CHASSIS NO: MI9146A729X022883
• Like new example with only 1,300 miles from new
• Ready to be driven and shown at car shows
• Built and owned by a World War II hero
Offered without reserve is this surprisingly well-detailed and carefully preserved ‘Gazelle’ Replica. It was built and owned by a World War II hero who served in the Air Force for 35 years as a pilot of P-51 Mustangs during World War II. Colonel Mearle T. Hickman proudly and heroically served his country for three and a half decades before retiring in 1975 having achieved the rank of Colonel. Once he retired from service, he realized he needed a project to work on and keep him busy; that is when he decided to build a Mercedes-Benz 'Gazelle' SSK Replica.
Built on a 1971 Super Beetle pan, which he purchased from John Tyler of Lincoln Park, Michigan, Colonel Hickman became the first and only owner of this Gazelle using the original engine and transmission from the VW. This replica car was a father and son project built over the course of a winter and completed in May of 1983 according to the original owner’s plaque that is affixed to the dash of the car. Once he completed the car, it became his prized possession. He sparingly drove it from cruising around town or to the occasional local car meet. After enjoying his well-built Gazelle , he decided to store it away with a mere 1,300 miles on it.
The car stayed carefully stored and covered in the same garage for the ensuing 35 plus years, always pampered by the Colonel and treated as one would expect of a far more valuable automobile. When Colonel Hickman passed away in 2010, he, like all others from The Greatest Generation, left a small piece of history behind. Built with the care and precision one would expect of a lifelong military member, this car belies its humble roots like many of those who fought in the war, ready to humbly serve its next owner. It passed to the Colonel’s son who kept it for a period of time, never driving it, but always proudly remembering his father. He would reluctantly sell it to the current consignor who wanted a father and son project to rehab the mechanics of the car as he taught his son the workings of collectable automobiles.
The brakes, fuel, fluids, radiator, and all other maintenance items have been completed or inspected on the car, leaving it a great candidate to be driven daily or to any destination desired. It comes with its original side curtains and soft top, maintenance manuals and repair guides, as well as the original bill of sale showing the purchase of the donor car which allowed Colonel Hickman to build this one.
This near new sports car is a great example of a fun and easy way to enter the collector car market without having to spend a fortune on future upkeep and maintain cost. Remaining in fantastic condition as it only has 1,300-miles since the build, it has many roads yet to travel.