In the glory days of Chris Hahn's Styling-Garage (SGS) the company used so much of their own production capacaty there was no other way then to look for companies who could do part of the work for them. Many tuners, especially in the UK used to work like that. 


One of the companies Styling-Garage subcontracted to do their work was Wille Karosseriebau from Seevetal, Germany. Before being subcontracted by Styling-Garage Wille Karosseriebau main bussiness was building bodies for trucks and trailers. In the 1980's Wille Karosseriebau made parts of Styling-Garage 500SEC convertible (500SGS Marbella) and did parts of the famous Mercedes-Benz 500SEC Gullwing conversions (500SGS Gullwing). Of both conversions the bodywork was put together in the Wille shop, with sub-assemblies delivered by Styling-Garage. These sub-assemblies were the so-called top-stack (the reinforced roof-beam for the Gullwing), hydraulics, etc. All was done under Styling-Garage's supervision and design.


These rare photos show Styling-Garage 500SGS Gullwings and 500SGS Marbella under construction in the workshops of Wille Karosseriebau. 


A Styling-Garage Mercedes-Benz SEC Convertible under construction. Note the partially finished roof which misses all the cloth parts, chrome trim for the wheel arches that has already been fitted and the further stock appearance. Cars like these were constructed at Wille Karosseriebau and then shipped back to Styling-Garage in Pinneberg / Schenefeld, where the cars would be finished.



A Styling-Garage Mercedes-Benz SEC with gullwing doors (a.k.a. 500SGS Gullwing) in front of the Wille building. The car is one of the limited series of Styling-Garage SEC's  to be fitted with the widebody modification that Styling-Garage offered. This Gullwing still retains the standard Mercedes rims that were left on till the very last moment, as well as other missing exterior and interior parts. Wille Karosseriebau only did the coachbuilding, the finishing of the car was done at the Styling-Garage shop in Pinneberg and later Schenefeld.





Two photos of a Styling-Garage 500SGS Gullwing on a transporter in front of the Wille building, somewhere in the early 1980's. In these photos the car is merely a plain body with Gullwing doors. Interesting are the unpainted bodypanels of the widebody-conversion. Also clearly visible, the B-pillar that was fitted to make the construction more rigid, since the original (heavy) doors of the SEC were still used. Once up in the air the doors would cause a lot of stress to the construction.




A Styling-Garage Gullwing in the shops. Possibly the same car as the unpainted one shown in the pictures above, though now with grille and headlamps installed. The car was resprayed completely, which was sometimes done by Wille as well.



One of the most famous Styling-Garage cars: the 500SGS Gullwing in red with golden interior that was displayed at the 1983 Geneva Motorshow. For some strange reason the car is still at the Wille shop, in what seems to be completely finished state (even the special Styling-Garage dashboard is already in place). In the background there is a second Styling-Garage 500SGS Gullwing in the making and another Mercedes SEC, either a Gullwing or a Convertible, wrapped in plastic.



Text: copyright Bram Corts 2013


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