I read with interest the article on the Mercedes 300 SL (Motor Sport, November 1988). From this and the company’s recent advertisements it seems that Mercedes-Benz believes it originated the “gullwing” door for cars. However this is not entirely correct.
In 1930 I assisted in the design of a car built by a Canadian by the name of Donald Mackenzie. The punt-type frame and body structure were made of duralumin.
The car had all-independent suspension by leaf-springs arranged transversely. The power-train consisted of a Johnson outboard motor-boat engine at the rear, driving vertically downwards through an Austin 7 clutch and gearbox to a Triumph Super 7 worm-drive rear axle unit. A novel steering gear patented by Mr Mackenzie was used and, another of the many innovations, the body had gullwing doors hinged down the centre-line of the body.
John S Perrett, St Austell, Cornwall