Dream Big! Wild Mercedes-inspired Custom

Inspired by the impressive Mercedes-Benz race cars of the recent past, this wild custom seeks a new owner with big dreams and a flair for the unusual. The Chicago, Illinois “2011 Mercedes Benz C8” features a mid-engine design utilizing a 350 cid (5.7L) small block Chevrolet V8 coupled to a four-speed manual gearbox. Check out the listing here on Craigslist, where $69,000 makes it yours. Thanks to reader Rocco B. for spotting this truly unique vehicle.

The ubiquitous 350 makes an interesting powerplant for a car built after the advent of the lightweight GM LS-series V8s, and the Volkswagen 6-rib transmission makes a curious choice as well. The four-speed gearbox serves VW vans and dune buggies when not installed in a purpose-built European-style road racer. Zenseeker notes the transmission can handle 300 HP, though it’s often torque that breaks transmission shafts, and even a stock 5.7 L V8 makes bountiful torque compared to a VW flat-four.

The builder states that the car’s extreme width makes it “very easy to handle around the terns,” which makes us wonder how well it navigates around other birds and fauna, or even on a road for that matter. Badges and scripts appear to be the only Mercedes-Benz parts in sight. What looks like a Pro Stock hood scoop evacuates air rearward. Other than the engine canopy and squared-off passenger cabin, the styling flows surprisingly well.

The flat-bottomed carbon fiber-look steering wheel tells everyone that this DIY supercar is not playing around. Alligator upholstery not only looks great, but the reptilian texture grips racing suit materials such as hounds-tooth polyester. Like a clever 3-2 pitch, the clutch pedal is located high and outside.

Crafting a drive-train tunnel may seem unnecessarily complicated compared to a flat grid of metal tubing from the local hardware store, but the tunnel concept does come in handy for routing 15 foot-long cooling tubes, exhaust pipes, and other mechanical bits. Having never built a vehicle from the ground up, I admire the singularity of purpose and countless hours of labor that produced this one-of-a-kind would-be GT racer. Do you have the right stuff to push this custom supercar to its limits?


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  1. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Unique? Certainly.

    Desirable? Not by my standards

    Well Engineered? Um… Not that I can tell.

    Fast? For a while, until the gearbox packs it in….

    This will have a small, a very small audience. At this price, so small a group as to be pretty much nonexistent, I’d think.

    Like 33
  2. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    That is one ugly car. I wouldn’t be caught dead in it.

    Like 33
    • Mike

      Ditto FordGuy. This would be in my will. My kids would not get one dime from my estate if they drove me around in this after I pass.

      One positive note is that someone had the persistence and determination to build a car that they designed when they were 5 years old.

      Like 15
    • M

      I think there’s probably a pretty good chance you would be caught dead in it if you ever drove it.

      Like 2
  3. bobhess bobhess Member

    I certainly wouldn’t be caught alive in it either. This guy must have bombed out of his grade school art class big time.

    Like 26
  4. Driveinstile Member

    Im sorry, im still laughing hysterically from the terns and other birds comment. That made my morning!!!

    Like 25
  5. alphasud Member

    This car should be hung in every design house and used as a case study. Boy oh boy! She is an attention getter for sure. I consider the VW transaxle to be the safety fuse in this design. Install a larger fuse and you might find yourself in the coffin car.

    Like 14
    • Quidditas

      Let’s call it what it is. An abortion.

      Like 7
  6. 19sixty5 Member

    Uh, no.

    Like 9
  7. angliagt angliagt Member

    I wonder if alcohol was involved?

    Like 15
    • OddBallCars Member

      I don’t think that’s up for debate. The real question is what this guy’s medical bills looked like after staying drunk enough, long enough to finish this project. Most of us would have had a sober moment at ONE point in the process to realize what we had just done, and give up drinking forever.

      Like 5
  8. Howard A Member

    I know, I know, it’s hideous, and the direct result of someone with a bottomless pocket, and the resources to create such an abomination. It is pretty cool, even though, I agree, it looks poorly engineered, but obviously must work, and probably a blast to drive. Just don’t forget the paper bag with 2 eyeholes,,,,

    Like 12
  9. MitchRoss Member

    No shortage of wrecked AMG Mercedes. No shortage of LS engines. No shortage of decent gearboxes. Why go to all this trouble to make a halfway good car?

    Like 9
    • GPAK

      This Bride of Frankenstein 🧟‍♀️ car may have escaped from the laboratory but this abomination is not in any way good !

      Like 1
  10. Cattoo Cattoo Member

    Proof that not everyone’s dream should come true and yet there it is.

    Like 14
  11. Rex Kahrs Member

    Kinda like a Bradley-GT that got whacked by the ugly stick. Repeatedly!

    Like 18
  12. ClassicCarFan

    What was it my mom said… “if you can’t think of anything nice to say, don’t say anything”…?

    Like 7
    • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

      I must assume that your mom never saw this car then.

      Like 17
  13. Ike Onick

    “What looks like a Pro Stock hood scoop evacuates air rearward.”

    I can do that without a Pro Stock hood scoop. Big deal

    Like 12
  14. sir_mike

    Reminds me of the car Homer Simpson designed.

    Like 11
  15. Ed VT

    Does it come with a Louis Hamilton signed glove box door?

    Like 5
    • jwaltb

      What the hell is that supposed to mean?

  16. bill tebbutt

    May I ask that it please be put BACK in the barn?


    Like 7
  17. BlondeUXB Member

    Oh dear…

    Like 4
  18. SebastianX1/9

    The pot must have been really good that night. 🎠

    Like 4
  19. PaulG

    And once again it’s time to cue Styx and too much time on my hands…

    Like 4
  20. Joe Btfsplk

    Needs WAY more Mercedes emblems, stars and lettering to accent subtle body lines.

    Like 7
  21. GeorgeL

    When you order your Mercedes race car from Wish.com…

    Like 11
    • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member


      Like 1
  22. Tony Primo

    It’s alright to have the occasional toke, but this guy is a chronic drug abuser!

    Like 5
  23. tony t

    I wouldn’t be caught alive in it …

    Like 2
  24. Arby

    Mercedes should sue the for defamation.

    Like 9
  25. Bill

    wtf? why?

    Like 4
  26. John

    …Not the regular black car today, Robin…. lets take the meth-mobile

    Like 16
  27. John

    Maybe if I stare at it long enough it will look better…Nope, didn’t work.

    Like 4
  28. Troy

    Look at the bright side, nobody will ever run into you, they will be so busy laughing hysterically and turning their heads to say what the (insert expletive here) was that so they will run into the other guy.

    Like 3
  29. RallyAce

    “Do you have the right stuff to push this custom supercar to its limits?”. Translated into car guy English, ‘do you have the nerve to be seen in this car let alone drive it at highway speeds’.

    Like 3
  30. Jack M.

    The ad was posted 25 days ago. I’m surprised that nobody snapped up this car yet.😂😂😂😂

    Like 4
    • Steveo

      I’d have bought it but I already have one.

  31. flynndawg

    corvette rear end… ???

    Like 1
  32. OddBallCars Member

    Todd Fitch, what did you have to do to talk the other contributors into letting you do this write up?

    Like 3
    • Todd Fitch Staff

      OddBallCars – You can thank Rocco B. This one came is as reader tip! No barn in the story, but clearly an interesting ride – guaranteed to be the only one on your block!

      Like 5
  33. Bunky

    Is the clown suit included in the sale? 🤡
    Sorry Thumper 🐰 I couldn’t resist. 😔

  34. Howie Mueler

    You would have the only one at a car show, horrible looking seats!! How many clowns will it hold?

    Like 3
  35. John
    • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

      Lol, I guess it has “Gold” wing doors too

  36. Steve Courchense

    Sooooo?!?!? What is Mercedes? The Emblems. Reallyyyy?

    Like 1
  37. Steve Courchense

    Come to thjink of it, it looks like a converted kids bed!!!

    Like 2
  38. BR

    I’m shocked! Apparently nobody can see the Can-Am tribute. Speaks volumes about this demographic. Y’all eat too much red meat. Sure, the front scoop and cabin can go, reverse the rear scoop, and then you have a car unlike a McLaren F-8 in perspective. I’d like to see it at Laguna Seca. Admittedly, it would look better painted orange.

  39. BR

    Here’s the real Mercedes that was probably the inspiration.


    Like 1
  40. Comet

    Very classy, tasteful and subtle. Then he had to go and ruin it with those tacky yellow plug wires!

    Like 1
  41. Pluto

    Kill it with fire.

    Like 1
  42. Steve Clinton

    Another ‘only one made’, and for good reason.

  43. Steve Clinton

    It’s a 2011 Uckin’ Fugly GT!

  44. Karl

    OMG that is ugly! Mercedes inspired, I sure don’t think so! Someone should scrape those emblems off they are an insult to a great car maker?!

  45. jwaltb

    Riding mower inspired?

  46. Kenn

    Take the scoops off both ends and it wouldn’t look bad at all. But $69K? That is California dreaming.

  47. bog

    If one reads all the way to the bottom of the ad, the asking price is 75K. With offer to trade or negotiate. Being a bit of an “eagle-eye” and residing in the state where it’s being sold also showed me this… it has “AV” or “Antique Vehicle” plates on it. So is a 25 year old VW chassis hidden under all that custom bodywork ? Likewise, without a front plate it’s in violation of Illinois law each and every time it’s out avoiding terns.

  48. JoeNYWF64

    I think the rear end on this may actually look better than the one on the new mid engine vette! But not the rest, of course.
    Big white letters do not belong on the rear WHEELS!
    After seeing this car, even the “Corvette Summer” vette all of a sudden looks better!, but not Dreyfuss’s car in “American Grafitti”. lol

  49. Clay Bryant

    If it’s a styling exercise the guy should get out and exercise more.

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