1955 Mercedes-Benz Ostermeier Gullwing

The Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing is widely regarded as a benchmark of collectible vehicles. No assemblage of significant automobiles is complete without one of these breathtaking machines, and original 300SL values reflect their status as “blue-chip” collectibles. As the 300SL slipped out of reach for the average enthusiast, the market for replicas and recreations grew accordingly. In the 1980s, a 300SL owner and former Mercedes-Benz employee named Anton “Tony” Ostermeier founded Gullwing International Cars to take the concept of a “replica” 300SL to a new level, designing a ground-up, exacting recreation worthy of sharing the spotlight with the iconic original.

Ostermeier cut no corners in developing his 300SL tribute using the finest available components and materials. Fundamental to the car was a welded square-tube steel chassis built similarly to the original’s tubular spaceframe. Keeping it in the family, Ostermeier fitted contemporary Mercedes-Benz steering, suspension, and running gear from donor W124 and W129s. The body is a millimeter-perfect copy, created using Tony’s original 300SL and factory bucks as patterns. Gullwing Cars made the bodies from GLARE, a fiberglass and aluminum laminate commonly used in the aeronautical industry to ensure accuracy and achieve the desired finish quality. While costly, the material provides a precise fit and a nearly flawless outer surface with superior quality and finishes compared to traditional gel coat fiberglass. Many of the trim parts, instruments and other details are so accurately produced that owners of original cars began using them on restoration projects, and even experts are hard-pressed to tell the difference between an Ostermeier SL and the real thing at first glance. Each Gullwing Cars 300SL took over 400 hours to complete and are highly prized by the lucky few who got one of the approximately 150 sold. Much like a Lynx D-Type Jaguar or Glenn Pray Auburn, Tony Ostermeier’s SLs are highly desirable and considered genuine collectibles in their own right.

This superb Gullwing Cars Coupe is an exquisite example with numerous desirable options, showing just 4,200 miles from new. It was completed by Gullwing Cars early in 2000, has had just two owners from new, and is presented in superb condition in a striking livery of jet black over red leather trim. Accompanying documents show it was built entirely to order in a unique spec, with options including the desirable twin-cam M104 engine, 5-speed manual gearbox, air conditioning, Becker radio, fitted luggage, and bespoke Rudge-style wheels.

The original owner kept the Gullwing in his private collection for over twenty years, accruing most of the mileage shown. The most recent owner held the car for a short time, adding a few hundred miles during his tenure. It is in excellent condition, with consistent, high-quality black paintwork and color-matched Rudge-style wheels fitted with period-correct Avon Turbo tires. The exterior brightwork is also in superb order, with all the correct fittings and badges.

Climbing aboard an Ostermeier takes the same dexterity and practice as an original Gullwing. The wide sill and low seat make graceful entry an acquired skill, though the tilt-away wheel makes it considerably easier. Once inside, the cabin is again virtually indistinguishable from the original. Beautiful VDO instruments and chrome-plated switchgear pepper the body-colored fascia, and red leather is used on the dashtop. This car has a correct original-type ivory two-spoke wheel and matching ivory shift knob. Only the revised shifter and the center console A/C fixtures give away the fact that this is no standard Mercedes-Benz Gullwing. The leather on the sills and seats is in lovely condition, as are the red square weave carpets, which replicate those used on SLs of the 50s. Two suitcases sit behind the seats, allowing plenty of luggage capacity for an extended tour.

Reliable, high-performance touring is assured, thanks to the robust M104 twin-cam inline-six. Fitted to cars like the R129 300SL and W124 300E Coupe/Cabrio, the M104 is a characterful and refined unit that offers outstanding top-end performance. The engine bay is tidy and well-detailed and a testament to Tony Ostermeier’s meticulously engineered design.

The Ostermeier Gullwing is a joy to drive, with modern-era comfort and performance blended with classic styling and head-turning looks. A sought-after and collectible car in its own right, this beautiful Gullwing Coupe is a fitting tribute to the iconic original.

 

Offers welcome and trades considered 

 

$649,500

Stock number 7399

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