AMG WITH A LOT OF DIY - Mercedes-Benz C32 AMG 2001 (W203)

Every modification in this Mercedes-Benz C32 AMG is pure Finnish handcraft. When Arto Pudas from Oulu couldn't find decent looking wheels, he manufactured them himself. No air suspension kits available? He manufactured one himself. This car has seen its share of labor and ingenious solutions.

Arto bought this Merc in the autumn of 2014. The car had seen its share of rough roads, and corrosion had bit its ugly teeth on it. The car was in decent shape anyway, and it was an AMG – a sight not too common on Finnish roads. Arto had both the expertise and workspace available to take care of said rust issues, and so he replaced his old S202 200 Kompressor with this somewhat more powerful model.
The idea to create three-piece wheels from one-piece wheels was inspired by some projects seen on Stanceworks' website. Arto bought a set of W211 E-model wheels to use as a base. These wheels were 7x16” in size, and the final size was supposed to be between 18” and 19”. RH-Wheels 40-bolt outer lips were suitable for 18” wheels, and with Radinox inner lips and golden bolts the wheels' final look was destined to be awesome. Lathing the W211 wheels took about eight hours, and after assembling all the parts the faces were polished and painted with pearl white. No weights were needed as balancers during tire balancing, so you could say the wheels are pretty damn good quality, and you'd be goddamn right.
At first Arto bought BC-Racing V1 coilovers, but he soon decided that he wanted an air suspension. After some research it became apparent, that there really were no air suspension kits available for this model. Another DIY project, then. After a brief consultation with LowToys, Arto started buying things and modifying stuff. The suspension was built around the aforementioned BC-Racing coilovers, with Aerosport bags in the front and SS-5 bags in the rear. The mountings for these bags had to be created from scratch, and the fitment was far from bolt-on. Insert ”long days in the garage.mp3” theme music here.
The spare tire well has been put to good use: it serves as a home for the tubular shaped air tank (DIY of course), compressors and gauges. The tank was tested with 15 bars of pressure, and it held like a charm. The tank was polished with insane detail, and it also shows. The bottom of the trunk has been lined with black fabric, and the magnetic valves and 6mm hoses are hidden under a plywood frame. The casing has also been lit with a LED strip. The fabrication is on another level, and you could talk about this particular installation for hours.
When the car was dropped, it was found that the front wheels rubbed agains the air bags. The inner lips were swapped to narrower ones (the front wheels are now 8,5”), 25mm spacers were installed and smaller front tires were bought. The wheels still rubbed agains the arches, so Arto had to weld them anew. After a few tries it was pretty much done, and the fenders were now many centimeters wider than stock. This of course meant that the front bumper was an eyesore, so it had to be modified with glass fiber and urethane. At the same time the fog light holes were ”plugged” and the license plate was relocated. A new Avantgarde front grille and an AMG badge iced the cake. This is probably the only bagged W203 in Finland, and there are not many globally that we are aware of.
The interior is pretty much stock, with the exception of a new headunit and a air suspension controller, which is located in the center console. During last winter the whole rear axle was removed and sandblasted. New brake lines, refurbished brakes, and decent rust protection were done also, and the car was finished for the summer of 2016. The major rust problems were taken care of when the car was bought, so the car is now totally rust free with a lot of brand new parts. For now Arto is just enjoying driving the Mercedes, which has worked flawlessly all this time. But the long, long winter is coming, and he does mention that the rear fenders need to widened to match the front, and maybe a repaint, and..



Mercedes-Benz C32 AMG 2001 (W203)




5-speed AMG automatic gearbox


BC-Racing V1 struts with DIY air suspension




Mercedes-Benz W211 wheels transformed into three-piece wheels, 8,5x18” (front) and 10x18” (rear)


Toyo T1-R 205/35 (front) and Nankang NS-2 225/35 (rear)


Widened front fenders, modified front bumper, carbon fiber rear diffuser, twin exhaust, new front grille, wind deflectors, facelift blinkers, badge removal, tinted windows


Air suspension components are installed in the trunk


Pioneer AVH-X5600BT, Bose audio system


354hp and 450Nm


Widened rear fenders and repaint


Olli, Laura, Juho Oinas, Juho Vakkuri, and dad for lending the garage

Build project: