FB Update: Game Over

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Bulletproof customer garage life

Our friend’s garage (posted with his kind permission).  All we can say is – game over.  He wins.

This post has been rebroadcast from our Facebook fan page.  To see similar updates, visit us at www.facebook.com/therealjdm.

FB Update: Replica Competition Crushed

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Mercedes-Benz 300 SL replica

Daimler crushed unauthorized Mercedes-Benz 300 SL body

Say no to replicas!

This post has been rebroadcast from our Facebook fan page.  To see similar updates, visit us at http://www.facebook.com/therealjdm.

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The Ultimate Resto-Mod by Patrick Callahan

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It’s no secret that OEM’s build amazing cars. Engineers spend literally thousands of man hours optimizing every aspect of a vehicle’s design. They sure don’t make ’em like they used to and for good reason.

However, with these advances have come the unfortunate side effect of relative homogenity. Fresh, exciting designs that truly break the mold are few and far between. This trend is likely to continue as aerodynamics and safety dictate design more and more. Cars are also getting heavier all the time thanks to both the aforementioned regulations, increasing sizes and added content.

This progression has made many feel that the car they really want combines the best of both worlds. From the classic side of the table we need an iconic design that has successfully weathered the test of time, relative mechanical simplicity. To that we would ideally add the best mechanicals the modern industry has to offer with their superior performance, efficiency and reliability. We’ve seen examples of cars built to this design brief from Top Secret, Rocky Auto and other JDM powerhouses.

One of the finest examples of this idea without a doubt is the 300SL 6.0 AMG. The car was made in Germany but has proven very popular in Japan with numerous examples appearing on magazine covers and the garages of Japan’s elite despite the fact that only 11 were ever produced. It’s no wonder as this car embodies everything that is right about the resto-mod concept.

You and I may not be able to replicate such a build but there are many lessons to learn. Look at the mirrors. They’re not original but they blend in with the design perfectly and do wonders for everyday driveability. Besides the wheels they are one of very few alterations to the magnificent original design. Speaking of the wheels, despite the fact that they are certainly modern, the design is conservative and complements the rest of the car rather nicely. All visibly identifiable parts are clearly Mercedes originals and sticking to a given manufacturer’s parts bin is usually a very good idea. I might personally consider SLR wheels but wheels designed specifically for Mercedes are a must since Mercedes has done an excellent job maintaining a consistent design language even up to today.

More pics here.

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Japanese Widebody Mercedes-Benzes

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VITT SL Mercedes-Benz Widebody

VITT is a rarely discussed Japanese tuner with a penchant for producing widebody Mercedes-Benz street and show cars.  Since widebody Benzes are hard to come by already and JDM tuned Benzes are even rarer, I thought it would be a unique topic to share here.

VITT also produces various other tuning parts for Mercedes to accompany their aero parts for a full conversion. As expected from JDM VIP style tuning, VITT uses wide three piece rims with stretched tires to complete the aggressive look.

I must say that although I appreciate what they are doing, I don’t think they’ve quite hit any home runs as far as design goes. I wouldn’t say any of their design is bad, but for a commitment as big as a widebody is (both the produce and to buy/install) I’d like to hope that it would be something spectacular. Their newer stuff like this CL widebody below is seeming to improve a bit over their older widebodies. I like the lines of the rear fender and rear bumper on the CL, there are some nice design concepts in there.

VITT SL Mercedes-Benz Widebody

Here’s a widened S Class for good measure:

VITT S Class Mercedes-Benz Widebody

For more information on VITT – http://www.vitt.jp/

(we’re friendly with their US Agent so if anyone needs any VITT items just let us know)

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Hater Fodder – Mercedes-Benz G Classless

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The Benz G Class is one of those cars that never seems to change. With a life span comparable to the Lotus Esprit, the G Class has outlived numerous decades of design and techological change. With a history of textbook function over looks philosophy, one has to look in amazement at this modified G Class.

The G Classless as I’ll refer to it, was modified by a private owner (I’m presuming) who felt that what the G Class really needed was a E Class front end. I think any good friend would tell you that doing this is a terrible idea, but somehow nobody warned of what it would end up as.

So here we go, your hater fodder for the day. The G Classless Benz.

Original Source: http://www.autogespot.com/en/item/733/very-exclusive-mercedes-benz-ge-class/

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Mid East Trip – Now That I’m Back Pt. 2

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Bulletproof Automotive Mid East Trip

Picking up where I left off…

The economy in Dubai has slowed down considerably during the global crisis of the past year. Just the difference in the past 4 months between my two trips differences can be noticed. As my friends in Dubai pointed out, the number of exotic cars on the street have reduced considerably. Many people were living beyond their means and speculating on real estate (no different than what happened in the US or elsewhere). As a result, now is a great time to be buying used high end cars in the UAE marketplace because there are a lot of cars on the market right now.

With that being said, those who are very talented at business, who have good savings strategies or who are just born into fortunate circumstances still enjoy the crazy car extremism that is already well documented on the internet. Most of my friends are talented in business, in an environment that is thriving. The mid east has had an earth shattering rate of growth over the past decade, those who were well positioned and took advantage of the growth have profited enormously.

So now we get to the point about the cars…Unfortunately most of what I would want to show you, I can not. The owners of the cars would like things to be anonymous in many cases. So I’ll just say that before this trip I had never seen a Gemballa Mirage GT (Carrera GT modified to a crazy level), and after the trip I have seen not one but two first hand that my friends own. Besides that, pretty much every car besides the Pagani Zonda I was able to check out in some form or another. Multiple Veyrons, a Reventon, an older Bugatti (EB110), etc. The EB110 was really special for me since I’ve never seen one before I doubt I will again…it was the last “real” Bugatti. before it became VW. I cant imagine the satisfaction of owning a EB110 and a Veyron in the same color. Truly there are some amazing car collections over there.

Bulletproof Automotive Mid East Trip

Above: I shrunk this down enough to show you a random shot when I was sitting with my friends at a villa in Dubai.

Bulletproof Automotive Mid East Trip

The shot above is at the largest Mercedes dealership in the world. And seriously, it was…I was grateful for a complete behind the scenes tour of the new facility which was cutting edge in every way. This was the separate service area for the Maybachs and SLRs. I feel like the world’s largest concentration of SLRs must be in the mid east. One of my friends even has two of them. Oh, and this Mercedes dealership has a 722 GT (the new race car) in their showroom. I dont think there are many (if any) other Mercedes dealerships that can say they have a 722 GT on their showroom floor. Most dealerships are still bragging about having one SL65 Black Series (this dealership I think had 4 or so of those).

In short, everything is bigger in the mid east. It is a culture with huge ambitions for business and one which is set on being the biggest and the best at whatever they build. With huge masterplanned cities going up seemingly overnight, their push into the future is not slowing down as much as the media might suggest (although it has slowed a bit). Places like Dubai who are not benefiting from oil money like other areas (like Saudi Arabia for example) are still reliant on innovation and entrepreneurship, two things that I personally love and enjoyed seeing out there.

Lastly – the intro picture is Ebrahim’s street Supra. Yes, his street car. His race car is way more nutty!  The turbo on this street car is so damn big he made a custom hood to work around it. For pics you can check out www.gt-rr.com and look under Ebrahim in the customer car gallery for some of his other rides too. Ebrahim has one of the cleanest/nicest personal workshops I’ve seen. All of his cars are super clean!

Next, I’d like to show you one of the coolest garages I’ve seen. That will be my last post on the trip coming soon.

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Wald S Class Mercedes Benz

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Wald Mercedes Benz S Class

These are old pics at this point, but I still think this is a super nice S class Benz. I wanted to share some nice quality pics from you courtesy of Wald. Super Hi-Res just the way I like ’em.

Wald Mercedes Benz S ClassWald Mercedes Benz S Class

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