If you had the chance to restore any vehicle on earth from the ground up, what would it be? In the case of BRABUS, their sights are set on recreating the one-of-a-kind Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing from the 1986 works of Andy Warhol, curating a 6-star restoration that brings every single nut and bolt of the famous vehicle into the modern era. More than 4500 hours of work have been spent meticulously restoring the very vehicle that Warhol portrayed in his 1986 “Cars” series of works. Let’s check it out.
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From the ground up every inch of metal has been touched. In the engine bay, the BRABUS 300SL Gullwing finds a nut and bolt restored 3.0-litre straight-six M198 engine delivering 215 hp. It’s one of the great engines of its era with a two-valves-per-cylinder overhead cam arrangement sitting pride of place alongside a sand-cast manifold that was as large as the engine itself.
At the time of production, the 300SL was the fastest production vehicle on sale with a top speed of 263km/h thanks to a remarkably low final drive ratio of 1:3.25. While it was a great engine, the recommended oil change distance of just 1600km is comical, to say the least.
Like the engine, BRABUS saddlery has fully restored the engine bay to period specification. At the time of production, three checkered-pattern seat fabrics were standard in either grey and green, grey and blue, or cream and red but most customers opted for optional leather. Eventually, the roadster would receive leather upholstery as standard. As beautiful as the 300SL Coupe is, the high door sill means entering and exiting the Gullwing is never a pleasant task, in fact, the steering wheel is mounted on a pivot to make the exercise easier.
Want to see it for yourself? From June 20 to June 26, 2022, visitors will have the opportunity to examine the originals at the Mercedes-Benz Museum as an absolute premiere. This could be the first and last time we ever see a space shared between these two rarities.