Conventional, side-opening doors are so boring, aren’t they? That seems to be what Mercedes-Benz thought back in the 1950s, anyway. With their sights firmly set on worldwide motorsport victory, where Merc’s chief developing engineer at the time, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, had the tricky task of creating an agile, yet refined and durable machine capable of tackling races like the 24hrs of Le Mans. He created a metal skeleton, saving weight while still providing a high level of strength, but the frame enveloped the passenger compartment, meaning traditional doors were impossible, and thus the model's distinctive gullwing arrangement was born.
The W194 300 SL, first in racing guise and later in production form, became the pinnacle of style, refinement and performance, where Mercedes-Benz would leave the Gullwing doors only for their most ambitious projects, such as the C111 from 1969, and the SLS AMG in 2009. Between those timeframes, there were a few German tuning houses that dabbled in one-offs, but Hartmut Boschert sought to repeat the trick with the newly-launched C124.
The B300 was based on a 300 CE, but any Mercedes-lover will instantly spot that the front-end is that of a R129-generation SL, further adding to the mystique of this creation. In order to realise Boschert’s dream of a gullwing-doored C124, significant changes to the car’s structure were made, with the C-pillar being brought forward by some 25cm and the sills strengthened to accept the huge 1.66 metre-wide gullwing doors. To give the B300 some extra oomph, the engine was fitted with twin turbochargers, resulting in a power output of 283 horsepower.
Inside, this example boasts an oh-so-1980s interior, finished in a vibrant two-tone purple shade with wooden accents throughout. This striking interior compliments the B300’s Bornite exterior paint well, being one of Mercedes-Benz’s most famous paint shades.
Boschert targeted an ambitious production run of 300 examples, but sadly only a handful were ever made, and this example offered is the only B300 to feature gullwing doors, making it a truly unique piece of customised Mercedes-Benz history. For any lover of the three-pointed star, this has to be one of the rarest and most interesting machinese from one of their finest decades of car creation, albiet with a unique twist! The Boschert B300 'Gullwing' is heading to RM Sotheby’s upcoming Munich sale on November 25th, with an estimate of 250,000 to 300,000 euros.