We have just been given a pretty sweet inside look at a proposed update to the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing. If built, the 2009 300 SL Panamericana from Gullwing-America promises to update the original "with technology from 50 years later."
Word of the car comes from Arturo Alonso, who says he raced the Mercedes 300SE in the past. You may remember Alonso when we told you about the Bentley S3 E design concept. Alonso, an engineer, teamed with Bentley Boys USA when conceptualizing the concept. If built, it would have a 300 hp 4.4 liter V8 and five-speed ZF automatic transmission from BMW, while riding on 20x9.5 inch forged wheels. Cost of the Bentley would be around $150k.
If you liked the Bentley, you'll be doubly impressed by the Panamericana. Based on a reproduction produced by Germany's Hoope'r, Gullwing-AG, the 300 SL uses a powder coated RHS steel reinforced chassis. The body is comprised of a sprayed aluminum layer about a half millimeter thick, coated with an epoxy, and covered with multiple layers of 7oz woven glass cloth.
Performance wise, the car uses a 5.5 liter Mercedes M-133-55 engine, also found on the SLR as well as the AMG models. With new tuning, the engine produces 370 hp and a huge 530 Nm of torque. In a year, the car could also get the new, smaller V6 Mercedes M-272-E35. Horsepower would drop by 50hp as well as torque to 360 Nm. The engine is paired to a six-speed transmission, with an independent suspension to keep things together. Both manual, and speedtronic should be available. A custom radiator and exhaust, as well as adjustable coilovers help add exclusivity and improves operations.
Other great items on this low-riding car include the removal of the bumpers, the addition of side mufflers, and a new grille. The car also has a four-spoke leather wheel, a start button, top-shelf radio, and a four-point harness. The car rides on 17x8 inch AMG wheels wrapped in Continental Sport tires. Red AMG calipers will look great with the red-accented paint job. Blacked-out wheels will look good on the black painted car, but there is a definite argument for chrome or even matte-silver on the cream with red. With the HID lights, this car looks fantastic.
Bringing the retro feel full circle, this car maintains the original instrument panel from the 300SL.
We can only hope that Arturo gives us a shot at driving this thing, and not just writing about it!
For more information please email: info[at]gullwing-america.com