Much in the same vein as the recent white W123 post, this black beast of a Mercedes is a quintessentially Finnish build. It’s one of the famed “Superturbo” kit Mercs, which have been built in the Finnish countryside for quite a while now, and it’s clearly related to the Black Smoke W123 wagon that’s been the horror of drift arenas in recent years. Alright, for you to have heard of Superturbos you would’ve have had to spend at least 15 years of your life sitting in the corner table of a Finnish gas station’s café bar, but you do know the Driftmerc.
While the “Superturbo” or “ST” nomenclature could be taken to mean a both supercharged and turbocharged setup, the main idea is merely just to bolt the biggest available turbo onto an old Mercedes and step back. Depending of the builder’s budget and skills, the setup varies. Let me reiterate what has gone into the engine bay of this one.
This W123 is currently advertised for sale, for 4400 EUR. That is good W123 money, as 1000 EUR or less buys you a beater that’s done taxi cab fare between Finland and the moon, and if you’re in the possession of a granddad’s fully loaded large-engined example with leather you can ask tenfold if you’re confident. Four thousand should get you a well-repaired enthusiast car, and I’m hoping this would be one of those.
Here’s what the seller says the package holds:
• Engine from a W124, originally turbocharged
• Holset HX40 turbo (I believe that is large enough)
• Mynädiesel (a Finnish specialist) fuel pump, 7mm elements and external adjustment
• 5-speed manual gearbox from a 300CE
• Diff comes from a 200D
• Large intercooler
• Oil cooler
With this combination of components, the Mercedes is said to achieve a colossal 272kW/370hp output. Even if I would take that with a pinch.. alright, a truckload of salt, and even if the seller would just simply have mixed up his kilowatts and horsepowers, you have to admit even a 272-hp let alone 370hp 2.5-litre Mercedes turbodiesel in a classic W123 body is a seriously respectable creature.
And it’s a stick-shift.
Outside, there are wide lattice alloys and enough chrome to keep the lines pure and classy. The intercooler piping peeps from under the front bumper and with an old black Mercedes with tinted windows you can’t really keep yourself inconspicuous, but in the other hand it doesn’t exactly shout of its powertrain too much. In some of the photos the blinkers are clear and in some they are darker, but that’s almost the only attempt at actual visual tuning.
The stance is quite aggressive, and there is a mention of a suspension setup. The seller also boasts that while the papers show 24% of parts being changed (you’re generally allowed to modify 49,9% of the car, Finnish inspection engineers keep track of whether there’s still more than half of the old car left), the documents make no mention of the transmission type, turbo size or anything else detailing the drivetrain too strictly, so you’re “able to develop it even further”.
So, does this holy smoker offer you enough bang for buck or enough of a development basis, or would you rather keep out of its line of sight?