The 1957 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing is without question one of the most iconic vehicles in auto history so when you’re in the presence of one, it’s important to treat the car with utmost care and delicacy.
At the 2011 SEMA Auto Show , we saw a 300SL Gullwing at the BASF Booth, except that this particular one was fine-tuned by no less than Chip Foose/Foose Design in collaboration with the world leader in automotive OEM and refinish technologies. Before being sent off to Foose Design for the cursory aerodynamic improvements, BASF was already familiar with the 300SL, having spearheaded a restoration project that was actually featured in a 2008 episode of Dream Car Garage.
As far as Foose’s responsibility on the car was concerned, the man with the tuning Midas touch was tasked to give it some subtle, yet significant styling cues. To begin his work, Foose removed the 300SL’s front and rear bumpers, replacing them with custom fabricated units that have been redesigned to offer slimmer and more elegant trim. The company also took time to make enhancements on the rear bulge just above the rear wheel, making it symmetrical to the front wheel house bulge. The car’s grille and shell, together with the nose emblem, were all treated to minor modifications while the car’s new side trim was machined, milled, filed, and polished, just before undergoing final chrome plating. New headlights were also installed while the bezels were machined out of billet aluminum before being fit back to the front fenders. And finally, Foose outfitted the 300SL Gullwing with a clean set of Foose wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero Nero tires.