With the car’s style accounted for, performance was the next step, and Brent had an unconventional engine swap in mind. The M113K engine, courtesy of a 2005 Mercedes-Benz E55, was the powerplant of choice. When the idea was pitched to several local shops and builders, they dismissed and laughed at the idea. Little did they know, they were only adding fuel to his fire. When asked about his inspirations and influences in the build, Brent casually extends his thanks to the companies who told him that his motor conversion would never work.
Of course, the doubts from others were not without merit, and the engine swap was indeed the most challenging part of the build. But with some help from expert fabricator Rudy Compart of Accelerated Industries, the deed was done. Rudy flew from Illinois to Brent’s garage in Maryland to custom wire a specialty harness for the new (or old, depending on how you look at it) ECU and motor over the course of a weekend, allowing it to function properly with all components, including the Eaton twin screw supercharger. With all components ready and working, the CLS500 is up to a respectable 440 horsepower and 505 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. Not bad numbers for a purely show-built car! Brent and his CLS500 continue to take East Coast shows by storm with a fresh combination of performance, aesthetic and electronics modifications on an uncommon platform with an even less common engine swap. Brent tells us he has plans for even more mods through upcoming seasons. We’ll have to wait and see where this bespoke Mercedes-Benz build goes next.