Car Spotlight>>mercedes-bent

One of the most talked about vehicles at this year's SEMA show wasn't a crazy show car or a thousand horsepower race machine – it was this understated '61 Mercedes Benz 190SL.

Displayed in the BASF booth, this 190SL packs that timeless Mercedes Benz style and modern power into one package.

Hot Rods & Custom Stuff out of Escondidio California put the car together by mating the 190SL body to the chassis of an '04 SL600.

That of course means that the SL600's twin turbo V12 can be found under the hood, tuned up a bit with parts from RENNtech.

The interior is also a perfect blend of the old and the new. The shifter for the 5-speed auto trans looks right at home in there.

It even has the OE navigation system.

The only part on the car I wasn't totally sold on were the wheels. I know they wanted the original wheels in larger diameter, but somehow they look a little funny to me. What do you think?

How can you not appreciate these lines?

Goes to show that subtlety and restraint has its place in SEMA. A great all around build.




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whoa, thats nice, i agree with you mike, wheels kinda hard to digest


Yeah, this car needs 17" wheels. Otherwise, it's flawless.


Man, that looks really sweet. The stretch on the wheels does look kinda over done. =) But its still one of the sweetest rides i have seen this year.


Based on all the pictures/coverage I've seen so far on various sites, this has to be my favorite car of SEMA. This thing is so fresh. I love all the modern work put into this thing, yet the car manages to retain most of its classic beauty. I actually like the larger factory wheels just fine - looks somewhat aggressive with the larger size, yet classy because of the original design.



Check the title !

It ain't a Mercedes BenT !


Sooo Perfect.....except for those rims. *Imagining with 18 inchers in a brushed aluminium finish* Ahhhhhh now it's perfect.......


Very cool car, timeless all except the wheels. should have gone with a smaller diameter to go with the old outside new inside theme.


i think it's the benz emblem in the wheel that makes it goofy. rather then being the actual logo the diameter looks stretched and has now become more of a styling add on. i still like them regardless and the blend of old an new lines just look seamless on this car. not like those weird C5 to 54 vette conversions. Thanks for the pictures Mike!


workmanship at its finest


I think there is a limit to the size you can make a manufacturer's logo before it induces vomiting, and they went over that limit by a few inches in diameter. lol


the rim sure looks good to me how i wish to own one of these !!


Showstopper build. One-of a kind masterpiece! But I agree the rims are a bit odd proportioned.


I am happy they kept the stock wheels. It kept true to the design. If they would have put newer wheels, more people would have complained. For sure the best car you have show at SEMA.


this car just works for me, and i seem to have imagined these wheels before lol i like them


oh yeah can we get some desktops? lol


a twin turbo v12 is sutle and restraint?


wow...looks great

agreed on the funky looking wheels

and 5 speed auto? figured it would have been like a 6 or 7

but then again...04....makes sense


Coolest wheels ive ever seen.


I love the wheels actually! it reminds me of playing GT4 and putting OEM steelies from old cars on the racing tires of modern machines, making them look several inches larger, giving much the same effect as this SL. I think this car is perfect. just plain gorgeous.


Now thats a RestoMOD. haha... but im not liking the wheels at all.. should've just put the classic wheels on. with white walls. :))

this would probably be the Merc ever. haha


The wheels should be maybe one inch smaller wheels and modeled a bit more closely to the OE wheels. But even that would be gravy. This car is amazing, this kink of stuff is what I dream of doing when I get my own garage, albeit with a '34 Plymouth and a Viper v10.


yeah... i think the wheels look weird....

sticking to the old fat rubbers and decent size-d wheels will make it look great...

one hell of a classic nevertheless... :D


yea, the wheels do throw me off...other than that this is just a very beautiful car.


I'm not feeling it. I am all for resto-mods but this is a car that should just be left un-modified. The wheels don't fit the style of the body and opening up the hood of that car to see that engine would just be lame. Keep it original, except lower maybe...


Agree with JJS on the wheels. Dubs or dish wouldn't compliment the whole package.


I think the car looks awesome & I too like the wheels. They are really different, but blend in with the car.


Beautiful car!... minus he wheels



The name of the car is "Mercedes-Bent". Mike has it right. Wonderful car. Fun to build.


Looks nice. Wheels should not had a lip i think. but very nice indeed.


This car is amazing, but i do agree with you on the wheels. The design of the wheels is great, they Just need to be smaller.

Overall though this is an incredible car!


This car is great, but the rims are horrible IMO.


@ Mike - great to see you cover this. It's was eye catching on the showfloor and I was only able to appreciate it from afar.

@ Shale agreed! More so in person than in photo thought the wheels complimented the style very well. The thing nearly sat on the carpet tucking those wheels just up under the body - great stance & visual 'tude.


i think wat i would done witht the wheels wouldve been give it a staggerd look...they might have been a better look..but i would love to have this car and see a SL600 so i can smoke his


Awful, leave resto mods to those useless piles of american rust.


Wtf is a Mercedes "bent"?


I like the wheels, /r/ desktop of them P:


Oh no. Sorry but I don't like it at all!


i double took on this one. what a beauty and technically uber tight. bigger tires maybe.


I agree. The wheels don't totally fit the car


Amazing build,except for one thing: the logos on the wheels need to be smaller!


Awesome car. Just needs smaller wheels and smaller grille emblem.


Modern and classic, so beautiful, perfect!


Modern and classic, so beautiful, perfect!


@some guy, 'Bent' is another term meaning V engine, because they are not 'straight' like a straight 6, they are 'bent'. and clearly this has a Bent 12.


Awesome! but i would agree, the wheels should be 16" or 17" max.


I love the rims though

whole car looks neat


whats wrong with you ppl? the wheels look great on there


scale down the rims, scales up this Merc.


The wheels need to go. I mean if they had a mean staggered 4"-5" lip then I'd possibly feel them a little bit more but NOPE!! They're pizza cutters and are not nearly worth seeing on the this awsome creation.


The car itself is ALMOST great, but those wheels are disgustingly huge. The diameter is way too big. @ the stretch comment: There is no stretch on this car, it's just a low profile tire on a huge rim a.k.a. why I will never appreciate the American tuning scene. Anyways, I think if they had Mercedes 300SL Gullwing wheels that were proporional to the car on this baby, i'd fully appreciate the car.


I love the interior, not a huge fan of the exterior of that era of Mercs though.


this car did pretty well at the spring mountain track.


The wheels are perfect since they need to wrap around a 16" front brake rotor plus a huge caliper. You could not put a smaller wheel on the car and at least it fits the theme of the car.


a brave wheel choice....I LOVE it...this could be the start of a new look....?


Nice job , nothing new though. M-B has been doing that officially for years , and those cars look better. Ditch the ugly huge wheels and the new age center console with the Nav systemand you have a winner ;) IMO of course :D


I like what they did with the wheels. This is what the disigner would have rendered as the prototype those days.


Crazy motor =)



The wheels are fine methinks


wow, this is one of the nicest cars I've seen this year!


who the hell thought of this!?!?They're genius! Good power with good looks, can't beat it...yes you can...get better wheels!


That car looks good but wheels are ugly!

Anyway it is a great job!


such a wonderful car.. something you'd really want to own, love and cherish.. looks sweet!


I think the wheels would look fine with some larger tyres... The stretched look doesn't suit it.


The emblem in the middle of the wheel stays still while the wheel rolls. They are a bit big, but one off billet just as the grille, bumpers, lighting fixtures, and the rest of the bright work. I was with the car during the entire build and it is truly as spectacular as it looks.


It's just too good.


i think the wheels go well with the car..the wheels have that euro tuner vibe going on with them


Nice car. but the engine looks ' flat ' with only black and carbon. chrome will help the engine look better #justsayin


why's the gearknob backwards?


The car did well in the ultimate street car challenge, 19th in a 52 car field of mostly race cars.


good eye peter..the gear knob was backwards in these photos and is not anymore....if you have ever had to build a car of this magnitude and get it done on a dead line then you would understand that sometimes you miss the gear knob. as far as the wheels they suit the car PERFECTLY unfortunately the tires we wanted to put on the car were on back order so we had to go with smaller ones then were intended. also to clear the massive brakes (16in rotors) 20 inch is the smallest wheel to clear.


This was the best car at SEMA, without a doubt.


I saw the car, it actually raises up a couple inches, the wheels look fantastic!!!!! It has 16 inch front break calipers thus it needs the bigger wheels. But the wheels are not Ugly, what is the matter with you people?


I love it, and the thing that attracted me are the wheels.

This makes it look custom and very agressive wich I do like on the smooth lines of the car.


Well, if one *must* molest such a rare, older vehicle with oodles of modern flair... It must be done properly. I think this one's a winner!