1984 Lorinser Mercedes Benz 500SL Mini
Barn Find. Made in Germany. In 1984 Mercedes Benz tuning company Lorinser built a limited production run of 100 units for the Mercedes 500SL Mini Go Kart. These were sold to Mercedes Benz's most affluent customers through Lorinser Sportservice in 1984 for about of DM12,000.00. Convert that to today's RM at present value would put it in the ballpark of RM78,000.00
It features a composite monocoque shell inspired by the R107 Series SL. Underneath it has a spaceframe chassis with a rear mounted engine and rear wheel drive layout. The 500SL mini measures 1.765m long and 72cm wide. It has a 2 speed forward and 1 speed reverse manual gearbox operated via a clutch pedal. Yes, it has a clutch. A single brake disc and calliper braking system is mounted on the rear axle. There were 2 petrol motors that powered the mini SL. A 2.2hp 4 stroke Honda engine was the more popular choice and a rarer more powerful 3hp 175cc Briggs and Stratton 4 stroke was the latter. With these specs the mini SL was said to reach a top speed of 25kph while weighing in at 70kg without a driver.
Finished in Mercedes Signal Red, this 37 year old barn find spent most of its life hidden in a garage. About a decade ago, a recommissioning exercise was carried out with the motor serviced, the seats wrapped in leather, a paint job and 4 new tires fitted. The important bits are still in the car. Its entire go kart chassis and running gears are intact. The original monocoque body, front and rear bumpers, window frame, front grill, emblem, wheels, lights and indicators are complete with some slight wear. The paint work has some blemishes. The 500SL mini can be started. Driving, steering and braking is still impressive for a 37-year-old "car" and this specimen carries the rarer Briggs and Stratton 3hp motor.
Out of the 100 units produced. It is said that only 55 units are still running about and around 12 units are known to be sold as parts. In 2010 a very mint unit was reportedly sold on eBay for USD12,500.00. At present, you can also buy a 2004 Proton Iswara for about USD1,000. A brochure of the Lorinser 500SL can be found online but not included in this sale.