German company Giganten aus Stahl (Giants of Steel) has put together a novel recycled-metal version of the 1954 Mercedes 300 SL Uhlenhaut gullwing coupé, the Mercedes race car that never even made it to the production line as it was deemed too nifty for its time.
Just two prototypes of the original 1954 version exist – they are on display at Mercedes-Benz Museum in Germany.
The Giants of Steel’s recycled version of the Mercedes 300 SLR, which is on view at the 64th International Motor Show in Frankfurt this week, was painstakingly put together by three colleagues at Giganten aus Stahl.
The full-scale replica was compiled using reclaimed car parts and pieces of scrap, with the trio using up to 10m pieces of scrap metal.
And if you want to purchase the recycled car from Giganten aus Stahl, a car that is so artistic in its new design upon close inspection – while also resembling something like a derailed Batmobile from afar – it will set you back around €69,000.
A Giganten aus Stahl crew member busy at work designing the Mercedes 1954 300 SLR gullwing coupé from scrap metal
Had the original Mercedes car ever made it to the showroom floors, it is now estimated it would have set people back tens of millions of euro in today’s money.
The original Mercedes 300SL Coupé, a two-door Roadster
The Mercedes 1954 300 SL gullwing coupé performed in races such as the Mille Miglia, but when it came to making a consumer-friendly version, manufacturing executives at Mercedes ultimately decided not to go down that route, as the car was thought to have been too fast for the public at the time.
The Giants of Steel crew themselves also create Porsche GGT 550 models from recycled metal, as well as Harley Davidsons, the Mercedes SSKL, Bugatti models, and the Union Typ D – that’s if you are so inclined as to have a gleaming recycled car that can’t drive and you have a bit of spare cash to flash.
More on Mercedez-Benz car racing of the 300 SL in the 1950s
Racing driver Juan Manuel Fangio, born to Italian immigrants in Argentina, was the senior driver of the Mercedes-Benz team in 1954 and 1955. Between 1954 and 1955, Fangio lined up on the starting grid for the Mercedes-Benz team for a total of 19 Formula 1 and touring car races, recording ten wins and a number of other impressive results, according to the Mercedez-Benz Museum website.
In 1955 the Stuttgart duo Walter Schock and Rolf Moll took part in the Rally del Sestrière in Italy at the wheel of the gull-winged Mercedes 300 SL.
According to the Mercedez-Benz Museum the high-performance sports car left other vehicles in its wake, with co-driver Schock recalling the coupé’s outstanding capabilities in the winter rally conditions in the mountains: "Really fine snow chains on all four wheels allowed us to reach uphill speeds of up to 180 km/h."
The team finished the race as winners on 28 February 1956.