Author Topic: Thoughts on "restomods"  (Read 1212 times)

oldcrank

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Thoughts on "restomods"
« on: February 22, 2022, 02:25:51 »
Hey All,
I've spent my pandemic time doing a significant repair and restoration of my 1970 280SL. Not show level, but a fine, reliable driving SL for sunny days. Along the way, I thought about what "could" be done with a car similar to this, but one that would need serious repairs to make it whole again. Among my thoughts...a nice aluminum CIS controlled 5.6 liter V-8 (to minimize electronics), maybe a different rear-end assembly to remove the swing axle setup and improve the road manners, some quality seats...I think you know where this is going.
It seems like there is enough fretting over keeping the stock Becker radio to fill a forum, and the restomod movement seems to be gaining traction on this sort of hyper-restoration. Has anyone veered off in this direction? I would be curious to see the opinions. I am aware that some of the serious SL enthusiasts have experimented with special tuning methods and so forth, but it seems to be centered around the existing 130 engine and other stock components.
Just curious...

DaveB

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Re: Thoughts on "restomods"
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2022, 03:52:11 »
DaveB
'65 US 230sl 4-speed, DB190

oldcrank

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Re: Thoughts on "restomods"
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2022, 17:45:55 »
Thanks, quite an amazing project he took on. Devil is always in the details!

MikeSimon

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Re: Thoughts on "restomods"
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2022, 18:43:51 »
It seems "restomods" are quite the thing now. Especially in the Porsche scene they are abound. There are places that "specialize" in these and they have a large following. But there were many more Porsches made than W113s and it seems it is not a great loss to hack up a rusted out 356 or 1970s 911.
With the money one would have to invest to do a restomod W113, one could easily turn it into a decent restoration, even if one would use an in-line 6 from another MB model.
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

john.mancini

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Re: Thoughts on "restomods"
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2022, 19:30:47 »
There are some cars that look OK resto-modified. Like Mike says, air cooled Porsche 911's are prime candidates. Those cars actually look pretty good when modified correctly. And, some companies, like Singer, charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for their modified 964's.

Mercedes SL's, on the other hand, are so beautiful that external modifications often "cheapen" the look of the car. I don't even like those chrome eyebrows on the wheel well lips. Wire wheels, added chrome, etc. is not my thing. These cars look great the way they left the factory.

My old acquaintance from MA, Bob Hatch, tried selling SL's with V8's in them. I believe he even tried to electrify a 280SL. Externally, those cars looked bone stock. Performance was greatly enhanced. That being said, I like original.
John
68 280SL 906 Blue 4-sp sold
69 280SL 906 Blue sold
70 280SL 904 Blue sold
70 280SL 571 Red sold
70 280SL 040 Black 4-sp sold
66 230SL 162 Blue/Grey  sold
68 280SL 568 Red 4-sp sold
69 280SL 304 Horizon Blue sold
65 230SL 519 Red 4-sp
83 911SC 50K orig miles
98 911 cab, 29K orig miles

JamesL

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Re: Thoughts on "restomods"
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2022, 20:42:29 »

Singer take a 964 (~1990) and sort of backdate it while updating it. Others, such as the Emory 356 “outlaws” are largely using period bits. Lots of 911s are “homages” to other 911s of various types

Mechatronik, I’d argue, is a resto mod using a modern drivetrain in a Pagoda or 111. Don’t have an issue with any of it, if I’m honest - isn’t sticking a Getrag 5spd a restomod of sorts?

The instagram slammed/stanced renders (or are they real cars) of 198s, 121s and 113s leave me cold. So for me, mod the running gear and creature comforts, yet resto the bodywork is great.

But I’d still like some 15x7 wheels. ;)
James L
Oct69 RHD 280 in DB906 with cognac leather

teahead

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Re: Thoughts on "restomods"
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2022, 17:26:06 »
I kinda like the idea of a straight-6 still.

Find an amg 3.6L from an C36 (kinda hard to find I know; I sold such an engine a few years ago) and a 722.6 5-speed auto.

Sacrilege, but 2JZ Toyota straight-6 would be a lot less complicated and could then go with a 6-speed manual.

Rear suspension...maybe look into the Art Morrisson (more for hot rods) compact IRS setup.  If it can fit into a C1 corvette, it can fit a Pagoda.
1970 280SL auto, AC - aka "Edelweiss"

oldcrank

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Re: Thoughts on "restomods"
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2022, 22:41:42 »
I had a customer wander in our MB shop way back when (around 1990-ish) with a W123 with a Ford small block in it. Looked wrong, and the fact that is was a sloppy job didn't help.

I had a 1979 W123 that was super clean and that we had added larger vented MB front brakes, lowered a tad with Eibach springs and installed euro bumpers and some nice clean aftermarket wheels. Also had a euro 350SL 3.5L engine/trans that looked ready to drop into it. Wish I could have afforded the time and money to complete that swap.

As for my thoughts on my 280SL, I tend to agree with teahead that I would prefer to also work with a M130, possibly with a turbo or belt-driven supercharger. After reading the thread regarding slipping a V8 into a W113 I just don't see the real value considering the time, effort and cost, especially now as parts have become more scarce and expensive. It was a great post and achievement, but...

I also agree that the exterior needs to be left alone for the most part.

MikeSimon

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Re: Thoughts on "restomods"
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2022, 13:47:09 »
I own a Porsche 914-6GT and I am very fond of it, for quite a few reasons, some of them very personal and emotionally based.
I am always amazed about the number of 914s having a Chevy V8 stuffed into it. Granted, these are almost exclusively 914-4s, Volkswagens, IMO, not Porsches, but still.
To me it is in the same category as a '32 Ford Deuce with a modern V8. Just another hacked-up hot rod. Sorry if I offended anybody!
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

oldcrank

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Re: Thoughts on "restomods"
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2022, 16:10:10 »
I wonder if part of it is the wide availability of crate engines. Seems like they encourage it. Used to be that the engine build was a big part of the fun, where now it's plug and play.
I don't know...getting grumpy in my old age...