The 1992 Targa Tasmania 300SL Gullwing (1954)

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The 1992 Targa Tasmania 300SL Gullwing (1954)

Post by AMG » Mon 08 Dec, 2014 4:30 pm

Hi Everyone,

Thought I'd share this with all of you, rather than just keep it to myself, as you may have some interest in wine as well as classic Mercedes-Benzes - after all they do seem to go well together (particularly after a difficult and frustrating day in the shed working on them!)

Ozbenz member Edward Hartley of Hartley Family Wines (Barossa) sent the admins a short email a while ago about his uncle's 1954 300SL Gullwing. Along with the email was an offer from the Family winery to forum members who may find it interesting simply beyond just the wine - I put this to the admin team for discussion and we think it's a very straightforward request, rather than a marketing spiel.

I also rang Edward and we talked about the car more than the wine, and I discovered that the family history with classic cars runs very deep. It's actually a really cool story. What's particularly nice - is Edward has a real reason for bottling their 2009 vintage shiraz as "The Vintage Gullwing" it's about family and not simply about a wine label. That I think takes some guts. It was obvious to us through the discussion that Edward isn't looking to use OZBENZ as an advertising vehicle for his products, so we have agreed to pass the offer on to members.

The actual story of the car is pretty cool, as is the family's entwining with Australian Motorsport history - particularly the involvement with Adelaide F1 GP, Rallying etc. What piqued my interest in our conversation is the fact that Edward is doing something quite different in celebrating the families passion for classic & vintage cars and marrying this with their chosen profession.

I agree it's the sort of thing that might be of interest to Ozbenz members beyond simply the wine. A bit of 'bottled history' if you like - a celebration of Mercedes-Benz in australian motorsport history. Certainly, it makes for a great conversation topic over an evening glass. Which is more than you can say for quite a few labels on the shelves these days... corporate run wineries and all that.

What I found most interesting in talking with Edward (as I did not know a great deal about the actual history behind the Adelaide F1GP) was just how the whole shebang started. Rather than me reiterate the story though, I have asked Edward to post some of the history and pictorials from the family archive. He's promised to do so, and has a fantastic family photographic archive which he is researching. I can't wait to see more pictures and sharing the family's car (and bike) history is a pretty cool thing.

And what is also pretty cool, is that the intention is to celebrate more of the families classic car history in bottled form. I hope I can convince my other half that building a cellar may be worthwhile :laughing6: :occasion5:

Here are some Pics from Edward.

The 1954 300SL Gullwing Targa Tasmania 1992 Class Honours - features original artwork based on a picture of Edwards uncle Ian Cocks, rallying his Gullwing in the 1992 Targa Tasmania.

In the beginning.
Here's the first photo of the 1954 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing taken when my uncle, Ian Cocks, bought it back in the early '70s. It is believed to to be the first one imported to Australia. Interestingly it started life in white before Ian restored it. Restoring, modifying, changing colours schemes along with international rallies were all par for the course across his collection.

Now she's silver.
Nicely restored, this photo taken at the family home. Still sporting the number plate RPL297 before 300SL became available.

Putting the Gullwing through her paces in the '92 Targa Tas.
Charging hard from the start line in the Targa Tas, Ian & Reg Kenny took class honours in the Gullwing despite a small off.

Another great shot.
Both Tasmania and the Adelaide Hills have epic roads as many of you know for these rallies. In the early days of the event it was a little less serious and looked great fun, judging by the photos I've seen after each days racing....everyone has a glass of red in hand.

More beautiful roads to open it up.
More of the same, it never gets boring. Plenty of power and beautiful sounding engine when opened up. Ian drove it hard, even with the old fashioned drum brakes and tricky handling on the limit.

Time for celebrations
Nice to see them all (Gullwing & pilots) in full livery. Note the michelin stickers just for rallying. You'll see Ian & Reg in custom made red 300SL Mercedes jackets for these events, all a bit of fun.

On the limit
A beautiful photograph of the Gullwing during the '92 Targa Tasmania. The moment I saw this photo I knew I'd found something special. I sent the picture off to international car artist, Miha Furlan, and had an original drawing commissioned for our label designer Lesley High. It has been used as the basis for our 2009 Barossa Valley Shiraz, the first I hope of many to come on future vintages celebrating classic cars owned by family members.

From photo to drawing to poster
The original drawing really captured the lines and feel of the car, so much so that I also made 10 silk posters of the label. A lovely reminder to keep on the wall at home along with a few cases.

The finished wine...
A long time in the making and now finally the finished wine. For those of you who also love the Gullwing or a Shiraz from the Barossa Valley I've setup a discount for forum members so you can pickup a case of 6 for $50 less than the cellar door price.

coupon: shiraz50

Hartley Family Wines - The Vintage Gullwing Shiraz
Stylistically this wine has a lot in common with it's label heritage. A smooth and elegant wine, with power and fruit drive that has aged gracefully. It is drinking beautifully now, just be sure to tuck one away for the future.
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Re: The 1992 Targa Tasmania 300SL Gullwing (1954)

Post by T-Modell » Mon 08 Dec, 2014 6:24 pm

Great pics,

thank you ... would be amazing as a tourist ... driving through Australia and seeing a W198 :laughing6: ... the last years I saw probably one or two driving around here. I'd like to try the wine, but it's a bit far for me ... so I stick to all the Aussie wine available here ...

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Re: The 1992 Targa Tasmania 300SL Gullwing (1954)

Post by markb » Mon 08 Dec, 2014 8:23 pm

Great post. As I read it, it reminded me of the 1st Gullwing I ever saw, and it was indeed the same silver one owned by Ian Cocks. I saw it at a Phillip Island racetrack (long circuit) anniversary weekend back in the late '70/early '80's. (I recently found a copy of the race program at my parents with the entry list) and have since with spoken with our Victorian expert and Gullwing owner Patrick Devine. As to be expected, Patrick knows a lot about Ian Cocks and the cars he owned and raced.
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Re: The 1992 Targa Tasmania 300SL Gullwing (1954)

Post by CraigB » Tue 09 Dec, 2014 8:46 am

And of course Ian ordered and owned for many years my blue AMG, and also ordered and imported the red Aunger car - many of you are familiar with. Some might know the yellow Bugatti too..... but let Ed tell us more about his recollections when he has a chance.
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Re: The 1992 Targa Tasmania 300SL Gullwing (1954)

Post by 91Bends » Tue 09 Dec, 2014 9:47 pm

Thanks very much for posting up the Gullwing story Joe.

There's certainly a lot of great history there. The Gullwing was perhaps my favourite in Ian's collection alongside the Bugatti Type 35B, though I have to say the Bugatti was by far the most exciting car I've ever been in - 80kmh as a passenger makes 300kmh in a Gallardo seem mundane. Nothing can match the noise of that straight 8 and challenge of just staying in the vehicle without a seatbelt or doors. I remember sitting in traffic watching the temp gauge right on the end of the bonnet rise as it sat idling at red lights, then flooring it followed by lots of racket and wind.

There's still a lot of photos, a large attic full of F1 and rally memorabilia and some research to do from my side to piece together much more of the story other than what I saw first hand growing up. All I can say is they had a lot of fun and it's a long term project I look forward too.

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Re: The 1992 Targa Tasmania 300SL Gullwing (1954)

Post by Mercmad » Thu 18 Dec, 2014 10:00 pm

gullwing racer.jpg
sporting gullwings have changed a lot from the days when restored cars were flogged about the tracks...
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Re: The 1992 Targa Tasmania 300SL Gullwing (1954)

Post by mattml430b » Thu 24 Nov, 2016 7:25 pm

My dad was offered one of these in the early 70s ( he was a car dealer in Sydney) for about $8k he recalls but he didn't like the way the doors opened so he offered the guy $6500 and he refused. I wish he bought it and jammed it in a shed somewhere. Never mind. [emoji853]

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Re: The 1992 Targa Tasmania 300SL Gullwing (1954)

Post by bossphillips » Thu 01 Dec, 2016 10:31 am

Beautiful car!

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