Mulling modded guilty pleasures of the 1980s

Published: 19 June 2012

If, like many of us at CAR, you discovered your four-wheeled passion while growing up in the 1980s, you might remember lusting over some dubiously modified German Porsches and Mercs. Bram Corts does. He’s the man behind, a brilliant guide to the wheeled equivalent of the shoulder pad, and the inspiration behind our Top 10 back page in the new July 2012 issue of CAR.

As well as providing some great info and pics about some of the more famous modified cars of the era – the AMG Hammer, Koenig Testarossa and various widebody SEC Mercs – you’ll find details about all sorts of lesser-known butchery, too, as well as the origin of the 1000SEL name, at Bram’s site.

The crazier the better

A four-door Rolls Royce Silver Spirit convertible in banana yellow with a banana leather interior? A 911 Turbo cabrio (in the days before Porsche made such a thing) with the front and rear bumpers from a 928? The infamous W126 Gullwing SEC Mercedes? You’ll find theme there at 1000SEL, together with a six-wheeled Range Rover, a targa-topped Porsche 928 with tape deck, graphic equaliser and phone bolted into the T-bar, plus loads of other weird guilty pleasures.

Much of it looks wonderfully tasteless today, and we can’t vouch for the build quality, but you have to admire the determination of the builders. These days, bar the odd exception, the art of the modifier rarely seems to go beyond swapping wheels, suspension and a power boost, so it’s great to see what Fritz-in-the-shed could come up with when presented with a blank cheque.

If it’s a slow news day and Messrs Pollard and Pulman are serving up a load of Kia facelifts, stick some poodle rock on iTunes and get over to

>> With thanks to for all picture credits

By Chris Chilton

Contributing editor, ace driver, wit supplier, mischief maker