Mercedes-Benz takes what it describes as a "firm line" on replicas - something of an understatement in the instance of the unauthorised 300SL gullwing pictured above, given the 30 tonnes of pressure involved…
That’s right: following court rulings and trademark violations Mercedes has taken an offending example of one German company’s replica 300SL bodywork and crushed it into a pulp.
The shape of the famous gullwing 300SL has been under copyright protection for “a number of decades”, giving parent company Daimler AG exclusive rights - a situation that was confirmed most recently during a 2010 court case.
So when German customs seized a fibreglass replica, Mercedes’ wrath proved swift and permanent. Utilising facilities at the Mercedes-Benz used-parts centre, which is responsible for the destruction of pre-production prototypes, the bodywork was stripped from the car and submitted to the jaws of a 30-tonne crusher.
There’s an awesome exactitude to the announcement of this obliteration, with Mercedes stating:
“The replica sports car had a fibre glass body weighing precisely 148 kilograms, which the compressor smashed into small pieces. The dramatic end to the unlawful body was officially documented with a sign and stamped ‘confirmation of scrappage’.”
It’s unclear at this stage who made the replica – Mercedes simply stating it was a “German company” - nor what chassis it was actually attached to. But it seems likely the fake SL was along similar lines to those false Ferrari and Lamborghini kits that are designed to be bonded into place over much more mundane machinery.