Eberhard Schulz started his car designing career by building a Ford GT40 replica in 1968, powered by a 420 hp V8 from Mercedes-Benz. He called it the Isdera Erator. Mercedes rewarded his choice by hiring him as a design engineer, so he could come up with a successor to the fantastic wankel-powered supercar, the C111. The result was presented in 1978 as the Mercedes CW311. This wedge-shaped supercar also came with gullwing doors, the bigger, 6834cc version of the monstreus M100 engine, and the best extra of them all: an external rear view mirror!
The 375 hp prototype even made it into a movie, but when Mercedes decided not to go anything further with the project, they let Schulz keep the rights to his vision. After making an open top racecar, the CW311 was reborn as the Isdera Imperator 108i in 1984. Thirty were made until 1993, first with a five litre M117 engine, which was replaced by 5.6 and 6.0-litre AMG V8s with 32 valves. Two Imperators even made it to Japan.
While playing with supercars, Schulz also got into the customizing business that was booming in the eighties. Schulz Tuning built everything from stretched S-Classes to cabrios, and even made an estate version of the original 5 Series. Everything was as close to OEM standard as possible, including his best, the Mercedes-Benz W201 Compakt:
Is it just me, or does it really look like a Lancia Delta from the rear? Anyway, he wasn't joking around, and put the 2.6 litre straight six engine in it, just to make sure it had more kraft than a Golf. BBS wheels also came as standard.
Isdera came out with a new supercar for the nineties, the Commendatore 112i. It started life with a 6-litre V12 tuned to 400 horses, and headlamps from a Porsche 928. While the headlamps remained, the power figure climbed well over 600 hp during the following years. Commendatore it was.
Instead of making a compact E28 with an external rear view mirror and gullwing doors for the second decade of the new millenium, the latest car from the firm is dual-engined retro coupe. We would rather forget about that one, and remember only the good times...