There can be no denying that the iconic Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing is one of the world’s foremost coupes. It is not a modern vehicle by any stretch of the imagination; instead, it brings with it the old-world charm of a coupe that is still attractive as it was 30 years or more ago. This is one car that has many knock-offs, and the latest replicas of the vehicle come with OEM replica wheels.
This is actually a great thing to have. Most aftermarket experts who have chosen a replica of the 300 SL Gullwing often have to buy custom rims from companies like Marquee Wheels. There are several other high-profile entities which also deliver the same quality of vehicles without compromising on quality.
Another example of such a company is Versante Wheels; they are experts in creating customized wheels for Mercedes vehicles, especially coupes.
So, why do people buy OEM replica wheels instead of these custom rims? Is there any particular advantage that the former models provide to legendary cars like the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing?
As it turns out, there are certain factors involved here.
Is it a better idea to buy OEM replicas?
This is something that is a legitimate question that several users of custom wheels have. To be honest, there is not one short answer to this. In some cases where you are purchasing very high-end wheels from Marquee Wheels and so on, these are usually alloy wheels which are made or forged usually from high-grade aluminum.
They are not used for replacing OEM rims; in fact, their reason of existence is very different. Unlike OEM replica wheels, these custom rims are used to give a new look to the Gullwing in this case.
For example, some of the latest Versante Wheels which are specially made for the Benz family actually make it look like a fantastic version of the Corvette. As you know, there is an ocean of difference between a Mercedes and a Corvette!
So, we are at an impasse! Which are better: OEM replica wheels or custom rims made by some of the best companies in the USA and across the world like Fuel, Petrol or Marquee Wheels?
Here are some reasons why custom alloys are a better deal than OEM replica models
- Have a lot better range of looks to choose from: The main reason why custom wheels are in demand is the aesthetics which they bring with them. The customized rims which arrive in an array of colors and finishes will fit the Mercedes Gullwing like a glove. They will also provide a much-needed and appreciated modern look that is actually better than OEM replica wheels.
That said, if you are someone who enjoys the classical looks of the Gullwing, it is best that you stick to OEM originals. Note that replicas are sold widely only because some models do not have their original wheels manufactured anymore, allowing custom rims manufacturers like Versante Wheels and others to fill the gap that exists here!
- Provide an edge in performance: This is a technical area where OEM replica wheels are beaten by custom wheels at their own game. Even when it is the famous Gullwing with its dated interiors and spares, you will still find it is a joy to drive when you are using a set of high-end alloys.
There are many reasons that explain this point. For example, alloys are much lighter when compared to OEMs and OEM replicas. This allows the total gross weight of the vehicle to climb down, which in turn promises much improved performance from the vehicle.
Also, with decreased weight, the car will accelerate more rapidly than it would with an OEM replica. Plus, you will also notice that there is a great advantage when you are trying to brake harder than usual.
The car’s brakes will also cool down a lot faster when you are using a new model of Versante Wheels on the vehicle. Alloys are designed to have superior cooling and better ventilation. These will be essential for an older production coupe like the Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing, which did not arrive with modern disc brakes and are often prone to overheating.
Performance aside, most people choose custom rims from Fuel wheels or Marquee Wheels for the sheer new types of aesthetics that they provide. It is something that is not widely appreciated, but the driving force of custom rims is style over substance.
Since style is so subjective, it is best to not give an opinion here. If you are a purist who does not appreciate modernizing the classic Gullwing, opt for OEM replica wheels.
Else, you can always go for the numerous styles and designs offered by other manufacturers!