How To Build A Merc That Drifts

When it comes to modifying cars, Scandinavia is obviously doing something right now a little different than the rest of the world. It’s a place that is scarce in people, yet insanely built cars are bountiful – so much so that I still haven’t exhausted all the vehicles I shot at Mantorp Park this summer. One of the remainders I found extra intriguing is this Mercedes-Benz 190E.

speedhunters supercharger

Oddly enough, this build all started with a single component – an Eaton M112 supercharger. It seems this logic is standard fare for mental builds in Scandinavia: you start with a single piece and then figure out how to utilize it in the context of an actual car. Often times this means building your own chassis from scratch, borrowing an engine from your neighbor and having a local craftsman build you a body to place atop the pile of awesomeness.

Lovetap-190E-02

While this is perhaps a much more sensible application of the technique, it’s no less enjoyed by the owner than the aforementioned mind-benders. In this case, the blower was bolted to a 3.6L AMG engine, mated to an E34 ZF gearbox and shoehorned into the 190 to create a pretty solid foundation for getting sideways.

Lovetap-190E-05

It may seem rather tame from the outside, but one look under the skin and you’ll see there’s been a lot of work done to get this Benz into proper slide-spec. For starters, the inside of the car has a been put on a serious diet and had a competition-legal eight-point roll cage installed to allow the vehicle to compete in the Swedish Power Drift series.

Lovetap-190E-04

All of the underpinnings have been replaced with adjustable pieces, virtually all of which had to be custom made. The finishing touches in the cockpit include a pair of Sparco buckets, a gutted and flocked dash and a MaxxEcu engine management system. Pretty awesome.

Lovetap-190E-06

As unlikely of a candidate as it may be, this particular Merc makes for a really awesome-looking drift car, which in my opinion is half the battle. To me, Marten Stangberg has built a car that embodies what drifting should be: creative, fun, a little silly and most of all, stylish.

Sean Klingelhoefer
Instagram: seanklingelhoefer
sean@speedhunters.com

Predictability Is Dead: The Turbo Mercedes 190
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22 comments

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1

Nothing wrong here at all! What kind of numbers does that engine setup put to the wheels?

7

"you start with a single piece and then figure out how to utilize it in the context of an actual car" :)

8

"you start with a single piece and then figure out how to utilize it in the context of an actual car" :)

9

Now that's my kind of track weapon, love it!

10

The welds on the cage look a little sketchy.  Not sure that'd pass tech round these parts.  I like the 190E base vehicle concept though.

11

More cars like that! I had a w201 myself! More pictures pretty please :)

12

marshalljungReally? By no means is it pretty, but it looks structurally fine to me.

13

marshalljungReally? By no means is it pretty, but it looks structurally fine to me.

14

Hanma marshalljung It's only pictures so I have to make assumptions, but if it's mild steel (likely) and they were using a gas shielded MIG then the welds are far from acceptable.  It appears that they were using too much feed and not enough heat.  The penetration is poor and the weld material appears "globbed".  While a pretty weld does not always equal a strong weld, usually an ugly weld equals a weak weld.  Only a sample piece for destruction tests or xray imaging would answer the question sufficiently.  As a fabricator and tester I have seen many, many welds in my lifetime and the ones on this car do not pass visual inspection. (As an aside I also do not like the dead head loads on some of the bars or the unsupported bends in the A-pillar bars.

15

marshalljungHanma Interesting. You obviously know way more about welding than I do so I'll take your word for it.

16

marshalljungHanma Interesting. You obviously know way more about welding than I do so I'll take your word for it.

17

Always loved the shape of the 190E, beautifully boxy and its a excellent alternative and refreshing change from s-chassis monotony but would have to agree with the appearance of the welds. Just from the images they do appear substandard and I personally feel I would reject this cage if this vehicle were presented to me for a tech inspection, But hey, least hes givin it a go......... :)

18

this is Sparta? NO! This is Russia!
W201+1uzfe+wisefab...
http://cs14102.vk.me/c419425/v419425987/771e/RQib46UQcjs.jpg

19

SergeyLyahovNice looking on this red one!

20

Fagundes_V8 SergeyLyahov  thanks!

21

marshalljung Funnily enough, I was going to comment on the cage myself. I feel it needs a fair bit more gusseting, just doesn't quite LOOK right. Door bars are what jumped out at me.
I always remember my Dad's cage in his Rally Car - for a navigational spec car, it was gusseted at most major link points.

22

Mercs, or Brabuses, always swerves if the mentalist driver wants to. Even the librarian E class. Even the old grandpa gullwing. The issue is when something somewhere got loose or just plain gave up and gets you thrown full-inertia like a cream cake into a corner or a wall or something...

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