You need deep pockets to bring the beauty back to life.
Mercedes-Benz has been building cars longer than anyone else, and in a legacy that spans more than a century, it has delivered some of the best sports cars known to man. One such car is the legendary 300SL Gullwing which sells for record-breaking prices these days. The Mercedes-AMG GT might be the modern-day successor to this classic beauty, but nothing will ever come close to the original. Restoration projects for these cars can run into the millions of dollars, but most collectors will be happy to pay anything it takes to bring one of these cars back to life. Enter Thornley Kelham, a specialist in Concours restoration, maintenance, and servicing of classic cars. The UK-based company has taken on the challenge of restoring a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, and the end result is simply stunning.
When the 300SL arrived at the Thornley Kelham HQ, it was revealed that the car had suffered some accident damage in its life and featured roadster headlights on the coupe body. The good news was that the tubular chassis was in one piece, but years of storage meant that most of the mechanical parts had to be replaced or restored, including its 3.0-liter straight-six engine. The owner of this icon didn't want to go down the typical route of painting this icon silver, and instead opted for a unique shade of period-correct Horizon Blue. The owner also decided to forego the original bumpers for a cleaner look. The interior features blue plaid non-leather upholstery. According to Thornley Kelham, sourcing the original parts was a six-figure expense, and adjusting the gullwing doors took hours of effort.
Simon Thornley, the co-founder of Thornley Kelham, said: "Restoring a Gullwing is a huge responsibility, and restoring a Gullwing for a Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance judge like our client also comes with a fair bit of pressure. When you're working with a car as rare and iconic as this, originality and accuracy are absolutely crucial. We spent hundreds of hours getting the details of this car exactly right while making sure it adheres to the same standard that every car we work on does - it has to look good, drive well, and is made to last. This car has been enjoyed for over 60 years now, and we're delighted to have extended its life for many more years of pleasure for its owners." These projects might cost a ton of money, but the end result is a celebration of human ingenuity.