With the exception of the color-matched 20-inch steelie-style wheels, this Mercedes-Benz 190 SL looks as normal as it did the day it rolled out of a dealership in 1961.
But of course, it isn’t.
It’s the brainchild of not-your-average-hot-rod-builder Randy Clark. As owner of Hot Rods and Custom Stuff tuning shop in Escondido, CA, Mr. Clark is used to working on high-end machinery.
Plans were made and a 2004 SL65 along with a ’61 190SL were procured.
Since cars of old are much smaller than cars of today, the 190SL body had to hacked to fit over the SL65’s chassis.
After adding 6 inches of custom sheet metal to the width and 9 inches to the length, the car had to put back together in line with the original’s proportions. A daunting job in and of itself. New doors, a new windshield, bumpers and lights had to be custom made to fit in. The wheels are that big to fit its progeny’s large brake discs.
The prominent grill was CNC-milled from a single 618 lb. block of aluminum into the 18 lb sculpture you see on the car.
The interior is a blend of classic and modern, furnished in red and cream leather. The SL65’s COMAND center along with the bottom portion of the center console were transplanted as well as the gauges. All in all, 60% of the SL65 was salvaged.
The trunk is filled in with a snug “his and hers” luggage set.
The potent 6.5L twin-turbo V12 was deemed unworthy of this handmade work of art, so the full catalog of upgrades from Renntech was thrown at it. The result is 650 hp and 750 lb-ft to play with.
The final touch is in the details: