- Dark To Begin With
- Down The Rabbit Hole
- Menace On The Streets
1. Dark To Begin With
Doing a special Halloween material was always appealing to us and since we didn’t get the chance last year (full pandemic, remember?), we wouldn’t miss the opportunity this year. So, what better place to look for than in our dear friends from AFS’s backyard? We’ve been following their projects for a couple of years now and it was about time they joined us for a full story, with one of their unique and amazing builds.
On the cold, damp autumn morning when we decided to shoot the Halloween special, there was a certain electricity in the air, you could feel it in the chaotic dance of the wind-tumbled leaves or in the grey skies that overlooked the whole city. No wonder we chose one of the scariest parts of town to do this material, as it went hand-in-hand with the car that AFS wanted to showcase.
Turning around on the empty streets, like a shark looking for prey, the Benz reached the location and we got to talk a bit about this particular project, while the cameras flickered right and left, just like you would do, when trying to catch a ghost on film.
The base car is a black Mercedes CLA W117, which had its ponies whopped up by a stage one Maxx Performance engine tuning. It features the Urban Package, as the fine people from Daimler like to call it, and it also has a panoramic roof, not to mention the cool gear-change paddles. Everything you would expect from a luxurious Benz, but that’s pretty much where the fairy tale ends...
2. Down The Rabbit Hole
The more we gazed upon the car, the more we understood just how much was invested in this specific project. It all starts out with a custom air-ride from Air Force Suspension, sitting on BC Racing BR-RA height and weight adjustable shocks, with 3P Air Lift Performance management. All this setup is perfectly complemented by the 19” modular 3-piece Rotiform wheels, with 5x122 ET 45, center bore 66.6, and 8.5 width specs.
On the outside, almost every element has been changed, starting with the side skirts, front bumper, and rear bumper, imported from a 45 AMG. The rear wing comes from Maxton Design and is specially made for the 45 AMG. So are the front lip, rear lip, side skirts elongations. Basically, a proper 45 AMG body kit, made by an uprising UK tuner.
But wait, the rabbit hole goes deeper still. The brakes have been removed and replaced with 45 AMG ones, both in the front, as well as in the back. The chrome trims have been blacked out and the final exhaust is custom made. Actually, think of Frankenstein’s monster, created in a correct way, with all the good pieces.
Halloween decors fill up the interior, too. Starting with the Alcantara wheel, blending perfectly with the carbon-fiber dashboard trims. When I took a closer look, those elements are actually the ones used on the CLA 45 AMG Edition One. Talk about a cool surprise, huh?
To top it all off, small tweaks have been added, for that complete and satisfying look. The aluminum pedals were taken off a 45 AMG, as were the AC ducts and ventilation grilles. The final little elements that we absolutely loved, were the custom-made red seatbelts.
4. Menace On The Streets
Modifying a car takes time, money, patience, and will. And the further you go with your project, the more and more you will become involved in it. It will drain every ounce of your creativity and budget. Some become consumed by it, even. But, at the end of every scary road, there’s that amazing silver lining that every car owner looks for. That warm feeling of getting in your car and driving, with no cares or worries ahead.
As we wrapped up and made plans for the Halloween dinner, I couldn’t shake that mystic feeling that the Benz had over me. Hypnotic, aggressive, with its hunkered-down stance and those amazing wheels, it’s the type of car that makes you look over your shoulder whenever you’re alone on the street. And we’re glad we got to spend Halloween with such an amazing machine. So, until next year, boo hoo hoo and stay safe!
Written by: Mihai Dumitrescu - Instagram
Photographed by: Anna Dumitrescu - Instagram