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eBay finds: W126 Mercedes S-Class….hatchback.

Chris Haining August 29, 2017 For Sale, Terrible Ideas 29 Comments

Once upon a time, the hatchback was invented, and we saw that it was good. It allowed small cars a far greater degree of versatility than cars with a separate trunk could offer. Gradually, it dawned on carmakers that this extra practicality shouldn’t be the exclusive domain of the hard of spending, and larger, more comfortable hatchback models came to being.

Until fairly recently, though, hatchbacks never really went beyond the upper mid market. There were loads in the 80s, there was the Ford Granada (or Scorpio in Euroland), the Renault 25, Citroen XM (the hatchback-look CX was a sedan) and, of course, the 1976 Rover SD1 begat the 1988 Rover 800 Fastback. But there was nothing in the premium sector.

Well, if you were a crazy Englishman with a selection of tools and a fistful of determination – it turns out there was.

The Rover 800 Fastback and the W126 Mercedes S-Class are two of the most disparate ‘upmarket’ cars you could buy in the ’80s or 90s. The Mercedes – a car built from the finest components, engineered with meticulous attention to detail and laden with the very latest and most sophisticated technology – quickly became associated with good taste or sheer plutocratic status. The Rover – wasn’t.

“Never the twain shall meet” would seem an apt expression here – the two cars ought never be directly compared. Moreover, they should remain separate entities, too. Despite this, though, one enterprising chap in England once reckoned that his 420 SE would benefit from being spliced together with an example of Cowley’s best. And now, it’s for sale! Or rather, it was. It sold for £500, so y’all missed out.

The sale listing explained that “The car it’s self started life as a saloon,but the owner needed transport for his dogs.”

There’s also “a full photo file of the car going through its build stages”. Yes, that’s right. This “build” went through stages, and it seems clear that the process involved grabbing a Sawzall, hacking the rear screen, C-posts and roof section off, doing the same to a poor hapless Rover 800 Fastback, and then mating the latter with the former using tack welds and a generous helping of body filler.

Naturally, there’s rust. Not only has the Mercedes side of things corroded merrily, but the Rover bits have obligingly joined in the fun. The advert went on to say, perhaps optimistically: “its (sic) solid in all the right places. In my opinion the car looks worse then what it really is, yes it does want work and it would not happen over night. But please don’t expect to drive home,this will need transportation away from Doncaster where the car is.”

Drat. Missed it. Still, there’s the possibility that somebody will restore this extraordinary amalgam to show-stopping condition, and sell it on. Just the thing to park next to that Audi S7 and bask in the incredulous looks given by passers by.

(All images used copyright and user a8_rims)

  • peugeotdude505


  • Zentropy

    I admire anyone for even attempting this.

  • Rover 1

    Whisky. Tango. Foxtrot.

    Speaking as the current owner of both Mercedes Benzes and Rover 800s

    • dead_elvis, inc.

      Yeah, that’s quite a bit uglier than the hot mess featured. Brings to mind some of the worst visual aspects of both the DMC-12 & the Nissan Pulsar, mixed with appalling stance.

      • That’s not kind to either the Delorean or the Pulsar.

        • dead_elvis, inc.

          I have nothing complimentary to say about the Pulsar – they’ve triggered an automatic, visceral, irrational hatred on sight since they were new – and I’ve never been much of a Delorean fan.

      • dukeisduke

        That peek into the future is the automotive equivalent of Plan 9 From Outer Space.

    • Forschungs-PKW, what misery was put into the world in the name of science!

    • It’s like a 6000SUX several years ahead of its time.

      • dukeisduke

        “I LIKE IT!!”

    • They still take some pride in it – instead of hiding it in the archive, it’s filed under “Legend 6” (I’d like to see legends 1-5, too):

      • Vairship

        So they’re basically trying to blame Honda/Acura…

    • tonyola

      I hate to be the contrarian, but I like this concept. By the way, it’s from 1981.

      • Rover 1

        You are quite correct, it is 1981

    • Looks like the product of an S class & a Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe.

      • Krautwursten

        Then again the Aerocoupe unfortunately had a regular trunklid, as did most other iconic fastbacks from the Americans. How anyone found it acceptable to have a long, sweeping rear window followed by a glovebox sized trunklid is beyond my comprehension.

        • Even Citroën agreed, relucantly.


    • dukeisduke

      That peek into the future is the automotive equivalent of Plan 9 From Outer Space.

  • outback_ute

    “In my opinion the car looks worse then what it really is…” but then I’m the one trying to sell it…

  • Borkwagen

    No mention of the Saab 9000? The Griffin weeps.

    • Yeah, sorry about that! I’ve given myself a smack.

      • Borkwagen

        Drugs are never the answer, mmkay?

  • Maymar

    This is hardly a complaint or criticism, but I wonder why converting a W126 was considered worthwhile over just getting a W123/124 Touring?

  • That Rover roofline blends surprisingly well with the Benz greenhouse.

    This begs to be run in Lemons, do they have crapcan racing in the UK?

    • dead_elvis, inc.

      “Banger” racing, as its known there.

      • Yeah, but banger racing is somehow rather less, er, elegant than LeMons

        • Krautwursten

          I think eccentric is the word you’re looking for.

        • dead_elvis, inc.

          Not an adjective I’d typically associate with 24HoL, but OK.

          I feel like there’s a bangers & mash joke to be made here someplace, but I haven’t had any coffee yet.

  • stigshift

    Ouff, madon…

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