Alloy Gullwing is the Ultimate Collectible

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If a Mercedes Gullwing is the iconic 1950s Grand Touring car, as many insist, then the ultra-exclusive, all-aluminum “alloy Gullwing” is the ultimate example. Mercedes built 29 of them in 1955 as a lightweight, racing variant on the production car. It was 175 lbs lighter than the steel car and sat on lowered suspension, with an upgraded engine, Plexiglas windows, Rudge wheels, and plaid cloth in the seats. It was frighteningly expensive, a serious uptick from the $8,500 normal list price (about $70,000 in 2011 dollars) and of interest only to serious racers and a few who wanted the absolute best at any cost. In the high-end collectible feeding frenzy of the past few years, they have become extremely desirable, not least because they almost never become publicly available. The McBride collection car, recently consigned for Gooding & Company’s January Scottsdale sale, is a stunning, freshly restored example, originally delivered in California for street use.

Thor Thorson

SCM Contributing Editor

Thor grew up in northern Iowa. His father bought a red Jag XK 150 in the late 1950s, and that was all it took; he has been in love with sports cars , racing cars and the associated adrenaline rush ever since. He has vintage raced for more than 20 years, the bulk of them spent behind the wheel of a blue Elva 7. When he’s not racing, he is president of Vintage Racing Motors Inc., a collector-car dealer and vintage-racing support company based in Redmond, WA. His knowledge runs the full spectrum of vintage racing, and he has put that expertise to good use for SCM since 2003.

Posted in SCM Staff