that poor automobile.

This one will make the automotive nerds flinch:

1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL “Gullwing” totaled at Mille Miglia.

That’s a million dollars’ worth of Teutonic sheet steel turned into scrap metal, and they’re not making any more of those. The Gullwing is an automotive classic, one of the most desirable cars in the world, and it got turned into $500 worth of scrap by a speeding 1-series BMW. Some insurance appraiser probably had a borderline cardiac event over that one, because you can be sure that anyone who owns and drives an automobile worth as much as a luxury mansion is going to have that sucker well-insured.


16 thoughts on “that poor automobile.

  1. My ultimate, cost-be-damned project car would have to be a Gullwing kit car, built around the driveline of a late-model S-class. Six-litre V12 engine, disk brakes, and all the works. So, yeah, part of me is definitely an automotive nerd, and news like this makes me cringe. There might be some parts for someone else to use, but it is one less piece of rolling art in the world.

  2. Yep, that isn’t going to buff out… But they can go buy another one out of pocket change… Thankfully they weren’t killed!

  3. That’ll make some good dinner party conversation for the two brothers who were driving the car, but I’m sure that a few people will be thinking ” Why the hell did they take that car into the race in the first place?”
    Dollars can’t buy sense, as they say.

    • Why the hell did they take that car into the race in the first place?

      Because it was theirs and they could and hell yes I would.

    • Cameron: “Ferris, my father loves this car more than life itself.”

      Ferris: “A man with priorities so far out of whack doesn’t deserve such a fine automobile.”

    • I understand the sentiment, Teeritz…it was an irreplaceable piece of history and art. Others might feel the same if some rich doofus took an iconic $100K antique Henry rifle up a tree stand in the rain and dropped it, smashing that beautiful century-plus old furniture and landing in the mud…well within his legal rights, but moral ones?

      And smarmy Bueller wannabes should make their character judgements when it’s their own million dollars on the line.

      • It’s well within their moral rights as well. Race cars are made to be raced, guns to be shot and tools to be used. So according to your morals because an item is old and valuable its use should be restricted because it might be used for its intended purpose? Even left sitting in a showroom it may not be safe, as shown by the sinkhole under the Corvette museum.

    • Gullwing worth 800,000 Euros and driven by two brothers

      There’s your problem right there. What else could you expect to happen? Was this Dumb and Dumber? The Two Stooges?

  4. Although it might not “buff out”, it is definitely repairable.

    It won’t be economically viable, but since when did that ever stop people?

    Once you have seen a restoration of a fifties’ classic Porsche 356 that was essentially more rust than metal, it becomes apparent that with enough money and commitment you can bring back almost any car from the dead.

    After all, people built it in the first place; other people can rebuild it – even if they have to start from scratch.

  5. Most rebuilds like that – there isn’t much of the original car left. And with how fracked up that frame is – you probably won’t even beable to say that was left.

    Take a ‘Rebuilt P51 Mustang’ for instance. Guy will have a Mustang of some vintage they found in a field somewhere. They *might* use a few skins or ribs. At most (Except that there is a rather large P51 rebuilding industry these days – for definitions of large in a niche like that) they’d maybe use the good parts as templates… but most 51 projects – and that car – would have to be built virtually brand new, by hand from the ground up.

    • I’m not surprised that there is an industry rebuilding old airplanes. I read a few weeks ago how the WW2 aircraft were really built to last the duration, the frames and many parts were never intended to be usable 70 years after VJ day. One major area of planned obsolescence was the way no provision was made for differential metals. That alone cuts life expectancy.

  6. Seems to me that it should be the 1 series BMW driver’s insurance agent who should be having the heart attack.

  7. Sendarius and Jon, check this resto project out:

    That car is fixable. You want a top pro to do it. The result should only be discoverable by a fellow pro, if done right. Watched my father fix cars that bad, and he would then sell it at a dealers auction, fooling all the other auto business guys into thinking it was an original untouched car. He loved a challenge.

  8. It could be worse. The brothers could have wrecked the car on the Nurnburgring, without the assistance of the BMW or the low grade Italian roads the Mille Miglia is run on.

  9. I’m a bit confused – I don’t see the body of the BMW driver anywhere in the pictures. Did they neglect to take a picture of it?

    Because I damn well know that if anyone totaled my classic Gullwing Mercedes, they’d find that person’s body right next to my car.