Axalta is not resposible for content you are about to view

Show Searchbox Show Navigation
Interstandox Logo

The return of the Gullwing

 

Mercedes Benz Classic Center

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL "Gullwing" was, and still, remains one of the world’s handsomest cars. This classic model not only looks as if it could fly, because of its gullwing doors – it actually did "fly" away from its competitors at the time, winning numerous major motor races. Standox recently lent a hand with the restoration of a rare 1955 model.

Mercedes Benz Classic Center

With its doors that open upwards, the Mercedes-Benz SL 300 "Gullwing" looks like a seagull spreading its wings to take flight.

A mere 1400 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLs were built between 1954 and 1957. With a power output of 175 hp and a top speed of 250 km/hour, it was the fastest sports car in the world at the time. Engineers developed the design based closely on a successful racing model. When the 300 SL was introduced in America – where 80 per cent of all models were sold – Americans dubbed it the "Gullwing". And in fact: its upward-swinging doors do indeed make the car look like a seagull spreading its wings to take flight.

Unprofessional restoration

And it was just such a model, specifically a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL made in 1955, that was recently set to undergo restoration at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Fellbach near Stuttgart. The new owner, a German collector, had purchased it and brought it to the classic car experts in Fellbach. They quickly recognised that the car had been improperly restored years earlier and that it had also been repainted. The factory records documented that what was now a silver car had originally been metallic light blue. "According to our records, only seven Mercedes-Benz 300 SLs were painted this colour,” says Michael Plag, project manager at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Fellbach.

  • Mercedes Benz Classic Center

    The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL "Gullwing" was and is still considered one of the handsomest cars in the world.

  • Mercedes Benz Classic Center

    The 300 SL "Gullwing" shines like new following restoration.

  • Mercedes Benz Classic Center

    Classic car fans will find some real gems at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Fellbach.

  • Mercedes Benz Classic Center

    The workshop is the right place for those lucky enough to own a spectacular 300 SL, or a 230, 250 or 280 "Pagoda" and who are interested in having it restored to mint condition.

  • Mercedes Benz Classic Center

    According to records, only seven Mercedes-Benz 300 SLs were given a light blue finish.

Mercedes Benz Classic Center

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL "Gullwing" was and is still considered one of the handsomest cars in the world.

Mercedes Benz Classic Center

The 300 SL "Gullwing" shines like new following restoration.

Mercedes Benz Classic Center

Classic car fans will find some real gems at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Fellbach.

Mercedes Benz Classic Center

The workshop is the right place for those lucky enough to own a spectacular 300 SL, or a 230, 250 or 280 "Pagoda" and who are interested in having it restored to mint condition.

Mercedes Benz Classic Center

According to records, only seven Mercedes-Benz 300 SLs were given a light blue finish.

“In recreating the rare colour, the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Fellbach drew on the colour expertise provided by Standox.”

 

Showing your colours with Standox

In consultation with the new owner, this classic model is scheduled to have its original colour restored. But because the metallic light blue was used only on seven vehicles, the research proved rather complicated. In recreating the rare colour, the experts in Fellbach drew on more than their own know-how. “We asked Standox to develop an appropriate mixing formula for us,” said Plag. And the professionals in the colouration lab in Wuppertal were able to quickly provide what was needed: they were able to work out the right colour using archival material from the Classic Center and prepare a new mixing formula. The result was quite impressive!

  • Mercedes Benz Classic Center

    The Classic Center in Fellbach has been the worldwide Center for Mercedes-Benz authenticity since 1993.

  • Mercedes Benz Classic Center

    The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL was the first SL sports car available for sale – and with a top speed of 250 km/hour it was also the world’s fastest sports car of its day.

  • Mercedes Benz Classic Center

    The Center’s workshop handles not only complete and partial restorations, it also restores individual components and reconstructs engines, transmissions, axles, steering and other assemblies.

  • Mercedes Benz Classic Center

    In recreating the rare colour, the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Fellbach drew on the colour expertise from Standox.

  • Mercedes Benz Classic Center

    Specialists at work: when it comes to restoring classics, nobody can beat the experts at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Fellbach.

Mercedes Benz Classic Center

The Classic Center in Fellbach has been the worldwide Center for Mercedes-Benz authenticity since 1993.

Mercedes Benz Classic Center

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL was the first SL sports car available for sale – and with a top speed of 250 km/hour it was also the world’s fastest sports car of its day.

Mercedes Benz Classic Center

The Center’s workshop handles not only complete and partial restorations, it also restores individual components and reconstructs engines, transmissions, axles, steering and other assemblies.

Mercedes Benz Classic Center

In recreating the rare colour, the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Fellbach drew on the colour expertise from Standox.

Mercedes Benz Classic Center

Specialists at work: when it comes to restoring classics, nobody can beat the experts at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Fellbach.



Don't miss any new story!