A 2002 Mercedes C230 Kompressor in Class C?

By: Eric Rood Photo Credits: Murilee Martin, Nick Pon
November 9, 2018

So how exactly does a late-model Mercedes-Benz end up in Class C (the slowest and crappiest class) in the 24 Hours of Lemons? Mercedes have been fairly reliable and quick in Lemons; this seems like some glaring oversight, especially considering the car is a 2002 Mercedes C230 that should have a supercharged engine!

24 Hours of Lemons

It turns out some members of the Sussbag Crew worked in a junkyard and figured that a C230 with a blown engine was as good a Lemons candidate as any. Naturally, they dug around the junkyard’s stock for something of similar displacement. As the team is based in the Midwest, that was naturally the 2.3-liter Ford Pinto engine.

24 Hours of Lemons

Did it dominate on its debut at Road America in 2013? It did not, although it was neither the slowest car nor the last-place one in spite of the elevated ride height created by liberating the car of its overweight luxuries. Unfortunately, the Pinto engine expired before the end of the race.

24 Hours of Lemons

A replacement Lima engine also blew up in its second race and while we haven’t seen it since, this Mercedes is pretty much the perfect equation for Class C in Lemons:

Doomed For Scrap + Abundant-But-Crappy Engine Laying Around = Real Effluency

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