MARK’S ‘01MERC CL600 V12


Fast Car - - Fast Projects -

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 (­galau­ 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:

@mark_scene­me­dia on In­sta­gram

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