Lorinser is one of the lesser-known German tuning houses, despite having been around for decades. Today’s Nice Price or No Dice S500 rocks that rare Lorinser treatment, but it’s up to us to decide if its price will prove wildly popular.
The 1962 Willys Utility Wagon we looked at last Friday was something I found while out on a weekend roadtrip. Based on the feedback in the comments a few of you wished a different path had been taken on certain aspects of the Wagon’s restoration, with the polished wheels and automatic transmission conversion incurring most of the heat. That, of course impacted discourse on the Willys’ $29,000 asking price which, based on its 68 percent No Dice vote, was a trip few of you would be willing to take.
Speaking of trips, I have to laud my little Volkswagen as being one of the best get-out-of-town rides I’ve ever owned. It’s reasonably quick, spacious enough for four and some bags, plus is easy to park and can get over 40 miles to the gallon on the highway.
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I could equate all of that to the Volkswagen’s German engineering and build quality, but then I would be giving short shrift to VW’s Mexico operations since my Jetta was designed and built down in Puebla, with an engine sourced from the company’s plant in Guanajuato, just north of the capital.
Now, if I was really going for a long-distance driver with full-on German heritage, I might consider something like this 2005 Mercedes-Benz S500 with a Lorinser package. You all take a look at it, let’s discuss the price, and then you can choose whether or not to play devil’s advocate to my assertion.
We’ve got two components to discuss here, the underlying Benz and the Lorinser bodywork that makes it stand out (for better or worse) from all its model mates.
Mercedes introduced the W220 update to the S-Class line in 1998 and with it, added a slew of technological gadgetry along with some slimmer lines over its W140 predecessor. This edition was Mercedes’ answer to the encroaching Japanese luxury brands and hence was the first in the S-Class line to really feel as though it was built to a price. That results in a car that seems a bit chintzier and more impermanent than the older models.
All that being said, the W220 S500 is still a damn-nice car and has most all the luxury accoutrements one could probably want. This one also has that Lorinser bodywork to ensure you never lose it in the parking lot at a Mercedes meet.
Sportservice Lorinser GmbH started out as the Lorinser car dealership in 1930, doing sales and maintenance on Mercedes-Benz vehicles. By the mid-’70s the company expanded to offering aftermarket updates to the German uber-brand’s line up of cars and trucks. The company is still in business today, offering both performance and appearance upgrades for Mercedes, and more recently, Alfa Romeo products.
Apparently, Lorinser no longer offers this body kit which encompasses rockers, bumper caps and vented front fenders. Nor seemingly can you get those particular wheels. That makes this car kind of a snapshot in time, and an aggressively-styled one at that.
According to the ad, this S500 doesn’t have any of Lorinser’s engine management updates. That means a stock 302 horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque from its five-liter V8 and most likely mouse-fart silent shifts from the five-speed automatic. On the plus side, the ad claims the car carries a modest 106,000 miles and just underwent its 100K service. The seller goes further in promoting the car’s present state claiming it to have no issues and stating that it has been well-kept and covered. It certainly looks the part in the ad, both inside and out. The only obvious mod — outside of the Lorinser bodywork and wheels — is a modern double DIN head unit in the dash.
With that and the Lorinser bits, the seller avers that it may very well be one of a kind. Lastly, the ad notes that the title is clean. What might such an interesting and unique cruiser be worth these days?
The ad asks for $12,950 and cautions that only serious prospects need apply. I can’t say that I’ve ever been accused of being serious, so I think the seller may have quashed my plans for using this as a cosseting cruiser.
What about for others, though? What’s your take on this Lorinser-bodied Benz and that $12,950 price? Does that feel right for so well-kept and covered a car? Or, is that too much for a car with mods that may not add anything?
San Diego, California, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.
H/T to FauxShizzle for the hookup!
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