In case you have seen Hollywood blockbusters like Blue Beetle, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Loki, The Suicide Squad, Zombieland: Double Tap, or Alita: Battle Angel, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed something designed by Shane Baxley.
The ArtCenter College of Design is living the American art dream right now – he is a world-famous creative working on your favorite films, lives and works in Los Angeles, and also touches on the automotive and motorcycle world, both officially and informally. For example, he has imagined mods for the Camaro Z28 impersonated by the Bumble Bee character in Transformers but also has his Baxley motorcycle project to look after and try to make it a reality.
Well, as it turns out, between working for Blue Beetle and Transformers, he also had time for another personal design project – this time of the automotive variety. The good folks over at car.design.trends have recently focused our attention on an unofficial Mercedes proposal done by the one and only Shane Baxley – a Mercedes-Benz ’28eSL’ inspired by the original Mercedes-Benz 280SL.
The virtual artist is referring to the Mercedes-Benz W113 grand tourer series, of course, which was in production between 1963 and 1971, sporting the signature vertical headlight arrangement. Manufactured as a two-door roadster and coupe model, this two-seater became known as the ‘Pagoda’ due to its patented hardtop design; all models had inline-six-cylinder engines under the hood and incorporated technical innovations such as the aluminum body parts to reduce weight and help with their sportiness.
And, just in case you are wondering if the W113 – sold in 230SL, 250SL, and flagship 280SL configurations – remained a fixture of automotive pop culture, it suffices to remember some of its most famous owners. Those include Charlton Heston, David Coulthard, Walt Disney, John Travolta, Kate Moss, Sophia Loren, Stirling Moss, and Priscilla Presley – who famously received her white 1969 convertible 280SL as a gift from her husband, Elvis Presley!
As such, it is no wonder that the fascination with the Mercedes-Benz 280SL extends across the imaginative realm of digital car content creators. So, with his usual sense of Hollywood-flavored blockbuster atmosphere, Shane Baxley’s interpretation of a modern revival of the W113 isn’t exactly something that diehard purists will approve of. First of all, the pixel master got rid of the inline-six and replaced it with an unnamed EV powertrain.
That’s not hard to imagine being possible, as Mercedes EQ and even AMG currently have enough options to choose from. Secondly, the CGI expert proceeded to change the classic styling of the 280SL so that it reminds you of the original while also taking enough liberties to imagine it as a suitable fixture for something like Blade Runner 2049 or the Cyberpunk 2077 environment. Oh, and not to mention that it exudes some pretty decent European muscle car EV vibes!