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If you're the kind of guy who likes a vintage look but a more
modern performance envelope, a car like this Gazelle replica of a
1929 Mercedes-Benz is probably a great choice. Based on rugged and
reliable Ford components but with that classic long hood and
swooping fenders, it has a look that definitely gets noticed.
Of course the body is fiberglass, but nobody's going to care. The Gazelles were some of the better replicas, getting the proportions right and not straying too far from the original look. The colors on this one also work rather well, as most of them you see are some combination of brown and tan, which dates from the 1970s when most of them were built. In contrast, this car's gray bodywork with burgundy fenders is classic and elegant, while adding a touch of sportiness to the low-slung roadster. The bodywork is in good shape and since it's fiberglass, dents and rust are non-issues. It does show a few signs of use, but you really have to go looking for them and the fit of the hood and doors is actually pretty impressive given the reasonable sticker price. Details like the expose exhaust pipes coming out of the hood, the big, round headlights, and the leather strap holding the hood down are all throwbacks to the original Mercedes SSK, the model on which the Gazelle was undoubtedly modeled.
The burgundy interior offers buckets seats up front, something the early Mercedes-Benz probably lacked, as well as a modest rear bench that's good for kids or parcels. Red carpets are nicely fitted, but now showing some fading, which is probably inevitable with a convertible like this. The dash and steering wheel are wood, which is a bit of a throwback to an earlier era, and the big, round vintage gauges certainly look suitably old (note that the speedo reads in KPH and the odometer runs a little fast as a result). There's an AM/FM/CD stereo system over in front of the passenger, and it looks to be recently installed; that's a feature they probably would have welcomed decades ago if it were available. For inclement weather, there's a folding black convertible top that stows pretty easily, and it comes with a full set of matching side-curtains for the worst stuff.
The powertrain is surprising because this isn't some VW Beetle-based repop, but a real road car thanks to a Ford 2.8 liter V6. Called the Cologne engine, it's a German-built engine used in vehicles like the Mercury Capri and more recently, the Bronco II and Ranger pickup. As a result, it's durable, torquey, and easy to service with great parts availability. There's a carburetor on top and it's a tight squeeze in the engine bay, but service access is decent and many of the parts look new, including the carburetor and alternator. With a recent tune-up, it starts right up and drives well, and with an automatic transmission, anyone can slide behind the wheel and enjoy the vintage experience. Underneath, it sits on a custom tube-frame chassis that incorporates a Mustang II front suspension with rack-and-pinion steering, while the rear is a Ford 8-inch on leaf springs. There's a new single exhaust system that has a nice grumble and those chrome wire wheels with 195/75/14 radials fill the fenders very nicely.
Inexpensive fun with a great look, that's what replicas are all about. Get in, turn the key, have fun, it doesn't get much simpler than that. Call today!