Real Mercedez Benz enthusiasts share very little in common with the misconceptions many have about Mercedes Benz drivers. The true enthusiasts don’t have egos or attitudes and are not at all arrogant.
They are simply brand loyal car enthusiasts not unlike those who are into Hondas or Fords.
Minutes into a conversation with Richie it is easy to tell that he is an avid Mercdes Benz enthusiast who is also a huge fan of low tastefully modified cars.
Richie’s attraction to the MB brand started at a young age when his father purchased at 1991 S-Class straight off the lot to replace his 1986 Nissan 300zx turbo.
The passion his dad had for the car was passed down to Richie (along with the car) and while he drove the S-Class throughout College he realized that though Mercedes got a lot of things right from the factory there were a few things he could improve on.
Instead of modifying a refined classic like the S-Class Richie opted to park that piece of his families history (which now only appears to take top honors in concurs shows in the GTA) and pick up an SLK350.
After he got the car the factory ride height was one of the first things he addressed, initially dropping the car with Eibach springs and then shortly there after going lower with a set of H&R coilovers.
Now sitting low with lots of room to go lower (these pics have the coils nearly all the way up) Richie noticed that the AMG wheels looked pretty great at factory height but simply didn’t cut it as summer wheels at the cars new altered stance.
The wheels that soon found there way on the car (then back off the car for a refinish and then on the car once more) are a set of 19″ Sonic Tuning ST160 concave mesh wheels at 8.5 and 9.5 (et35) widths.
These wheels have 235/35 and 245/35 tires mounted to them and thanks to Curbed now painted hyper silver and have machined faces which give them that extra bit of pop without putting them over the top.
In addition to the drop and wheels Richie has also added a custom exhaust and a smart top roof control module that allows him to drop the top via his remote FOB.
The fact that this car look so good with so little means that the sky is the limit to what Richie can continue to improve on, and as the owner and administrator of Mercedes Enthusiast board PureMB.com his source of inspiration for both his current car and any MBs in the future is nearly limitless. In fact the wheels you currently see on the car are up for sale as Richie has a little something more planned for 2012.
With a long winter ahead and a strong community to influence him don’t be surprised if Richie debuts something completely different for 2012.
Thanks to Richie for letting me shoot his car on what was quite possibly the last warm weekend of 2011, can’t wait to do it again next year.