Never Seen One: 1980 Mercedes-Benz GTR Kit Car

Kit cars normally aren’t my jam, but this oddball Mercedes GTR “clone” was too eye-catching not to post. Frankly, I’ll go out on a limb and state that it looks far better than expected when I first read the link text for what Barn Finds reader Steve B. had found. Yes, this is an odd case of homebrew creativity, but I can appreciate what the original builder set out to do – and the proportions aren’t half-bad. Find it here on Facebook Marketplace for $5K in Michigan. 

Obviously, this isn’t fooling anyone who has seen a genuine Mercedes GTR in pictures, but I like where the inspiration took the kit’s designer. The lines look good, helped out by the deep dish and likely staggered rear wheels and the body’s short overhangs front and rear. I can’t quite tell if the “mildly built” Chevy 350 is considered mid-engined or rear-engined, but I’m sure it sounds good right behind the cabin occupants’ heads.

What I appreciate most is how complete this kit car actually appears to be. So many of the lesser known kits appear already broken inside, even when new. This sounds like a well-executed package based on the seller’s description: The transmission appears to be a Porsche four speed manual with independent suspension. The clutch is in great shape. Heater, headlights, etc all work.” Functioning heat in something like this? Be still my heart!

The little details are great, too, like the plexiglass viewing window on the engine lid. Gullwing doors complete the look, and the seller notes that the floors are steel. It still runs but hasn’t been actively used for years after the seller took it in trade for “owed payment” and he has no room for it. With some more finessing, this could be a wicked kit car project not often seen at the shows.

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  1. DayDreamBeliever Member

    One Absolutely WEIRD Bird!

    And it is gone.

    • Steve

      Never seen one, and I hope I never see another one! Positively hideous!!

  2. James Sterrey

    If I were blind I would drive this, hopefully off a cliff.

  3. DavidL

    I’ve searched google and can’t find a 1980 Mercedes-Benz GTR. Am I missing something? Nevertheless God help me I like this car. Totally bizarre. I would wonder how the ‘frame’/’baseplate’ though would handle the stresses of a Chevy 350 vs the stock VW it was built for. Does anyone think it would twist up or at least lift a wheel on a sharp turn? Also where am I going to put the groceries when I go shopping w/ the Mrs. Just asking.

    • CanuckCarGuy

      The steering wheel looks to be from a Pontiac Fiero…I’m thinking its mid-engine chassis may have been used, and they can also accommodate a V8 swap. It may actually be solid ride if that’s the case.

    • Steve Van Harn

      An hour away and no VW engine. If only if i hadn’t just got my license back

  4. Scott Tait

    Man that’s fugly hope he got it for free

  5. Al

    It wouldn’t even work as a toaster oven, which in itself has storage space that this GTR doesn’t have.
    It’s gudawful ! yuck !

    Who ever took this out of a shed, should be ashamed of themselves.

  6. Shaun Dymond

    They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but oh my goodness, that is one hideous confection. I suspect it’s creator was indulging in recreational pharmaceuticals when he dreamt up this monstrosity.

  7. CanuckCarGuy

    Often I see a “Fear This” decal on a vehicle, and it doesn’t ring true… but in this case, it seems very appropriate.

  8. Adam Wright

    That’s a 914 VIN.

  9. Craig

    That’s about as ugly as they get. No accounting for some people’s taste.

  10. John

    Far better than you expected? It’s grotesque!

  11. Ian F

    “never seen…” Unfortunately, I’ve seen this contraption posted a number of times over the years. Just when I’d managed to blot it from my memory, it makes the internet rounds again…

  12. BOP_GUY Member

    What the hell !!

  13. cooper

    Keep laughing while this V8 monster weighing 1800 lbs passes you.

  14. Dickie F

    May we please have less photos of this car? Maybe underside pics only?

  15. Mark Looman

    20 mins from my house!!!! I messaged him. Hope to see this in person.

    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Ad says SOLD

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Let us know how it goes Mark!

  16. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Facebook Marketplace: Have we found another venue for seeing unique cars for sale?
    When I look at it locally, all I see are worn out cars for cheap. But, by my count, there have been a couple featured here at BF that have sold.

    I have thrown a couple of 100 dollar items on there and on CL and they sell via FB Marketplace quickly, with no interest from the CL ads.

    • Mark Looman

      FB is the New Craigslist. I’ve sold MANY more items via FB than CL. Much larger market. Much larger audience.

  17. Bryan W Cohn

    Sold, proving once again their is an ASS for every seat.

    Sold, proving once again that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

    Sold, proving once again taste has no boundaries.

    On a serious note, could a 4 speed gearbox from a 914, which is a 901 transmission I believe, be worth 3/4 of the price of the entire car?

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