Amelia Island 2017: Undaunted by Mother Nature

Mercedes-Benz (Gullwings) Class

The slowest Gullwing (1952 W194 300SL – 171 HP) meets the fastest Gullwing (Bob Sirna’s Bonneville car – 427 HP) on the lawn at the Amelia Island Concours 2017.

Amelia Island 2017
Undaunted by Mother Nature

With brutal weather assured for Sunday March 11, Concours day for Bill Warner’s Amelia Island show, Warner and his team made the bold decision to move the show to Saturday. The last minute change created a massive scramble and certainly inconvenienced some competitors and visitors but the rescheduled show was again a lovely celebration of all things unique in the classic automobile universe. The decision was really fairly clear: move the show to Saturday or cancel it altogether.

Sunshine prevailed Saturday over the diverse field of breathtaking automobiles. Featured classes included the cars of multiple Indy winner Al Unser Sr., Streamliners, The Chevrolet Camaro, Movie Cars and a number of other clever groupings. With Amelia Island firmly established as one the premier Concours in the country, the Mercedes-Benz presence was strong and the factory blessed all in attendance with a stylish open-air pavilion.

The star of the Mercedes Classic Center’s display was undoubtedly the 1955 300SLR ‘Uhlenhaut’ Coupe, a car that would be one of the world’s most valuable automobiles were it ever placed on the open market. As you will see below there were many more mouthwatering milestone Mercedes-Benz’ on the lawn. We’re so thankful to Connie Schmitt for allowing us to use her lovely images.

roy spencer/editor mercedesheritage
photography/connie schmitt

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  • Lone 220S Cabriolet rests on the lawn Saturday morning. Looks to me like 158 white grey.
  • Steel black Gullwing fronts 1 of the 29 alloy bodied cars.
  • Gorgeous black Gullwing with body color rudge wheels radiated on the lawn. Note the factory driving lamps up front.
  • This 1 0f 29 Alloy bodied Gullwing with the rare 'Rallye Option would be the ultimate Gullwing - and the most expensive.
  • Is there a unharmonious view of the Gullwing shape? I don't think so. Design purity at its finest.
  • One of the 'Uhlenhaut' 300SLR Coupes graced the MBCC's open pavilion. Massive dual side pipes emit a deafening racket.
  • The greatest fixed head sports car ever constructed? Probably, although Ferrari 250GTO owners may not agree.
  • 'Long door' W194 rests beside Bob Sirna's 197 MPH thug. NASCAR's Jack Roush engineered Sirna's M104 engine.
  • Ground zero for the beloved Gullwing: Bruce McCaw's 1952 W194 coupe. Won Le Mans in 1952.
  • Aaron Weiss' elegant 1936 290 Cabriolet A: 68 HP from a 2.9 liter six coupled to a four-speed gearbox.
  • 540K Spezial Roadster dash integrates mother-of-pearl finish behind center gauge cluster. Gorgeous.
  • Rather a long rearward swoop! Bill And Barbara Parfet's 1937 540K Spezial Roadster maintains quite a presence.
  • Mercedes Classic's painstakingly restored 1938 540K was an obvious choice for the Streamliner class.
  • 1911 Benz required drivers to manually adjust ignition advance.
  • Touring elegance in the brass era was epitomized by the 1911 Benz 50HP Victoria Open Tourer.
  • AMG's crowning acheivement in its 50th year of existance: AMG GT C Roadster.
  • On the lawn early Saturday morning.
  • The ex-Ernie Spitzer and Gullwing Group founder's 1955 300SL. One of the best GW survivors on the planet with 34k miles.
  • Bob Sirna's quest to break the F/GT record at Bonneville required some years and ultimately a 427 HP '94 E320 engine.
  • Bob Sirna's outrageous 1955 Gullwing managed 197.759 MPH at Bonneville in 2016 for a new F/GT speed record.

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