Madman crams Mercedes V-12 into F1-inspired chassis

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Wesley Kagan

The concept of building your own car from scratch is daunting. There is a reason most enthusiasts don’t even start down the path of creating something from nothing. Wesley Kagan is a special breed of gearhead, though. He not only built a car from the ground-up—he’s making a second iteration of the same project.

His initial plan was to build a Lotus 49 replica, and the Porsche Boxster flat-six engine he had on-hand fit well into that scheme. However, that engine proved to be temperamental. When the Mercedes-Benz V-12 he had swapped into his C3 Corvette was due for an upgrade (a different Mercedes engine), Kagan knew what he needed to do with the cast-off mill.

The V-12 is an M137 plucked from a Mercedes S600. The total displacement is 5.8 liters, and it’s factory-rated at 362 hp and 362 lb-ft of torque—more than enough to push Kagan’s 1100-pound, spaceframe pseudo-cart to absurd speeds … if the engine fits.

Kagan designed his frankensteined chassis around the Boxster engine, so he had to return to the drawing board a few times to adapt it for the Benz V-12. He plans to use the Porsche transaxle, so he’ll need to fabricate an adapter plate. For now, he’s mocked up an adapter with wood that allows the engine and transmission to sit in their correct places and is reforming the chassis to fit the massive lump of an engine.

The V-12 is cool, but we really appreciate a few of the other additions Kagan will be making in the process—a taller roll hoop, for one. He also has plans for a firewall to separate driver and engine. The progress seems to be going quickly, and we will be keen to see the next video, in which Kagan expects this project to run and drive.

No one needs a contraption like this, but we applaud you for creating it, Wesley.

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