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TRADE – Coachbuilders giving gulls wings

The 300SL, Mercedes-Benz’s supercar of the 1950s, is known to car fiends as the “gull-wing” thanks to its upwards-opening doors. One of the fastest, rarest, and most technologically advanced cars of its time the 300SL has always commanded a hefty price, meaning that only truly skilled artisans work on them, in this case an artisan called a “coachbuilder”. 19143140_1862838547374168_6529339349634532882_o


Mark Nugent is an Australian coachbuilder, which is another term for a master craftsman who builds bodies out of metal, timber, leather and dozens of other metals (like copper, brass, gold and silver). He restores cars for clients to a standard better than they were made back in the day, as you can see from the below image.




The complex curves to be folded, swaged and fitted to the shell with impeccable shut lines make a 300SL door one of the hardest post-World War II panels to create. In the background you might spy the old school English wheels, used for forming curves in such panels, but a tool that is hard to master and so isn’t used in the modern panel beating trade.

If you want to be blown away by some truly epic fabrication, click on Mark’s website HERE

Iain "Marv" Kelly View All

G'day guys, my name is Iain but most people know me as "Marv", mainly because it is easier than explaining why my parents spelled "Ian" with two i's. I'm a journalist from Sydney, Australia who loves cars, dogs, making "things" and spinning yarns. The real thrill for me, however, is the story behind the object or person. I have a background in automotive journalism across vehicles new and old, stock, modified, and hand-built, and I love the whole process of making magazines. I am also a fan of diving into history and discovering the amazing things humans have done in the past. This blog will tell the tales of rad people who make cool stuff.

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