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Tony O'Kane | May 8, 2009

Remember those slightly-out-of-whack design renderings for a retro-modern Mercedes-Benz 300SL Panamericana? Yeah, forget about them - this goes one better.

German company Gullwing GmbH builds these reproduction Mercedes 300SLs, but with a twist - while the body and cabin are period-correct, almost everything under the skin is modernised. Airconditioning? It's got it. Powerful disc brakes? You betcha. A thumpingly-great 5.5 litre Mercedes V8 with 302kW? Naturally.

Gullwing GmbH 300SL replica

Curiously, Gullwing's 'continuation' 300SL also forms the basis for the aforementioned Panamericana, but despite the Panamericana's modern slant, we definitely prefer the historically-accurate bodywork of the 300SL replica.

There's something about those beautifully formed curves, blisters and vents - and the combination of such a classic shape with modern innards is simply too tantalising for words.

Gullwing GmbH 300SL replica

The Gullwing replicas are, like the real deal, based on a tube-frame chassis. However the mounting points for all the major subassemblies are different and the whole structure can contain up to 485kW, which means the resemblence between the modern car and the proper classic is just skin-deep.

Gullwing GmbH 300SL replica

That really doesn't bother us though. Thanks to modern technology there's that 302kW V8 (or a 239kW 3.5 litre V6, if you so wish), Mercedes-Benz's quick-shifting 7G-tronic automatic gearbox (the V6 will get a six-speed manual), big disc brakes from the E-Class, the front suspension from current Benz's, ABS and sat-nav.

It'll cost you a princely €165,000 (AU$292,000) though, with a deposit of €50,000 (AU$88,700)required straight up.

Oh yes, Gullwing GmbH will only build 30 of the things each year... so you'd better get in quick.

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