Photography by CJ Levendal & Orville Robertson | Words by Duncan Ward
Mercedes Benz is widely credited as creating the world’s first ‘production’ car as, before them, the only other combustion engines mounted on to frames had been experimental prototypes. Having been in the game for this long, you would think that they know their way around cars pretty well, and that they would have the recipe down to a fine art, well, you’d be right.
The Mercs of the W124 generation were famed for their solidity, reliability and general build quality. So much so, that some of the cars are adorned with accolades for reaching the Million-mile club. Enough about their solid history though, let’s focus on our next visual treat, this beautiful big body 230TE Benz wagon which is quite literally in a class of its own. With such a solid foundation, it was hard to see how someone to could adapt this car to be even better, but one of us managed to find a way. His name is Mohamed Khan, affectionately known as “Dodi”, and he saw the diamond that could be carved out of the Benz brick, and got busy sorting out the one aspect of the car Mercedes hadn’t paid any attention to; stance.
When riding in a car the size of an apartment, comfort is the first word which comes to mind. Back in the day, car manufacturers must have drawn inspiration from sources such as Joshua Doore and Ellerines, because interiors would boast a wide array of lush colours, soft carpets, rich leather and elegant touches of vinyl where need be. The Benz is no exception, coming complete with peanut coloured leather seats, matching carpets, a wide-but-elegant dash complete with super retro dials, and of course a boat-sized steering wheel to keep it on the straight and narrow.
With comfort in mind, a static setup just wouldn’t have cut it on the Merc, and as some of you will know, big body cars are far from fun on a set of coilies. Dodi instead went for an air setup of the highest quality, and managed to overcome some obstacles on the way. With no bolt-on kits available for the W124 platform, a set of custom HPDriveTech struts were built, utilizing Bilstein shocks, balanced by an E-Level system from the class-leader in air management tech, Accuair.
All of this was packaged neatly in the massive boot by Kimos Audio in Vereeniging, complete with a full audio setup consisting of a Pioneer head unit, Focal coaxials, an XTC 6000w amp and a Focal 12” sub, which all combine to mean you can hear Dodi well before you see him. With all of his necessities tucked away so well, it leaves the rest of the boot free for fun, such as showing off his next set of wheels, or using the Benz as a bench at meets.
Any stance setup can hardly be called complete unless a wheel change has been done, and seeing as though the Benz was already an unusual build, Dodi opted for a scarce set of 17” Work Ewing III wheels to complete the look, staggered to 8.5j wide up front and 9.25j wide in the rear for some really tight fitment all around. These add the final touch to an already memorable car, and highlight the undeniable cool factor that the Benz possesses, which we’re unable to put our finger on.
Maybe it’s because it’s big enough to get lost in, maybe it’s because it’s low, but one thing’s for sure, we wouldn’t mind more wagons rolling up to meets looking like this.