The first-generation R170 Mercedes SLK was an elegant piece of design, with its squared-off rear end flanked by triangular taillights, and its aggressive-but-not-too-aggressive sloping hood featuring two long bulges. It’s this classiness that makes seeing an SLK with a lift and huge tires so bizarre, and it appears that many folks just can’t handle it.
One person in particular straight-up lost it when he saw the Benz, and he caught it all on camera. I don’t know much about the video below, posted to Facebook by custom-car website Riding Clean, but based on the hilarious commentary, the spotting of this Florida-plated jacked-up Benz appears to have taken place in Houston:
The video begins with the man behind the camera repeatedly yelling the word “no!” as he looks at this donked-out, solid axle-having Mercedes in total disbelief.
“We don’t do this in H-Town buddy! Nooooo! Oh no!,” he continues. “Ain’t no way y’all did that Benz like that! What in the entire fuck is going on!?”
The video ends with a maniacal laugh, which—really—is the only way to react to this wacky machine. It’s silly, though I actually applaud whoever made it, because it’s unique, and must have taken some serious effort.
A California-based reader named Nick posted the above photos to Jalopnik’s Facebook Group, “The Way Back,” along with the caption “The Florida plates explain it,” a reference to Florida’s rich donk culture.
He says he spotted the car on Interstate 10 near Cabazon, California, roughly 90 miles east of Los Angeles. He told me over Facebook Messenger that he’s got no beef with donks, but this one was nuttier than normal. “Seeing it was pretty crazy,” he told me, “[be]cause most the cars you see out here are maybe tucking 24's.”
This SLK, which Nick said “appeared to be put on a frame... and [had] solid axles,” was likely running at least 30-inch wheels. Just look at how they dwarf the tires on the trailer.
The comments on Nick’s post highlight that he and the man in the video above aren’t the only ones struggling to make sense of this machine. For the most part, folks in the comments can’t process it, either. Mercedes SLK plus lift plus huge tires equals Does Not Compute. System reboot. Press Control, Alt, Delete.
“How does it even drive?” one person asked. “What the fucking fuck” writes another. “I apologize on behalf of Florida,” comments a Miami resident.
Needless to say, there are multiple “Kill it with fire” quips on Nick’s post, though I think those are misguided. This is a unique and fun machine! And it appears to have a live front axle, meaning it can probably put all that ground clearance to good use off-road (some slightly more aggressive tires would help).
But even if that front differential isn’t powered, this thing is incredible for shock value alone. I welcome it into the Car Friends of Jalopnik club with open arms.