(From the Archives – Circa 2002)
Mercedes Benz 500-SL Time Machine
Combining the technology of the Stealth Fighter, the class of Mercedes Benz and the engineering prowess of Banks, this project is the ultimate blend of Funny Car and Pro Stock. Years ahead of its time in design and construction, the Benz project has been literally hand-crafted by Banks’ own speed demon, Rick “Speed” Lefever.
Lefever set out to build the lightest car body ever, which meant using materials more advanced and exotic than the carbon-fiber versions used on today’s Funny Cars. A collaboration with a company made up of former employees of the Lockhead Skunk Works (which developed the F117A Stealth Fighter) gave the Benz its skin—a Nomex honeycomb core sandwiched between layers of a carbon/kevlar composite skin. This car takes strength and lightweight to the max!
What will driving this beautiful beast be like? As Lefever describes it, “Imagine yourself sitting at a red light and a truck going 100-mph plows into the back of your car.” While jet pilots have been known to black out at 4.5-5 Gs, this baby will go from 4.5 Gs to a negative 4 Gs (after the chute deploys)—all within six seconds!
• Total body weight is only 28lbs—including the huge rear spoiler!
• Well over 2,500 horsepower on tap
• All-aluminum engine (526 cubic inches, multiple turbocharged, alcohol burning, electronic fuel injection)
• Every removable part is titanium—as are the pedals, the entire rear end housing, firewall, steering column… even the battery trays!
• Special ground effects system usually found only on Formula 1 and Indy Cars
• Zero to 100-mph in less than one second!
• Reaches speeds of 250-mph in a quarter mile!