Fred began work on this project in 1985 after he purchased the stock, beat-up rusty Mercedes hulk outside Ft. Myers, Florida, and trailered it to his ranch in Northeast Oklahoma. He started out by modifying the stock oval tubular chassis to accommodate a Corvette independent rear suspension with a Dana 44 utilizing 3.55 ring-and-pinion, urethane bushings and modified Corvette disc brakes. The front end was replaced with a modern Heidt independent front suspension with rack and pinion steering attached to a Cadillac tilt steering column, 11" disc brakes, Aldan shocks and coilover springs. Braking is comprised of a TCI power brake assembly with a dual master cylinder feeding the DOT juice through braided stainless brake lines to a quartet of Wilwood calipers. Tires are Hoosier Pro-Street on Centerline wheels. The stainless steel gas tank was custom-made by Rock Valley.
The modified 2011 GM ZZ4 350 cubic inch engine boasts over 400 dyno horsepower with it's hot roller camshaft and 1.6 roller rocker arms, ceramic exhaust headers, aluminum heads, and MSD ignition. A custom Griffin aluminum radiator provides cooling for the powerful engine. Behind the powerplant hangs a B&M 700R-4 transmission with 2400-stall converter and topped with a Lokar shifter. The entire drivetrain and suspension was shoehorned in by Edgar Morrison of Locust Grove, OK, requiring extensive frame modifications throughout.
Before and After
The all-steel body began as one of the earliest post-war sedans, having been manufactured at the end of 1948, and was originally sold in 1949. Some body parts were borrowed from the owner’s two other old Mercedes. The resulting composite was flawlessly straightened out and painted with 1954 Mercedes 300Sc maroon. Evening trips to local restaurants are guided by halogen-filled headlamps.
The sedan's interior includes glove-soft, Connolly leather stitched into extremely comfortable custom pillow seats with padded leather door panels to match. Other interior amenities include custom aluminum billet panel for Stewart-Warner instrumentation nestled beneath the beautiful original polished wood dash as well as all window frames being laboriously refinished original wood. Other items include Sony CD player and radio; Vintique Air climate control; and Dakota Digital remote door locks. The car was totally rewired with Ron Francis wiring.
Here are two YouTube videos taken at a recent Fuddrucker's Car Show in Tulsa.
For those who are offended by performance modifications to a classic Mercedes, a brief history of Mercedes-Benz is provided.