A Little Bit of Sindelfingen in Phoenix

Authentic 1930s German style build on a Heritage Motors 540K Special Roadster kit.

6w ago

While some Euro Classic replicars may be execrable disgraces to classic design (CMC Baron, Tiffany/Fiberfab/CMC Gazelle, Witton Tiger, CMC Duke and Marlene, Thoroughbred 300SLR, Antique & Classic Auto Blower Phaeton, here's lookin' at you...)... Heritage Motors was about the only US based company to produce a competent design that actually was workable into a Hollywood star car-quality replicar (Royale Sabre in the UK with their '48 Chapron Delahaye tribute, Marlin in the UK with their Alfa Romeo 6C/8C Zagato tributes, Vincent/Dworkin in the UK with their prewar Riley roadster kits, De Buyser in the Netherlands with their DarlMat Peugeot lookalike also known as a Hathaway Hunter, Teal and Sherpley in the UK, with truly authentic Molsheim Bugatti and Cricklewood Bentley replicars, Sbarro in Switzerland with their Munich-approved Third Reich BMW 328, and a few other foreign outfits, did do the originals justice)

Enter this anonymous collector out of Phoenix, Arizona with outstanding skills and access to real Third Reich Benzes in Las Vegas and Southern California and his Heritage 540K. He bought the 540K kit as clearance from Heritage Motors following their closure in the late 1990s/early aughts, using a wrecked gas W126 Benz sedan and a Heritage ladder frame with the DIY motor mount option as the donors if I recall correctly (hey, it's better than the S10, Ranger, Hilux/Tacoma, Hardbody, Mighty Max, and Dakota frames that many other makes' 500K and 540K kits and even some Heritage bodies received; plus in 25 years of combing online for-sale listings, I recall at least 2 Heritage kits plus a CMC Marlene, that were comically outrageous lifted 4x4s on S10, Mighty Max, or Ranger mechanicals that even the likes of the "Dallas", "Matt Houston", "Dynasty", etc, casts, 80s cocaine kings and rap stars, or Jeff Foxworthy would scoff at). He also copied spare trim parts he got on loan from the Harrah's, Black Hawk, Petersen, and Imperial Palace collection docents in the lost-wax and CNC methods, while making them so they fit the Heritage kit. Even going as far as to make 1936 style hub covers for modern McLean or TruSpoke wire wheels and replicate nearly all the interior & exterior trim of a genuine Special Roadster.

Overall the kit presents fabulously, with the main things identifying it as a kit being the modern wheel/rubber profiles, the engine sounds and overall road manners of a V8 gas W126, the Malaise Era Chevy G-van steering column & gear selector, Speedway Motors "banjo" window/door levers inside, the smaller than stock grille, and slightly simplified lines.

Even with the small deviations from original, only a German or Austrian national with Sindelfingen/30s German auto industry knowledge, a concours judge, or someone who's built numerous Johan and Bburago 540K model kits or at least one 1/8 scale Pocher 500K/540K, could easily tell the difference. And brownie points to the builder to keeping it a Benz at heart.

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