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Tribute 500SEC AMG Widebody
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Discussion Starter #1
Project Arizona, The Rise of the Phönix...a Wide Body story

It's been over a month since the bird landed in southern California and she sits quietly in a sea of Mercedes awaiting her fate.

She's been thru a lot. From the days from when she was one of the most expensive erotics of her time, to the neglect, lost love and finally the dusty desert floor, she has been thru a lot.

The Wide Body found me in mid November. I received a phone call from a gentleman in Arizona responding to one of my "Wanted 107 AMG muffler" ads. He stated that he had one or at least something very similar for sale and asked if I were interested. After confirming that it was the early universal style AMG mufflers used on various model during the early eighties, we made the deal. Upon closing our conversation the caller ended with "by the way, do you know if anyone would be interested in a set of AMG cams?" I immediately responded, "absolutely!" This peaked my curiosity and there was much discovery to follow. With my arms full, having just pulled a respectable number of pieces from a Sun Valley junkyard with a fellow BW member we agreed to speak later that eve.

It turns out the rare AMG pieces came from a vehicle laid up in a wrecking yard somewhere in Phoenix, AZ. The SEC had some spoilers and some faint outlines left behind of AMG /5.4 badges that were at one time affixed and displayed proudly on her rear. Also the coupe had some sort of "flares or wider fenders" that appeared to be some sort of aftermarket kit with expandable foam bulging from the wheel arches.

With no photos to confirm or deny authenticity the chance of it actually being a true AMG Wide Body at this point was, to quote the famous, honored yet most ridiculed Finnish World Champion Ski Jumper in history, Matti Nykkanen, "50/60."

Thanksgiving was pressing hard in the background and plans to set off deep into Death Valley were set. A Merry Thanksgiving in the Saline Valley, under the stars, in the hot springs with good food, friends and family. One of the side effects of such a journey, for better or for worse, is the non existent cellular service. The perfect get away.

My last communication with my AZ contact was try "get what you can" as logistics for pulling the entire engine was proving terribly cumbersome. "Have a pleasant Holiday and we'll speak upon my return to civilization."

Meanwhile back at the ranch, a storm was a brewin'. A photo of curious pair of crudely welded headers and the question "what are they were worth?" was posted on the BW boards. The stage was set and thread began breaking every viewing and posting record to date in recent history. The thread was on fire, murder amongst friends, elation, joy, excitement, anger and hope filled the 40+ pages of what was supposed be an innocent query about a coupla pieces of bent metal tubing.

Meanwhile back in the desert, "another scotch my friend?"

All of what followed can be read on the pages here on BW, all 40+ pages. Enjoy the read.

The idea today is start fresh, start anew. Let's get to work men and build us a village. Okay maybe not a village but a car.

In the end the SEC actually did turn out to be a very rare Wide Body, it was saved from demolition by a honorable BW member and brought back to California. The last of the AMG bits were saved! The AZ contact pulled a healthy number of desired bits on Thanksgiving day which included AMG modified heads, intake manifolds, cams and a number of other pieces.

The decision that was inevitable and was to be made sooner or later is whether the Wide Body should be brought back to life of shall it be laid to rest and used as a heroic donor for a worthy recipient. That decision came soon after the SEC's arrival, it was clear the WB was a tragedy of war. Once eyes were set of the remains of what once was it was clear she had served her time. Her last breath was to breath life into another.

Three key elements exist for the perfect resurrection project...the wide body flares and spoilers, the 5.4 liter AMG long block motor and most appropriate recipient, a two owner perfectly running, well maintained and cared for California bread SEC.

Projects are born everyday. Projects are abandoned every week. Ten of thousands of dollars are spent in the quest for perfection. With a mint you can print money, with army you can fortify a village and with a Visa card in the depths of the worst economic drought since the great depression...not so much.

This spawned the idea that resurrecting a MB exotic on a budget would be wonderfully challenging. Capture some of the good spirit that others have offered and build the bird without the limitless funding but rather with the sweat of willing men. I say yes. Men, are you with me?

Ladies and Gentlemen.............I give you, Project Arizona, The Rise of the Phönix!

Arriving in Theaters Summer Twenty Ten.
 

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Premium Member
2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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9,992 Posts
Glad I could help in some small way...
 

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Premium Member
Tribute 500SEC AMG Widebody
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6,240 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
For those not familiar with the story, mclare was THEE vital player in saving this coupe from it's doom. This man drove from LA to PHX to LA to personally see that the SEC was spared from the crusher. Thank you once again for your unselfish quest to see this adventure through. I look forward to embarking on the next chapter with you.
 

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1986 560SEC TT KS,1988 300CE,1990 560SEC 2nd GEN.KS.1990 560SEL AMG,1985 W126 [parts]
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1,569 Posts
Most respect to all who was involved to get it out from the junk yard.
And also to the ones who will get it back to glory..
Looking forward to read your post's about it.THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!
 

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German Stuff
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80 Posts
As a newbie I read that whole damn thread as an initiation to BW a while ago. Can't wait to see this project. :thumbsup:
 

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Tribute 500SEC AMG Widebody
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6,240 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
The short list of AMG bits that will contradict the "on a budget" approach but are currently missing are:

1. AMG Five Spoke Wheels 16"x9" ET0 and 16"x10" ET-12.7
2. AMG springs and shocks
3. AMG headers
4. AMG/5.4 Badging

the alternatives will be:

1. Build wheels with similar offset from either BBS RS or AMG/Z centers.
2. H&R springs and Bilstein HD (have these already)
3. OEM Tri-y cast manifolds (have these already)
4. De-badged
 

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Registered
'83 380SEC AMG'ed euro, '92 500SL, '91 190e 2.6 5-speed
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2,389 Posts
I have a set of AMG springs I do not know if I'm using yet. If I choose not to use them, I will contact you.
 

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Tribute 500SEC AMG Widebody
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Discussion Starter #11

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Registered
'82 Euro 500SEL, '85 Euro 500SEC AMG WB Cabriolet,'86 Euro 500SEC RUF
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9,487 Posts
I wondered how I missed this great feat. I was in Oregon rounding up wild horses.

Glad the Phoenix will rise again. She'll give her life so that your dads car can live beyond his wildest dreams.. You know if he had had a chance to buy a wide body...he would have.

What a fitting tribute to your dad.
 

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R.I.P. Never Forgotten
1983-2007 MB's
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8,023 Posts
Great thread! I'm glad you started a new one instead of that $%(%#@!

I heard about a set of deep offset AMG rims in Houston about a year or so ago, let me dig that lead up and push. If it comes to any fruition, I'll get these rims out your way! :thumbsup:!
 

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Premium Member
2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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9,992 Posts
Great work guys!

48HP, this "freudian slip" in your 1st post in the thread cracked me up:

"one of the most expensive erotics of her time"
I caught that too! LOL!
 

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Premium Member
1991 560SEC / 2013 GL550
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1,391 Posts
Here's a little background on the recipient SEC:
Wow, love what you did with the SEC! Beautiful car :) Will only look better as a widebody

Thanks for bringing up that post about restoring the seats, I'm going to have to try that out also
 

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Registered
1981 380SL - Lorinser bodykit w/16x7 LOs - AKA "Frau Blau"(Lady Blue)
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7,563 Posts
Great story!
Quick question. Dad's SEC rebuild was/is pretty much complete, right?
So if you feel that he may not have been happy with it's designated "conversion", is it feasible to take the WB and rebuild her?
I'm just curious as I would think it would be worth more in an "original" state, numbers matching, etc.?
It's kind of a similar situation with my 107 Lorinser "conversion". I sometimes wonder if the PO's FIL would be happy with what I've done...:confused::rolleyes:
Then again if the WB is not in good enough shape to rebuild...
 

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Premium Member
2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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9,992 Posts
Great story!
Quick question. Dad's SEC rebuild was/is pretty much complete, right?
So if you feel that he may not have been happy with it's designated "conversion", is it feasible to take the WB and rebuild her?
I'm just curious as I would think it would be worth more in an "original" state, numbers matching, etc.?
It's kind of a similar situation with my 107 Lorinser "conversion". I sometimes wonder if the PO's FIL would be happy with what I've done...:confused::rolleyes:
Then again if the WB is not in good enough shape to rebuild...
You need to read the other thread in it's entirety. You will understand then.
 
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