MARK’S ‘01MERC CL600 V12
WOULD YOU BUY A 15YO CAR, 150 MILES AWAY, OVER TEXT MESSAGE? WE KNOW SOMEONE WHO WOULD…
Choosing a new project isn’t always easy and often raises multiple points for discussion. What’s the fuel consumption like? Can it be tuned easily? Is the missus going to hit the roof when she sees it?
Chances are every new project you’ve embarked on has been relatively well researched beforehand – it’s just the smart thing to do. I mean, you don’t just buy a 15-year-old V12 Mercedes over text from a stranger 150 miles away ’cos you’ve seen a video on YouTube you want to emulate, right?
No points for guessing who has. But the big arrow hovering above me saying ‘numb nuts’ should clear up any confusion. But let me try and explain the method behind this madness…
This wasn’t just any YouTube video. This was an M&S YouTu… Wait, that’s not right. Actually the video in question came from Japanese exhaust manufacturers Technical Garage Sasaki, aptly named Mercedes V12 Brilliant Exhaust.
Fellow internet geeks can probably see where this is going, but for those in the dark it goes something like this. Certain models of Mercedes came from the factory with a naturally aspirated 5.8-litre V12 engine, thanks in part to its smoothness, power and premium nature. However, Mercedes was also responsible for the earlier M140 V12 engine which also found itself used in the Pagani Zonda.
Now Mercedes made this engine super-quiet for its S-Class and CL-Class models – it was said you could balance a 50-pence piece on the engine and it’d stay standing even when revved. But here’s the trick – fit the right exhaust system to your humble Mercedes and it’s rapidly transformed into a howling supercar monster. Albeit at a much slower speed.
I watched the video and devised a simple plan: buy car, fit exhaust and raise some hell! What could possibly go wrong?
Firstly the non-turbo V12 CL & S-Class Mercedes (W215) was produced in much smaller volumes than the faster, moredesirable twin turbo. Secondly, this era of Mercedes isn’t exactly famed for its reliability or simplicity. Thirdly, you can’t just put any exhaust on – it needs to be an equal length race-grade masterpiece which, with 12 cylinders to deal with, means it’ll cost more than the car.
These were all things I realised after buying the car from a guy some 150 miles away in Southampton over text (and bank transfer). Not a wise move, kids. But I’m not one for throwing the towel in. So first port of call was a trip to Regal Autosport (www.regalautosport.com) also based in Southampton.
What Chris and the Regal team don’t THIS MONTH know about cars, tuning and specifically German monsters simply isn’t worth knowing, so you know you’re in safe hands whatever weird and wacky project you take to ’em.
Diagnostics plugged in, the CL600 was suffering from some fairly terrifying issues, ranging from the hydro suspension sagging, a nasty battery leak and the slight issue that only six of the 12 cylinders were firing.
Bugger. Usually I’d be panicked by now. But I know Regal has it under control and it surely won’t be long until it’s back to fighting health.
Now, does anyone need a kidney, so I can order the Ritzy exhaust for it?
See more of the build:
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