Mercedes-Benz resto-mods include everything from classic tributes to vintage style mixed with modern performance.
AMG Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC ‘Wide-Body’
One of the most outrageous Mercedes-Benz models in the 1980s was the 560 SEC 6.0 ‘Wide-Body’. AMG built about 50 cars which cost a staggering $200,000 and offered Ferrari Testarossa levels of performance. This car is not one of those 50 but a replica based on a 1989 560 SEC. It includes a complete one-off carbon fiber body kit with wide fenders, lower front, and rear valences, and spoilers. Every piece of chrome is blacked out and the car is painted Blauschwarz metallic black. While the car retains its stock 5.5-liter V8, it’s just as impressive and sinister as the original cars.
Photo: Russo and Steele
1970 Mercedes-Benz W111 M-Coupe 550
Manufactured between 1959 and 1971, the W111 is considered by many one of the finest, most stately Mercedes-Benz cars ever made. It also offered stately performance which left something to be desired. Realizing this, Mechatronik stuffed a 5.5-liter M113 engine into this 1970 W111 coupe giving it the kind of performance it deserves. Known as the M-Coupe 550 it retains its stock appearance, but underneath it’s a modern performance car. A modern five-speed transmission gets the most out of the engine’s 360 horsepower. Modern brakes and suspension provide assurance it also handles and stops well too.
1969 Mercedes-Benz “Kaiser” Resto-Mod
If you have the means, a resto-mod is a great way to build a car to your own specifications. That’s what the owner of this 1969 Mercedes-Benz did. The owner wanted a fast, comfy, and stylish W108 with no expense spared and zero care for originality. The result is a car known as the Kaiser, a truly unique creation with a bespoke interior, air suspension, and GM LS3 engine. Some people will cringe at the idea of a Chevy-powered Mercedes-Benz but it proves again you can LS swap anything. Plus the owner wanted a 500-horsepower rocket sled and the Kaiser delivers.
1968 W108 / 2017 Mercedes-AMG C63S
If an LS swap isn’t your thing, this custom Mercedes-Benz 250S (W108) should be more to your liking. Built by Deluxe Body Werx, Maranello Autos, and Etuners, this Benz packs a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 from a W205 C63S. Horsepower was bumped to 514, enough to sling-shot it to 60 mph in under 4 seconds before topping out at over 180 mph. The interior was updated, borrowing many components from the same W205 including modern A/C, stereo, and steering wheel. The seats are also modern and look a bit out of place, as do the black 19-inch wheels, but both are a necessity to tame this monster.
Photo: The AMG OG
1980 MERCEDES 450SLC
The Mercedes-Benz SLC lives in the shadow of the beautiful, iconic R107 SL. The coupe’s looks leave something to be desired and the performance is lackluster. However, this 1980 450SLC by Chris Warner Design fixes all of those issues. Fifteen52 Bergmeister alloy wheels update the look while recalling the classic AMG Penta wheels. Flared fenders and Euro-spec bumpers streamline what was an awkward profile. The interior, while distinctly vintage Mercedes, gets the “Singer” treatment with customer leather, switchgear, and aluminum trim. Under the hood, the buyer can pick from a wide range of engine options including modern AMG power.
Photo: Chris Warner Design
This Mercedes-Benz 280 looks like a basic, stock European-spec Mercedes from the late ’70s or early ’80s. The interior looks like a normal Mercedes except for the upgraded CD player. Outside, BBS “Basket Weave” wheels nicely contrast the red paint. It’s only when you look closer and pop the hood that you see the big changes. Starting with a Toyota 3.0-liter inline-six, a surprisingly stock 2JZGE provides a big bump in torque while being dead reliable. Best of all, this car is loved and well used. The owner continually repairs and improves the car and even plans to replace the Toyota motor with a proper AMG V8.
Photo: Mohammad Sadman Islam
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL / SLK32 AMG
This looks like a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing but it’s a re-bodied 2002 Mercedes-Benz SLK32 AMG. The body is made of fiberglass from molds taken of an original Gullwing and then modified to fit the SLK. It works surprisingly well, and the proportions are right because both cars have an almost identical wheelbase. The 3.2 V6 puts out 349-horsepower and is appropriate because the original car came with an inline-six. Best of all, the result is a timeless-looking car with modern features that can be driven every day and draw a crowd wherever it’s parked.
Photo: John Sarkisyan
Like the other 300 SL, this Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Speedster is a reskinned SLK with the 3.2-liter supercharged V6. It’s the creation of John Sarkisyan who was originally known for his Porsche builds. Long a fan of the original Gullwing, he never thought he could afford a real one, so he made his own. Looking at the results, it’s clear he has the eye and talent to create something truly amazing and unique. Hopefully, he becomes a builder of Outlaw Mercedes-Benzs like Rod Emory is to Porsches.
Photo: John Sarkisyan
>>Join the conversation about these incredible Mercedes builds right here on MBWorld.org
For help with your maintenance and repair projects, please visit our How-to section in the forum.
Leave a Reply