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 Mercedes 300 SL gullwing replica/KIt
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Crotty

USA
44 Posts
Posted - October 06 2005 :  6:16:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am new to this site and thread, so I apologize if I'm redundant in my posting here.

I believe that the Ostermeyer molds and tooling were sold to Hooper and Company (of the Rolls Royce/Bentley fame). Their direct website is down, so I'm assuming they are no longer in business. The photos that they did have of their reproduction Gullwing were all from Ostermeyer's website/brochures. But you can find what was their site here:

http://givemegraphics.net/hooper/index.htm

One of their production cars was sold in January of this year in England. The listing is here:

http://www.classicdriver.com/fr/find/4100_results.asp?&dealerid=11031&lCarID=1700525

One of Ostermeyer's cars is for sale in St. Louis, MO for $165K (down from $186K one month ago)

http://www.hymanltd.com/search/Details.asp?stockno=2990&recordCount=64

It would seem that there should be a way of creating the molds and tooling for the various Gullwing specific parts (glass, brightwork, switches, etc) so that, as with the Ostermeyer cars, the parts are interchangeable with the real cars. While expensive to do, one would certainly have more of a market than just the kit builders to recoup costs.

Is this what the Brothers Mazza are planning to do? Additionally, will they offer the option of running a Mercedes engine in their cars? It would be nice to have a Gullwing that looks AND sounds like a Mercedes.

Thanks for all the VERY informative posts...

Robert


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cmcompto


46 Posts
Posted - October 06 2005 :  9:21:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Matt and John frequent this forum every few days, so they would be the best to ask. We're all hoping that they are going to do something big!

Stay tuned and they can answer you question.

CM

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jaysherman


139 Posts
Posted - October 07 2005 :  12:04:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Why reinvent the wheel...Tony already had these parts made, just need to find out where and make a large enough order. I assume that they are still available because Hooper was using them unless they where working off of back stock. I believe that Tony sold off most of the stock though. Considering the cost of reproduction if you had one of each part China would provide the best bang for your buck. I found the glass and purchased a complete set. I understand that it is all gone now. Nothing that money will not solve...

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Crotty

USA
44 Posts
Posted - October 07 2005 :  3:56:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I hear from Legends in the UK that Hooper may be in the process of "being reformed in the Emirates". Who knows what that means for the Gullwings. And since there is a universal demand for parts, if one could not track down Ostermeyer's stock or the companies that created it for him, somebody might have to take matters into their own hands.

I see there being a couple of solutions - of course both are just a matter of money. As I've never built a kit car before, please tell me if I'm failing to consider anything here:

1.) Somebody (and I'm including myself in this) buys an Ostermeyer or real Gullwing and disassembles the essential parts to have the molds and dies made to start reproducing parts. Biggest complication to this is finding the right company in the right country to do it, and executing the reproductions with enough quality that the real gullwing shops will purchase stock from you. At the same time, parts would need to be priced in a way that the kit builders would be able to buy as well. Another consideration is whether or not Mercedes Benz would squash you for getting in the way of their parts business - if there is such a thing for the Gullwings.

2.) It looks like from the Mazza's photos, that they're using 190SL parts - switches, headlights, etc. I think this is a pretty good idea. If a kit builder were to purchase a derilict 190SL for $15K, what would prevent him/her from pulling the instruments, switches, bright work, various useable systems (if any) AND the transmission tunnel & VIN tag and then register the finished car as a rebodied 190SL? You could sell the rest of the 190 back to a parts facility to recoup some expenses and have a good deal of parts to use to build the gullwing. Would the switches, instruments, front bumper and grill (bumper and grill is interchangeable, right?) worth the expense? Additionally, would the VIN & registration be worth buying a whole 190SL? I know for what it takes to get a speciality car registered in CA, it might be (ignoring for a moment that you'd be destroying a classic car).

Any input would be appreciated as I consider the cost (and excuse) to purchase a real Gullwing to do something along these lines for a business. I'd happily defer to the Mazzas if they're already doing it.

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jaysherman


139 Posts
Posted - October 08 2005 :  12:08:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
190 is only good for a few parts, you will really need a 300sl to copy parts. door latches, hinges, and handles, window frames parts and all weather stripping trim (the window trim rubber is 400 per side)rubber trim, wind-wing parts, tail lights, lots of dash parts, folding steering wheel mech, interior mirror, glass, MB side emblems, side trim molding, trunk emblem 300sl, luggage hoop, etc. The 190 is good for grill, headlight bezels, bumpers, trunk hinges (depending on how the body is molded), hood hinges, maybe latches. The hood and trunk emblems and side mirrors are available. I am sure I am forgetting some but this is a good start....

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Matt_Mazza


47 Posts
Posted - October 08 2005 :  12:39:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello Everybody,

Yes, parts are absolutely a critical part of making this happen. Without getting into detail, we do have a variety of sources for parts, including manufacturing some ourselves. It is also true that only a few of the 190 parts can be used. (Very thorough list you have, Jay!) We are not using parts from derelict cars, for reasons that were mentioned in Mr. Crotty's thread.

A bit of background: Hermann Quint began his business by purchasing a real 300SL and reverse-engineered his car from there. As I mentioned, we are using the molds, patterns and plans from his business as the basis for our cars. Our cars will be registered as specialty cars in Pennsylvania.

Hope this answers your questions. Thanks.

- Matt

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gullwing

New Zealand
150 Posts
Posted - October 08 2005 :  1:08:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As I have been working on my kit for about 18 months now let me give you some observations. Although it might seem to be the hardest part the frame and body are actually the easiest part. You do need a donor Gullwing and it is a lot of hard work but once done you can sell a frame and body for about $20,000. The truly difficult part is all of the specialized Gullwing parts. Where will you get the glass? Neomoeller's or Mercedes Resource Center will supply this but the price is huge. Say $5,000 for a windshield. There are 8 pieces of glass to buy. You can not make the glass yourself so you either pay huge amounts of money, make them out of Lexan or contract to have a run of original glass made. Tony Ostermeir had Pilkington glass make a run. I don't know the particulars but I think it was 100 sets (minimum). Tony bought 30 sets which he used and Pilkington sat on the rest. They stored them for 10 years then trashed most of them as they were simply in the way and did not sell.
The rear bumpers- Toney had them made in Taiwan or somewhere. There are something like 5 pieces. So he probably had $20,000 tied up in the molds. The list goes on and on. If you think you can make 100 rear bumpers and re-coupe your cost MAYBE. You would need a market though. The 1,200 original Gullwings out there mostly have bumpers or they will pay Meercedes Resource Center to build them a certified exact replacement for $10,000. So you need a growing kit car market to create a demand. The kit car market is stymied by the lack of good quality replacement parts for at a reasonable price. So, it is a catch 22. If several people jumped into the buisness then in my humble opinion the Gullwing could be as popular as the Cobra. You can build a nice Cobra for $25-30K. At this time I doubt that you could build a nice Gullwing for $60K.
I have spoken with Hermann Quint many times. He was able to do it. His car were beautiful. What many of you don't know is that he made almost 30 and that they evolved over the years. They started out as cut down Corvettes. Later he used Mercedes V-8 drive trains on a custom frame. They looked gorgeous no question about it. But exact replicas they weren't. Can you tell me what rear windows he used or what side window? I know and he was quite ingenious. Did you know that the vent window gasket is available from Mercedes but cost $900 each! Most of us cant afford that.
As far as the orignal valve train?Does a modern Mercedes V-8 sound even remotely like a straight 6 mechanically fuel injected 198 engine? The closest engine I could thing would be a early jag straight six or a 240Z. I have seen Chrysler slant six used used. Does anyon think these look, sound or drive like an OHC Mercedes motor? Most if not all of Hermans cars were automatic transmission.It is apparently what sells best. Not my cup of tea.

Toney's parts are tied up in bancruptcy (again) this time in the island of Jersey off the English coast. So we can't expect much help there.
The Mazza Brothers, God bless them, have great intentions and I am sure are honorable people. However they are still bogged down in the body/frame part of the build. I have not heard what they intend to do for door latches, door hinges, trunk latches, grills, side molding, dash molding etc., etc. Their web sight is truly impressive. They make it clear that they are building their first wo cars now however it isn't apparent to the viewer which photos theyy are showing are from an original Gullwing and which are from someone elses reproduction.
Yes there are a few 190SL parts that can be used. I have a list for anyone interested. A good quality 190SL grill goes for $2,000 but at 20 feet you can tell it is not from a 300SL. That is but one example.

In order for someone to succed in the Gullwing replica buisness they will need a lot of financing and a really well thought out buisness plan. Even Tony Ostermeir despite his long success ran out of capital at some point.Starting out with a kit car would allow you to recoupe some of your investment as you went along. The only person doing that is Gil Lonecker. He unfortunately is undercapitalized and I would not even want to comment on his buisness plan on a public forum. He has however succeeded in destroying any credibility he has which I find terribly sad.

Greg

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james


52 Posts
Posted - October 09 2005 :  05:08:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello Greg,

Where Do you buy a windshield for $ 5.000?
If you can get a GW windshield for 525,- € + shipping (from Berlin to the States) + tax.

Have a look at here: http://www.hk-engineering.com/ne/partshop/index.html

http://www.hk-engineering.com/

Bye James.

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jaysherman


139 Posts
Posted - October 09 2005 :  11:08:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice parts site. Do not forget almost $1,000us for gasket and trim....Check out the cost of outfitting a door with glass, gaskets, door latch hardware, window frames, hinges, springs, and latches....Parts cont: The 190sl front parking lights can be used also. The air intake vent demister grill from a 300sl will need to be copied.

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johnm

USA
46 Posts
Posted - October 10 2005 :  10:22:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
All:

I'll let Matt continue to answer the specific parts questions/thoughts/ideas. We appreciate the benefit of the doubt displayed in this forum. Yes, we are keenly aware of the obstacles and do have plans to make sure we have a solid product. We have asked ourselves, Hermann, and other industry veterans all the questions raised in this forum. The challenges of making parts have changed dramatically in the last 10 years and we intend on utlizing as much of the new technologies to help us. We want to do this right the first time, not have a progression of quality increases. We will be concentrating on turnkeys (for many reasons), potentially offering kits by mid 2006. I'm not sure how the economics of the kits will turn out, as we need to get the first cars done and make an assessment at that time. My belief is that whatever the parts, bodies, and chassis costs become there will significant sweat equity achieved (by a kit purchaser) due to the turnkey value.

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Crotty

USA
44 Posts
Posted - October 10 2005 :  2:58:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
John or Matt,

Are you able at this time to give us a ball park figure for your turnkey cars? I understand if you're not ready to do this yet. Assuming your production cars will be similar in quality to the Ostermeyer cars, it would be good to know what one could expect to spend.

Thanks,

Robert


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johnm

USA
46 Posts
Posted - October 10 2005 :  5:23:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We've been telling prospective buyers that we will be starting at $99,000 for turnkeys with the basic engine, etc. While the market on these particular replicas has been from $89,000 to a high this year of $264,400 at Barrett-Jackson........we believe the market to be approx $125,000 for a quality replica. So, why would we be at $99,000 today? Because we haven't built one of our own yet. Sure, we have Hermann's but until we establish our quality, etc. someone will have to make a leap of faith with us. If we build the first one and don't have a buyer for it, we'll be looking at the $125,000 area.

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gullwing

New Zealand
150 Posts
Posted - October 12 2005 :  10:27:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
While I realize the M-Wing motors is not in the kit car buisness nor in the kit car parts buisness. It seems like the question of parts has been asked on this forum several times and has been dodged several times. If you plan on having a finished product in 8 months I would assume that you either a)have a manufacturer who has already made the molds b)are making molds now or c)plan on doing so real soon. I know you can't be buying NOS parts as they are hugely expensive as are the currently available reproduction parts. I would think telling us how you have solved the parts problems would add a lot to the credibility to your efforts and be hugely helpful for your sales.
So let me ask about one specific part as an example: The side molding. Do plan on making them? Are you going to have them whittled out of billet on a CNC which would be hugely expensive? are you going to have the molds made and have them stamped? or are you going to do as Gil Lonecker proposes and that is take a piece of Mylar and glue it on? If you intend to go through the expense of a) writing a CAD program or b) making the mold why not advertise that that they will be available soon. Their are at least two kit car guys who are interested in buying a set. (I already have mine)Wouldn't making and selling 4 sets off-set the cost involved to M-wing? I would assume that you plan on making several cars so I would think your plans would be to make 10 sets minimum as an initial run.

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gullwing

New Zealand
150 Posts
Posted - October 12 2005 :  2:40:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
James, I apologize. I gave you a shoot from the hip estimate and I was off. Possibly I got that number from another supplier

however at HK engineering I found the following prices:

Windshield complete- $1,400
Rear Window complete- $1,800
opera window complete is $1,100 each
I couldn't get the numbers on the vent and door windows as not all of the parts are listed (unavailable?)

so thats $5,400 for 4 of the 8 windows lets just approximate another $5,00 for the other ones. $10,000 is about about 10% of the finished value. I can buy a body for about $10,000 or a frame for about $10,000. It like the old saying about the monkey who peed in the cash register "it starts to run into money"

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jaysherman


139 Posts
Posted - October 12 2005 :  7:27:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Greg's right, when you start to price out the door glass, frames and latches, gaskets, and hardware for the handles, hold on to you wallet....

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Matt_Mazza


47 Posts
Posted - October 12 2005 :  8:10:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello Everybody,

Sorry if it seems like we're dodging parts questions, but in reality this is not the case. As you know, there is very little competition in the Gullwing replica market, but it IS out there. We are protecting our business interests by not naming all of our suppliers. We do have sources for ALL of the parts and they fall into the following categories:

- Major vendors of Gullwing parts, including HK Engineering and others
- Smaller vendors who are not currently prepared to make parts in quantity
- Local manufacturers, but currently small batches and nothing automated yet

As you mentioned, we're not ready to make kits or parts for these cars yet, but it's in the plan. Our current focus is to complete the first few cars, which will allow us to refine our processes. It would be great if we were in a position to sell parts, but we're just not ready yet. The CAD and CNC will come later. If we promised to deliver parts now, that would actually hurt our credibility since we can't deliver at this time.

I can also assure you that we won't be substituting cheap or flimsy parts: no Mylar strips and no fiberglass bumpers with chrome spray. We will be as authentic as possible where it makes sense and update where that makes sense. (An example: the originals used spring shocks to raise the doors. We are using gas shocks that look like the original
but provide more even and reliable lifting pressure)

We certainly understand the skepticism and we recommend that you take a "wait and see" approach with us as well. Thanks.

- Matt

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jaysherman


139 Posts
Posted - October 12 2005 :  8:51:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Be careful with the gas struts, they can apply a lot of single point pressure when closed and especially when hot and cause the door to lift at the attachment point. I use them on my Cobra hood with a metal hoop and see the hood lift slightly in the hot sun. Without the hoop it would be worse. This is something I am thinking about and trying to use the original spring type. I am also going to put a small metal hoop in the door for strength without over-weighting it, I hope. Lot's of things to consider when building especially when you have to think it out to the end, upholstery and carpet. Are we having fun yet? Thanks for the info Matt, many heads are better than one.

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gullwing

New Zealand
150 Posts
Posted - October 15 2005 :  1:41:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
okay, Matt so I infer from your answer that your not about to divulge whether the side moldings will be cast, machined or stamped. Is this true for potential buyers or just this forum?

Reguarding the Nitrogen gas struts. I put them on my car. It took me about 5 trips to NAPA to get it right. Its hard to do with an unfinished door as the weigth factor is important. They work well and can be easily covered with tube to make them look more original. The thing I didn't like was the black plastic mounting points on the end. Not very period or "teutonic" if you know what I mean. I replaced them with chromed heim joints I got from a Harley shop.
Untimately I removed the rear struts and installed 7/8" stainless steel pnuematic cylinders. I was a lot of work but fun too. Now the doors open and close at the touch of a button.

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jaysherman


139 Posts
Posted - October 28 2005 :  8:54:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
West Marine makes some real nice stainless steel gas struts that would look nicer than the typical black.

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SwissRacer

Switzerland
39 Posts
Posted - November 07 2005 :  09:57:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:

Someone interested in a ready to drive 300SL Gullwing from Gullwing Cars?

Car is finished in grey-blue metallic with light grey leather interior. Engine is a M110 with double camshaft and Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection. Coupled at the engine is a fourspeed stickshift from Mercedes-Benz.

Car has only done a near 10.000 miles and is in a immaculate condition. It is at the moment for sale in Europe.



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SwissRacer

Switzerland
39 Posts
Posted - November 07 2005 :  09:59:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am interested. Where can this be viewed in Europe? Is it street legal in Europe? Price?

Thanks!


quote:

Someone interested in a ready to drive 300SL Gullwing from Gullwing Cars?

Car is finished in grey-blue metallic with light grey leather interior. Engine is a M110 with double camshaft and Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection. Coupled at the engine is a fourspeed stickshift from Mercedes-Benz.

Car has only done a near 10.000 miles and is in a immaculate condition. It is at the moment for sale in Europe.



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CustomVW

USA
41 Posts
Posted - November 16 2005 :  11:44:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So is Thouroghbred still selling kits or rather chassis?

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CustomVW

USA
41 Posts
Posted - November 16 2005 :  12:10:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Have any of you considered modifing a 190 sl into a gullwing with metal work and doors form a kit (assuming you can get them)? I mean other than the roof and side panels it would be a lot less involved and expensive than sourcing all of the missing parts from these "kits" wouldn't it? plus it would be almost all MB and be registerable easily... These are esentialy the same wheel base and all as far as I know.

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james


52 Posts
Posted - November 17 2005 :  4:10:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello Custom VW,

have a look at these pic´s.
300 sl Rodster build on a Pagode.

Bye James.

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CustomVW

USA
41 Posts
Posted - November 17 2005 :  6:54:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello James,

What is a Pagode in the US? a 230sl/280sl?

quote:

Hello Custom VW,

have a look at these pic´s.
300 sl Rodster build on a Pagode.

Bye James.



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james


52 Posts
Posted - November 20 2005 :  12:01:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello Custom VW,

upss how come you don´t know the synonym of a 230 SL = Pagode?
Well anyhow see below. :-)

Bye James.

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gullwing

New Zealand
150 Posts
Posted - November 21 2005 :  10:55:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well if you want to build a 300SL roadster from a Mercedes you can do as Hooper does, that is, use a Mercedes SLK

Greg

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jaysherman


139 Posts
Posted - January 30 2006 :  11:02:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Any new news on Hooper and Company, Mazza's, or anybody else building Gullwings?

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Matt_Mazza


47 Posts
Posted - January 31 2006 :  8:25:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello Everybody,

The forum has been quiet lately but we have been busy. We are still refining the body and chassis and expect to have a body on chassis in March. The R&D has taken longer than expected, but that's par for the course for this business.

Thanks for you interest and patience and stay tuned. I will post an update when we reach our next milestone.

- Matt

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johnm

USA
46 Posts
Posted - January 31 2006 :  8:39:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Jay, et al:

Matt has put it properly, we have been overwhelmed by the interest in our project. We, as we have said here, are as passionate about this car as anyone. We want to make sure that our recreation is something we can be proud of, something that makes us stand back and stare....just as we all have at the sight of an original.

That being said, we have gone through a painstaking process of making sure that all meets, and exceeds, expectations. Sure, we would have loved to have had a car done by now....but we've been open with all who have asked to visit and see where we are in the process. Those that have visited and spent time with us realize we are doing the right thing, the right process, and will be delivering a product that will speak for itself.

So, hang in there....we're almost there...and thanks for the interest!

John

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