Cars

The Sultan of Brunei's Franken-Mercedes 300SL AMG is For Sale

When the Sultan of Brunei wanted to buy a quintet of authentic 1950s Mercedes 300SLs for himself and his family, merely buying five of the Holy Grail of Mercs wasn't enough. Instead, he called up Mercedes, gave them the code to his vault, and told them to outdo themselves. This 1954 Mercedes Gullwing 300SL AMG is the result. It's beautifully ridiculous, and it's up for sale next month at RM's Monaco Auction.

Essentially, AMG took 11 perfectly mint 1954 300SLs, and removed just about everything but the skin and those amazing doors. Then, they reached into their parts bag and started throwing on the best parts AMG knows how to make, and they're not exactly slouches in the engineering department.

Inside, it retains some of the original car's vibe, but adds modernities like power windows and mirrors, a steering wheel that doesn't feel like it originally steered a U-boat, and leather Recaro seats to make sure you stay put when carving corners.

The suspension has been completely redone with modern technology and geometry, and it's more or less track-ready thanks to some careful matching of the springs to the heavy-duty shocks and struts.

It needs all the suspension help it can get, too, because the engine's more or less the same one Mercedes put in their CLK-LM race car. It was so utterly dominant that the FIA cancelled the GT1 class out of fairness.

The AMG engineers were so thorough in their modernization they even put a giant carbon fiber sheet underneath the car to reduce drag. The car is electronically governed to 155 mph — most likely because they didn't want to have the Sultan of Brunai coming after them if something bad happened — but in reality it can go much, much faster.

Mercedes decided to build a handful of other cars beyond the five that the Sultan ordered, and this is one of them. It's spent the majority of its life in a climate-controlled garage in Hong Kong, where it was driven all of 500 kilometers.


Aaron Miller is the Rides editor for Supercompressor. Cars like this make him think/wish he was the long-lost adopted son of the Sultan of Brunei, and you can follow him on Twitter.