This Mercedes SLK32 AMG Has An Old Soul (And Gullwing Style)

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.

Sacrilege, you say? Maybe, but it’s certainly a more authentic approach than trying to pass off a Pontiac Fiero as a Ferrari or a Chrysler Sebring as a Bentley.

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.

Photo Gallery

  • Teo Markwitz

    Chnage the wheels ant not bad!

  • Akira

    Considering how bland the first gen was this is clearly an improvement.

  • supermanuel


  • Zed68

    Yep, just change the wheels and it’s awesome !

  • i want.

  • fabri99

    Fantastic job, but…how much was it exactly?

  • perfect ! love it !

  • smartacus

    i think it’s beautiful.
    i’d be happy to drive that SLK everyday

  • JBsC6

    Pretty cool

  • Benjamin B.

    I actually like this one. Job well done. However, I’m not too keen on the automatic transmission.

  • Kate

    Buyer beware! We have heard that MB will confiscate and destroy any car made to look like the 300SL Gullwing. There are articles out there where this has happened and they did do it to one car we looked at a few years back. Glad we weren’t the high bidders on that one!

  • Six Thousand Times

    Decent craftsmanship but it just looks like a good kit car.