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Mechatronik: Classic Mercedes Looks with Modern Power

Kamil Kaluski April 25, 2012 Cars You Should Know 37 Comments

The thing about old cars is that often time their street performance isn’t always up to modern standards. Those with restored classic cars and the desire to drive them daily have to share the road with monsters such as V6 Camrys driven by people who stream their music while sipping their soy fraps. Like it or not many modern mid-size sedans can outperform many-a-performance vehicle from decades past.

To combat that, restomods of questionable taste are dime-a-dozen these days. They are most often suited to personal taste and/or driving style and often appeal to only a handful of people. Mechatronik, however, a German Mercedes Benz restorer, came up with a different idea – meet the MSL and the M-Coupé.

[Source: mechatronik.de | Images: motorvision.com]

Mechatronik will restore your classic Benzito to like-new condition and then they give you the option on installing a modern engine in it, even an AMG version. Chassis is further upgraded to handle the extra power but the list of options does not end there. Current active safety features such as ABS brakes and traction control can also be installed. The best part of the whole upgrade is that everything is done in an “unobtrusive manner, “invisible” to casual observers and preserving the authentic esthetics of the original model”

The list of unobtrusive options does not end with the engine and chassis however. A modern climate control system along with an invisible high-end audio and navigation systems can also be installed. It goes further to seats fitted specifically to the driver, cooled glove-boxes, sunroofs and essentially any other feature found on modern most cars. Very cool stuff but it is probably better not to ask about the price (think SLS price, if you must). With that said, I would take one of those AMG-ed M-Coupés over some of the brand’s current offerings. 

  • PotbellyJoe

    I'm hoping that 300SL is a replica, not an original roadster.

    The M-coupe I have less problems with as I see this all as a form of Old-money Hot-rodding. But to mess with a 300SL Roadster is to engage in automotive blasphemy.

    It's like if U2 did an album of all Led Zeppelin covers.

    • B72

      If U2 did an album of Led Zep covers, I would …listen.

    • Devin

      I suspect that the SL is using the 190SL, which isn't really a huge loss.

      • PotbellyJoe

        That was my hope. The website says 300M-SL though for the pictures. I mean I guess you wouldn't say 190M-SL regardless if you are stuffing a V12 in it. Although then they should just call it a 65MSL, or whatever powerplant they have in there.

        • TX_Stig

          I don't know. With that sort of a power upgrade, I don't think I would change the badging at all. Better sleeper that way.

    • dukeisduke

      If it were a replica, M-B would seize it and crush it:
      http://www.autoblog.com/2012/03/23/daimler-crushe

    • Bruno Balestra

      While I like the idea of updating the SL, I would start my own terrorist organization and go after Bono for such a thing. He would better have some real good frinds in Africa to hide him away….

    • Van_Sarockin

      IIRC, M-B made a lot of 300 SL convertibles that were rather mildly built, and very few space framed gullwings and racers. The improvement of a movie star's profiling ride seems like an excellent idea to me.

      • PotbellyJoe

        There were ~1900 300SL roadsters made. There were ~26,000 190SL models made. A 300SL roadster that is in the roughest of rough shape is still a $80,000 vehicle. A 190SL in the finest condition is under $60,000.

  • Sjalabais

    Perfect! If it keeps its looks and drives like new, this is a beautiful marriage.

    …but do you expect everyone to understand freaking Danish?

    • Number_Six

      Fluent Danish is a pre-req for reading anything on this site. Now stop being so lazy and go get yourself a beginner Danish 8-track.

      • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

        Pamela er gift med Hakon.

        That stupid phrase from the Teach Yourself Norwegian stuck in the Honda tape deck will never leave me!

    • Yup! We all speak Danish here.

      • PotbellyJoe

        Raspberry or Cheese?

        • dukeisduke

          Raspberry cheese.

          Mmmmmm…

        • Number_Six

          Sorry, the correct answer is always Raasted Vinter.
          <img src="http://beeradvocate.com/im/beers/56741.jpg"&gt;

          • Sjalabais

            As my nickname might indicate to you pros, I am a Norwegian. I actually understand what he says. But that still doesn't make it a pleasant experience…because it's Danish! =8^)

            • Number_Six

              Uh-oh, nobody wants another Kalmar War.

              • Sjalabais

                No figthing needed, we'll just buy'em out.

  • Scandinavian Flick

    It seems like they basically take pro-touring style further. Something with modern luxury, performance and handling, but classic styling. Pro-touring has always been my favorite approach to modern hot rodding. If I had the money to drop on a new Benz, I would love to do something like this as an alternative.

    One of my personal dream builds involves one of the reproduction 1st gen Camaro convertibles with Corvette suspension, twin turbo LSx, and a comfy modern interior.

  • On a related note, I pulled up next to one of these the other day and noticed the C-pillar and rear glass treatment is awfully like the model pictured above.

    <img src="http://pics.hoobly.com/full/L1FD5QY9QKNX97VK8A.jpg&quot; width=600>

    • Bruno Balestra

      I love huge cars (savin for an e38 740i at the moment) and wish I could have a CL (I know, viagra, gray hair, bla bla bla…). The guy who did this to the poor car should be run over repeatedly by this innocent victim of, let´s face it, torture!

      • Savant_Idiot

        If he was gonna donk it like an old Chevy, he should have lifted it a couple of inches. At least that way we could get a head shot when we aim…

  • scroggzilla

    [youtube kEcPmgAUMp0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEcPmgAUMp0 youtube]
    M-powered Pagoda? Yes, please!!

  • The guy who started the company? He used to race off-road AMG products in the Dakar rally. Very cool guy.
    Also, these cars are gorgeous in person… they had some tucked away in the basement at the LA Auto Show last year

  • emaren

    The coupe was at Cars and Coffee recently

    <img src="http://www.cncpics.com/2012/April/Cars-and-Coffee-Irvine-4-14-12/i-KgMxrwg/0/L/CnC120414-012-L.jpg&quot; width="600" >
    <img src="http://www.cncpics.com/2012/April/Cars-and-Coffee-Irvine-4-14-12/i-T9KbS9r/0/L/CnC120414-013-L.jpg&quot; width="600" >
    <img src="http://www.cncpics.com/2012/April/Cars-and-Coffee-Irvine-4-14-12/i-PjmgpSh/0/L/CnC120414-014-L.jpg&quot; width="600" >

    It was exceptionally clean and tidy and just looked perfect to my somewhat hungover eyes…..

  • If I had rich guy money, I'd be all over something like this for a daily commuter. So classy.

  • Van_Sarockin

    I'm hoping that a great deal of the cubic money that goes into these projects is spent on upgrading the chassis, suspension and brakes to be able to deal with the additional power. Lovely as these old rides might be, they're pretty floppy by current standards.

    • PenguinsInAK

      "Mechatronik will restore your classic Benzito to like-new condition and then they give you the option on installing a modern engine in it, even an AMG version. Chassis is further upgraded to handle the extra power but the list of options does not end there. Current active safety features such as ABS brakes and traction control can also be installed."

  • Age_of_Aerostar

    This is what I have wanted to have done to sooooo many vehicles over the years!

    Now, just gotta figure out how to earn (or win, I'm not discounting the lottery) my millions!

  • Sid Troon

    This really isn't anything new. . .In Northern Virginia 25-30 years ago, various wealthy lawyers, doctors, political types weren't any too happy at paying the personal property taxes on new Benzes, Jaguars and Rollers, so a thriving business came up in restoring & upgrading older luxury vehicles. The tax dropped to something like $5.00/year after the vehicle got to be, I think, 10 or 12 years old, regardless of make or condition. I remember seeing a lot of very nice old Benzes etc. back then. I believe the law has been changed or even repealed since then, probably about the time Virginia elected a Volvo dealer Governor.

  • Savant_Idiot

    I would have this over any "new" Merc. That interior is gorgeous!!

  • Marto

    This might sound odd, but I think I've figured out a unifying theory on why old cars look better than modern-day cars: cheekbones.

    Hear me out: If the headlight-grille-etc complex is analogous to a face, then there are going to be cheekbones in there somewhere. We are hardwired to look for facial analogues.

    Slaves as they are to the wind tunnel and the focus group, modern cars have lost the cheekbones – the framing – to their faces.

    In the case of the above cars, the "cheekbones" are in the vicinity of the bumper corners or the leading curve of the fenders .

  • JoeDunlap

    Oh yeah. A gazillion horsepower and a swing axle rear suspension. What could possibly go wrong?

  • wow that's really like a modern BMW and that was looks like a high powered machine.
    Clean engines looks like a brand new car.

  • abdullah

    kindly i like 2 have an idea about the prices and time required 4 such projects,