MERCEDES SSK REPLICA, SMALL BLCOK CHEVY 350CI, TH350 TRANS, MUST SEE!
Quick quiz: what looks like a vintage Mercedes, is titled as a 1975 Ford, and has a 350 cubic inch Chevy V8 for power? Give up? The answer is this 1929 Mercedes SSK replica called a Gazelle. You've seen them before, but since most of them are little more than rebodied Pintos, this one has a little something extra for you when you slide behind the wheel.
OK, so if you're familiar with the original Mercedes SSK, this car isn't going to fool you. However, for a lot of folks, just having a car that looks old but runs like their daily driver is just fine, thank you very much. All the right styling cues are there, from the upright chrome grille and swooping fenders to the cut-down doors and rear-mounted spare, and to the untrained eye, it's pretty convincing. The paint is far nicer than your garden-variety Gazelle, most of which seem to have been painted dull beige with brown fenders instead of striking bright red and it's pretty clear that an above-average amount of time and money went into making this one special. Other authentic details include the side pipes (non-functional, sadly), the leather strap holding the hood down like a vintage Bentley racer, and wind wings, which are actually quite practical in this windowless roadster. The fiberglass body itself is in great condition and, well, there's actually a lot here to like.
The red and black interior is more sporty than vintage, but it works in the low-slung sportster. A combination of original Gazelle workmanship in the wooden dash and pleated door panels combines with a few modern upgrades like the white-faced instruments and Grant GT steering wheel with a lovely wooden rim. The twin-cockpit design is akin to a vintage MG than a Mercedes SSK, but this car isn't about being an exact duplicate, and you can't argue with the layout. That's a real wood instrument panel, and the recent series of upgrades also included an AM/FM/CD stereo head unit. A back seat makes this Gazelle somewhat practical and there is a folding top and side curtains for inclement weather, you know-just in case. Carpets, seats, door panels, and the other soft parts are in very good condition, particularly considering that it's a convertible without windows. There is no trunk, but does that even matter?
Most of these Gazelle replicas were based on some variation of the Ford Pinto, but somewhere along the line the original 4-cylinder motor was tossed and a healthy 350 cubic inch Chevy dropped into place. With an Edelbrock intake, 4-barrel carburetor, and a dual exhaust system with glasspack-style mufflers, there's no hiding the fact that this car's power-to-weight ratio is better than a Corvette's. A few chrome dress-up items in the engine bay make it that much more interesting to show up in this car and open the hood, and thanks to a quick-shifting TH350 3-speed automatic transmission, it's happy to slog through traffic without complaint. The suspension is Mustang II up front and a live axle out back, so it breaks no new ground, but handling and braking are surprisingly good thanks to its relatively light weight. Steel wheels with chrome wire wheels look right and wear 225/70/14 BFGoodrich Silvertown wide whitewall radials all around.
So for those of you who like the old look but long for something a bit more contemporary, perhaps this well-built Gazelle will solve your conundrum. Call today!
- AM/FM Radio
- CD Player
- Front Disc Brakes
- Manual Convertible Top
- Vinyl Interior
- Front Brakes
- Rear Brakes
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