Mercedes only made about 1,400 of the original 300 SL “Gullwing,” and those that are still around are trading hands for big bucks these days. The modern SLK, by comparison, is a dime a dozen. So what to do when you want one but can only afford the latter?
The question practically answers itself: you take an SLK and rebody it to look like a Gullwing. That’s what one owner did, at least. And if you’re not prepared to undertake the same, you can skip straight to the good part, as it were, and pick up the product of his (or her) efforts.
Up for grabs in Los Angeles this weekend, Mecum Auctions has this 2002 Mercedes-Benz SLK that’s been rebodied in fiberglass to resemble a classic 300 SL. And resemble it does in rather convincing style, we might add – judging from the photos at least. The color combination of dark grey on the outside and deep red inside certainly doesn’t hurt, though the (easily replaced) modern alloys kinda give it away.
If you’re still not convinced, consider that this replica isn’t built on just any old SLK. This one’s based on the first-generation AMG performance version, which at the time packed a 3.2-liter V6 good for 354 horsepower and a 5.2-second 0-62 time.
That may not be the most powerful engine Affalterbach has ever produced, but bear in mind that the 3.0-liter inline-six in the original 300 SL never produced more than 222 hp, and even the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 in the latest SLC43 (a decade and a half after the one you see here) only kicks out slightly more at 367 hp.