Der Camino: 1978 Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL Custom
What if Mercedes decided to make a two-door pickup based on the body of the W116 chassis sedan? They didn't, but someone else thought they should have. So they created this wild custom car in the style of a Chevrolet El Camino.
The seller says $75,000 was spent making this dream come true. Based on the model name, I'm assuming they used a standard 450SEL long-wheelbase sedan, a good place to start. The extra length means more bed space, and the 4.5-litre V8 engine means plenty of power and torque to help haul or pull.
The body has undergone a radical transformation. The rear passenger seats and doors have been completely obliterated in favor of a small two-seat only cabin. The rear bed is enormous, but not too deep. It also features a sleek toneau cover that limits cargo height but looks really cool. The slim Euro bumpers and single-unit headlights combined with the black exterior and interior give this a no-nonsense, utilitarian look. The Germans love frugality, practicality, and functionality, so the concept of this Benz is actually quite fitting of the brand, at least where they were in the 1970s. I could see it being sold alongside the Geländewagen for use on farms in the European countryside. It would also be cool with a turbo diesel engine.
In keeping with superior build quality of Mercedes vehicles at the time of the original build date, the seller says the custom bodywork was professionally done and features "impeccable workmanship" with no visible seams.
The vehicle also has a moonroof, custom wheels (that look to be genuine OEM G-Class alloys), new tires, dual exhaust, and a carpeted bed.
Personally, I think this thing is awesome. The seller claims it is one of a kind, and it probably is. There can't be many people with the talent or skill to pull this off, but the idea was good and the execution seems mostly pretty successful. Job well done.
Find it here on ebay in Volo, Illinois with 1 bid at $14,500 and reserve not met.