Business man in the office, psychopath on the track: That pretty much sums up Thouca Mechanicos, who with the help of a few friends has converted a clean and sober CLK55 AMG into cocaine-snorting whiskey-guzzling monster.
By Shudley Daniels
Watch as it eats up a field of supercars!
Race 2 Onboard Footage of the G&H Transport Extreme supercar seriesThouca Mecanicos started at the back of the field, made for an exciting 7 laps !
Posted by WLS Media on Sunday, 3 February 2019
If you haven’t seen Thouca Mechanicos’ CLK55 DTM around, can you even call yourself a South African petrolhead? Ok, so the almost one and a half ton German tank can’t really be called a DTM anymore, but one could argue that it is better. Much better. Since the CLK DTM is unique and sought-after in its own right, it takes really big kahunas to modify one to this extent.
Originally powered by the handcrafted, super durable, aspirated M113 V8 from Affalterbach, the car was Thouca’s road-going monster until he decided to fiddle with it. The local Mercedes guys naturally didn’t want any part in destroying what many purists regard as one of the most sought-after supercars ever, so enter James Valentine and JV Autotech Performance.
The engine is stock, but AMG stock, which means it has a forged bottom end from the factory, so was ready for the boosted application. Although a supercharger was added a few years ago, it got swapped out for forced induction of a different kind, and the custom T76 turbocharger with a billet multi blade wheel provides boost to the 8-pot powerplant.
The side exit exhaust was developed and tweaked over a period of time, and features equal length header runners, expertly fabricated to fit inside the overpopulated bay. Atop the heads is a custom intake, allowing boost into the 100mm throttle body which is mounted in the front instead of the usual position near the firewall, so as to optimise air flow.
Eight 1200cc injectors are fed fuel by not one, not two, not three, but four fuel pumps! Not surprising, as this behemoth of a motor guzzles about 100 litres of 50/50 Ethanol mix in one race weekend alone! The fuelling, as well as the spark to the 16 coils and spark plugs (one of my personal favourite signature Mercedes V-engine charms) is managed by a Powermods management system, which is not the easiest to configure in this setup, but is done so and tuned to perfection. A Motech dash is in play, which provides all possible live data and analysis, and is of utmost importance in the setting up and development of the car.
While the M113 heart of the beast is cold, vile and vicious, its underbelly, or in this case suspension, channels all the anger. The suspension varies from race to race depending on track conditions, but for the most part, it is made up of custom Collaro bits which are one-off items specifically designed and fabricated for this car and its goals. Stopping power comes from Vari 360mm discs in each corner, and the front calipers are now at the rear, with much bigger 4-pots at the front. The 18” wheels are covered in broader than Beyonce-wide 335/18-inch rubber, but most of it gets left on the track anyway.
When the Merc rolled off the showroom floor in 2004, the aesthetics were brash and in-your-face, but Thouca changed all of that. Well, Tony Collaro did. Coming from a furniture manufacturing background, the genius handcrafted a wooden body kit and panels, and then moulded the carbon fibre fenders and kit from there. Unconventional, but extremely effective. This wasn’t just done for aesthetics, this beast is all function over form. The chrome wrap makes it conspicuous, if nothing else.
Comparing this to its trackside competitors, which are Ferraris, Porsches and the like, it doesn’t. In race mode, it makes around 550kW and 1000Nm of torque, but the ante can be upped substantially, and at will, believe me. Although this was once regarded as a supercar, it has seen so much modification that it makes the term “supercar” seem meek. What it is though, is a Monster Merc which, to quote James Valentine, “Looks for ways to kill you!”