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400bhp Mercedes 190SL roadster

Classic 1956 Mercedes 190SL roadster is turned into a 5.5-litre V8 muscle car with around 400bhp and a rather large price tag

Meet a Mercedes 190SL with more power than it’s letting on. A creation of CMH Luxury Carrosserie, it’s been unveiled at the 2013 Top Marques show in Monaco.

It’s an original 1956 190SL shell that’s been through quite some transformation, with a set of beefy Carlsson alloy wheels and smaller doors to accommodate eye-catching side exhausts. At its heart is a 5.5-litre AMG V8 engine, with around 400bhp driving its rear wheels. Fitting the engine was a real ask, with 2000 hours of work and lots of handmade parts required to shoehorn so much engine into so little bay.

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With this 190SL weighing around 1100kg, it possesses a 369bhp/ton power-to-weight ratio – equivalent to a Ferrari 458 Spider – and will complete 0-62 in under 4.5sec on its way to a 177mph top speed. That puts it on par with the current Mercedes SL63 AMG in a straight line, though the new car only has a 155mph limited top speed.

The CMH 190SL currently rides on its original suspension, though to no surprise it will be replaced with a new, adjustable setup before sale. And if the project excites you, better act quickly: it’s a total one-off and is up for sale for around £1million. It won’t have a chance in hell of keeping up with a Bugatti Veyron, but to many eyes, it’ll be a whole lot cooler.

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