A Winged Past Reinterpretation

Start from the past and look to the future and you have a restomod. Start from the future and look to the past and you have a reinterpretation. That’s possibly the best way to describe John Sarkisyan’s – aka Slang500 – creation. His is a style we quite like here at Speedhunters and one we appreciated last year with the S Klub 912 and 356 he built. The mix of classic Hot Rod cues mashed together with a typical Outlaw style spawned two of the most memorable classic Porsche’s we’ve ever come across.


This year he teamed up with designer Jon Sibal, putting a bunch of ideas together and creating a rendering of what the finished car would look like. The next step was taking that polished 3D creation and bringing it into the real world. The whole project took six months to complete and it really has to be looked up close to be appreciated as the detailing is nothing short of exquisite.


This is not an original and prohibitively expensive 300SL sitting on a set of HRE 305 wheels, although when you first see the car you really do wonder.


The build is based on an SKL32 AMG and mated to an FRP recreation of the Gullwing’s iconic lines. That was done by 3D scanning an authentic SL and making the whole design fit over the wheelbase John was working with.


Dumped on those brushed modern day wheels and dotted with contrasting details like the blue leather straps that hold down the hood and trunk it all combines to give the whole car masses of character.


The exhaust and license plate frame are visual touches that link us to those two Porsches S Klub built last year.


What really makes this car however is the interior, upholstered in a mix of quilted blue leather, suede and matching tartan fabric across every single surface.


Considering the modern dashboard John had to work with he did an awesome job of giving it the right amount of vintage feel, moving the instrumentation to the center and throwing on a wood framed Nardi steering wheel that reminds me of the one used in the Pagani Zonda.


It’s not easy fusing two different eras together in such a visually pleasing way.


The stacks of cash and liquor display are a funny touch maybe hinting how a fifties gangster would modify his 300SL if he was teleported to the future.


Lift up the quilted-leather clad hood and you are treated to yet another visual treat, the engine set up.


The Supercharged 3.2L V6 motor the base car came with was sent to NeedsWings (could the naming be more appropriate?!) for a little bit of massaging. A boost of 50 or so horses has pushed power to 400 HP which must make it a decently fast car to boot. The copper coloring is a signature of John’s style, and I have to say I quite like the slant-cut filter-less intakes feeding the blower!


These type of retro-inspired projects are probably the hardest to pull off, there’s so much that can be done wrong, but we honestly can’t fault anything on this car. From the daring choice of wheel design and finish to the modern Brembo brake set up it just all seems to come together in a way that challenges. I like cars like these, they make you think, and that’s always a good thing.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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blasphemy, this thing looks like shit. look at it side by side to a real gullwing. The bulider should have started with a tony oysterman body. not a herman quandt or some other shitty replicas. Doesn't even look like a 300sl. For those that really interested in a real 300sl restomod. search HWA 300sl. This this is a fiberglass/bondo heap of shit. the craftsmanship from pictures alone are horrible. what a joke.


You are able to talkshit with a fiction name '' John wick '', you look like shit


what kind of name is Magella, are you some saint irish gril? you need to learn STFU =)
Fictional POS =p

Daniel P Huneault

looked up the HWA which is a beautiful car minus the terrible ride height and wheels, but to each their own. The fact that this is just a reinterpretation (and a very well done one at that) I applaud the guys for giving us something to look at and talk about for years to come...


"Horrible ride height" is what the rest of us call a functional car. I'll admit that the HWA could have a better wheel combo though. The car in this article had me until I saw the interior. Just a little too much for me. Brown, black or red would have - in my opinion - been a better choice. Then again, not my car, not my money. The whole bagged and slammed look has more than done its time (and I know I'm not alone in thinking that in car culture).


You missed this part yeah? "The build is based on an SKL32 AMG and mated to an FRP recreation of the Gullwing’s iconic lines. That was done by 3D scanning an authentic SL and making the whole design fit over the wheelbase John was working with."

Of course the proportions are out its fitted to a taller/wider/longer wheel base, its also not a replica its a nod to the original or as the article stated its a reinterpretation

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Each to their own when it comes to opinions but there's hardly anything to criticize here. It's not a replica, that's the whole point. If he wanted to do a replica I believe he probably wouldn't have bothered, this is something else all together.

Rich E Wavy Kariuki





Even without all the amazing touches this would be the best replica I have ever seen



Dino Dalle Carbonare

Care to elaborate?


Those frayed fibreglass edges along the bottom in the 5th photo are super gnarly. Also some wonky molding around the taillight.

That's no bueno.


Yep, nice idea spoiled by little imperfections. Could be the light/angle but there are a lot of bits setting off my inner spirit level.


wait a second, doesn't Merc have a department just for suing 300SL Replicas ?

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yes they do but I head it's ok to do it now?




Lol leather hood and sticker on the tire tread. This article cracks me up (-8


I think this is a absolutely beautiful car, I watched this project from start to finish, the amount of thought and hard work that john and his awesome crew put into this build is off the hook, I understand that everybody is entitled to there own opinion, but if all you have to say is negative things ,maybe you should just keep your opinion to yourself.... I think its a very nice car !!!!! don't be a jealous hater cause you cant do something as nice as this ......congrats johnny a job well done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Nah I'm quite happy to hear negative opinions too, criticism is perfectly fine if it's dished out in a constructive from. Like Floodo1's comment above. There's a visible sticker on the front tire, so let's just burn the whole car and call it a piece of crap? Come on guys, we know you can present your opinions in a better way...


I dont know about this...from the outside the car is beautiful but the rims and the interior are awful in my eyes. If it was mine I would had CCW 3 piece black with a chrome lip, burgundy red (or something dark) interior and a really clean steering wheel like a Renown Steering Wheel. Taste I guess.


While I would have to agree with some on the interior looking rather tacky, I feel as though Dino's line "how a fifties gangster would modify his 300SL" is very fitting and nails it on the head.With that theme in mind I think its pretty damn cool. Sure its not to everyone's taste, but I hardly doubt it was ever meant to be. Plus pulling this off in 6 months?? There will surely be small imperfections. I applaud the effort and build, even if its not how I would do it.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Plus with it being in Vegas the whole gangster feel is even more perceivable haha


100% Sadly that hadn't even crossed my mind but great point. fits the setting so well. that would be a blast to cruise around vegas in.


Did you guys see the other 300SL done by Kindig-It Design? AMG power as well!


That thing is night and day compare to this hideous build. Kindig it builds higher end quality than this joke. I guess some people are just blind to quality and craftsmanship and only think what their friends or acquaintance are the cool. Stickers on tires, upholstery was like done by a half blind man or someone who just doesn't care. look at the some of the stitching. and weird lumps and bumps on the body. a proper 3d scan and lots of modeling could have fixed all these amateur problem.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yes saw that, I took a few snaps but never had the time to go back to it.


I think this thing is cool. It might need a few little finishing touches, but it has a lot of cool stuff done to it. The little imperfections definitely don't ruin the car like some people are insinuating.


Blue leather, yellow lettering, wood grain, red calipers... too much going on. I appreciate the concept and efforts though.


we have an old bottle of Louie xiii at our store. It's so old the liquid has evaporated through the cork to an extent. It's $3200+, but more of a fun collector's item if anything.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Must taste pretty rank lol Isn't it stored properly?


Oh god I can only imagine what it tastes like. It's stored properly, and that's just the nature of the liquid I believe. Nobody would ever buy this particular one though, it's pretty rough lol.


I’m not the type to make negative comments. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. I like the concept and can appreciate the effort that went into creating something unique. I really like the exterior color however the interior is not my cup of tea. Personally I find the creativity and style of the v10 B is for Build 240z much more appealing, though I think I would have gone with a traditional suspension setup. Just my .02 cents...


This is an odd build. Just like last year's 912, this thing is a rolling juxtaposition of lovingly-made, intricate detailing and glaring flaws. I build scale models and can draw a lot of parallels to those. Often in 1/24 or 1/25, guys will go nuts with the wiring of their engines and the custom-fabrication of their aluminum pulleys, but they won't bother with proper window trim. Over the years I've learned that those parts of the build are essentially invisible to them, because that's not what they pride themselves in doing. Of course, when you overwork the areas you like, and overlook the areas you don't want to think about, you make an arse of yourself as a builder...

The "rush job" excuse makes me facepalm every time. A man who rushes to the show without taking a step back to double-check his work for crooked screws / wonky fiberglass work and so on-- then pretends to brush off "the haters" when they point out whatever he missed-- is a bit immature and short-sighted. There isn't one of us who *really* takes it in stride when someone points out a big 'ol flaw in our masterpiece.

I'm guessing this man is all about showing off his passion for his craft. If he truly had it for the car itself, he'd have taken his time and built something more cohesive. I think everyone who has stared at this build enough to comment on it, feels like there's a dreamcar buried in there, just waiting to be liberated from its ridiculous "luggage" and tire stickers.


I rest easy knowing a real W198 was not molested to create this gimcrackery.


While I appreciate the effort, its definitely not my style. Not here to bash as no true car guy would, BUT the one thing that stick out like a pregnant pole-vaulter is that horrible faux carbon cover on the climate control panel to the left of the steering wheel... Seriously? isn't that like a $4.99 special at Auto Zone next to the led under glow lights? And dont get me started on the turn signal and cruise control levers.... Pic #8 for reference...


i really like the concept of the idea but i feel the overall car was just generally rushed for SEMA, which i get as people want there stuff out there, i like the colour the wheels and what they did with the interior to try and make it feel retro but the dash just doesn't work for me, but i have to follow suit with some of the other comments the finished article is pretty poor and far from exquisite.

just look at the first picture of the car facing the camera, i mean the lights ain't even level, the right hand side indicator, headlight and fog light are significantly lower than the other, looks like its been crashed and poorly repaired. it looks like the whole car is lopsided, There are other faults as well.

don't get me wrong i couldn't do anything like this in a million years let alone 6 months but its not really what i would expect to see for a highly regarded builder.


Wow I'm really blown away about how picky people get on someone else's car. Totally get it if you disagree with taste or style and even on quality of work but I will always admire any one who builds a car for their taste and the time involved. I have just got my V8 convertible Borgward Isabella on the road but don't think I would ever take it to a car show - heaven forbid everyone without a custom car of worth would pick the heck out of it after all the years I've spent on it