it ever goes to production, will be as ultra-modern as it can get. Not only will it have a six speed trans and the 5.5 L Mercedes engine already found in the SLR (although tuned to put out 370 hp and a huge 391 foot pounds of torque), but even the exterior and chassis will be high tech. It’ll supposedly use a powder coated RHS steel reinforced chassis and have a body composed of a 1/2 millimeter thick layer of sprayed aluminum coated with an epoxy, and then covered with multiple layers of 7oz woven glass cloth.
The 2009 Gullwing-America 300 SL Panamericana concept
The interior will sport a four-spoke leather wheel, a start button, high-end stereo system, and a four-point racing harness. High end all around, except for, of course, the speedometer cluster. Alonso says the car will keep the original instrument panel from the 300SL.
Christ, I hope this car makes it to production. Check out the image gallery and the official press release at the bottom.
Click any image for a larger version
Here is the the rebirth of an Icon, the 2009 300 SL Panamericana, based on a Reproduction from Hoope’r, Gullwing-AG in Germany, who produce the closest model you can get to the real thing. Arturo Alonso and his company, Gullwing-America, modified this already outstanding automobile into an exotic for the 21st century.
A combination of the Glorious Carrera Panamericana cars of the 50’s and new technology, they came out with this incredible sports car, Alonso himself raced the Carrera for years in a Mercedes 300SE, where the passion for this legendary Race and the Mercedes was born.
The 300SL body is constructed with the use of aircraft composite technology. This construction comprises of a sprayed layer of aluminum to a thickness of .5mm into the mold over which an epoxy adhesive is laid and several layers of 7oz woven glass cloth are then applied with epoxy resin.
Chassis is made from RHS steel reinforced and powder coated, has independent suspension with adjustable coil overs, four wheel disk brakes, a 5.5 liter Mercedes engine, (M-133-55) the one used on the AMG Mercedes models and the SLR, mated to a six speed transmission, special made radiator and exhaust system.
The Panamericana will have a re tuned electronics raising the HP about 370, 530nm of torque @5400RPM. The car will sit lower, have speedtronic transmission, side mufflers, no bumpers, a special grill, four spoke leather steering wheel with power assist, a start button, A/C , a four point harness, Becker Mexico Radio with CD and I pod adapter, and fitted leather luggage. It also includes specially made old school 17 X 8 AMG wheels all around with 235/45/17 Continental Sport contact tires, AMG calipers painted in red, HID headlights, and stripes on the fenders like the “Works” Cars from La Barrera.
For 2010 there will also be the option for the new V6 Mercedes engine (M-272-E35) used on the 350 Models, which has almost the same power of the V8 ( 320HP And 360nm torque @4900RPM)) and could be ordered with a manual six speed.
The cars will all be painted in silver with blue accents in the front fenders like the race cars of the Panamericana, there is the option of a white with red stripes and a Black version. The interiors will be red cover in leather and plaid cloth, typical from that model; The instrument panel is identical as the original 300Sl.
Gullwing-America thinks that this is a true rebirth of the legendary 300SL Gullwing. Updated with technology from 50 years later, the car will be more powerful and handle better than the original. It will be a very drivable car with all the convenient accessories like air conditioning, power steering, etc. from modern cars.
For price and more information contact Arturo Alonso at firstname.lastname@example.org