GULL WING GROUP EMBLEM LOGO METAL ENAMELED GRILLE BADGE 3"
Out of stock
GULL WING GROUP EMBLEM LOGO METAL ENAMELED GRILLE BADGE
Gull Wing Group grille badge in great condition. Please look at photos for condition. Missing Attachment screws and rear Bracket. 3"
'FIFTY-ONE years ago, Ernie Spitzer, a San Francisco printer and the owner of a Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, had an idea. He went to the Department of Motor Vehicles, and for 39 cents each obtained the names and addresses of all 35 registered Gullwing owners in California.
By letter, he invited each of them to show up at Ricky’s Motel in Palo Alto on a Saturday morning in August 1961. Eighteen owners did, and that was the beginning of the Gull Wing Group.
The original band of aficionados grew into an organization of national, and then international, scope. By the early 1980s membership had swelled to around 1,100 owners of 300SL coupes — which were nicknamed for their roof-hinged doors — and open-top roadsters.
A half-century on, a shining, multicolored armada of 60 vintage 300SLs, 37 coupes and 23 roadsters, took over an entire wing and parking lot of the historic La Quinta Resort here in the Southern California desert for the Gull Wing Group’s 44th annual convention, a long weekend of tours, rallies, technical sessions and entertainment, along with a swap meet and a car show.
The initial Palo Alto gathering was no spur-of-the-moment meeting.
“This was a project that I had entertained for about four years after I bought my car in 1955,” Mr. Spitzer said. “I typed out the invitations on my Smith Corona typewriter. The idea of the club was to teach each other how to maintain these cars properly. In those days, most of the dealers did not have a mechanic that was trained by the factory to work on these cars.”
Mr. Spitzer did all of the routine upkeep and repairs on his own car, guided by the factory shop manual. He shared the knowledge, teaching others at meetings once or twice a month, and filming the step-by-step procedures while the car was on a lift for others to see.
Mr. Spitzer, now 84 and living in the Central Valley city of Fresno, said he was initially against letting owners of roadster versions of the 300SL, introduced in 1956, join the group because those cars did not have the distinctive Gullwing door. But he was outvoted.
“Now we all get along very well,” he said."
By JIM McCRAW NOV. 9, 2012 N.Y.Times
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