BARRY WHITE’S MERCEDES-BENZ C63 COUPE 507 EDITION
Barry’s car is one of the last of the legendary handbuilt, naturally aspirated, 6.2-litre V8 Mercedes, so AMG did something special and replaced the normal detuned C63 engine with the Black Series unit that makes some serious numbers. With extra power on tap, AMG also upgraded the stoppers with Black Series 405mm disc brakes, while a Black Series cooling system keeps everything nice and cool. The car is also fitted with a factory limited-slip differential option, a seven-speed gearbox, and a panoramic roof.
Although Barry’s car is a limited-edition model, from the outset, he decided he’d drive it like it was built to be driven rather than treat it as a garage queen. As such, the Mercedes has now travelled 16,000 kilometres, some of which can be attributed to three Targa Tour events as well as several track-day sessions. Power is now around 362KW at the wheels, with the kind of instant response only a naturally aspirated engine can provide.
As Barry puts it, this rear-wheel– drive coupé can be driven “like a kitten in ‘C’ mode or it can become a complete animal
in ‘S+’ or manual mode with the traction control turned off!”
For events such as the Targa Tour, Barry runs 18-inch wheels shod with Nitto NT01 tyres, while, for normal street use, he reverts to the factory 19-inch rims and more road-oriented rubber — with far less traction but much more daily-driver friendliness.
“I’ve been in every Targa Tour since the Kim Dotcom event and love it,” Barry says. “It’s a unique opportunity to drive our cars without having to race-prepare them or fit a roll cage. We get to drive them fast but in a controlled and safe way, and experience the thrill of closed roads and being able to take up both lanes without being in a full-on competition environment. The camaraderie is fantastic, and I have made many new friends on Targa. Other than a codriver, we do not need a crew, nor do we have the pressure of racing that can lead to overcooking it into a corner, because a Targa Tour leader sets the pace. Lastly, at the end of the day, instead of [doing] car maintenance, we get to relax at the bar and share the day with our fellow Targa Tour participants and the main Targa competitors. It’s a wonderful experience, and affordable without the logistics and cost of taking part in the full competition event.”