Man builds Mercedes C9 in his shed

For most of us, it'd be folly to try and build the things we dream up in the bath. Like, say, a one-man eco car. Or a Bauhaus-themed motorhome. Or a Geoff. But if you're called Johan Ackermann, that's precisely what happens when, one day, you think it might be nice to drive a roadgoing version of your favourite racer, the Mercedes C9.

Yep, this is a completely road-legal remake of the 1989 Le Mans winner, built using Mercedes Benz parts by South African, Johan. So, technical specs? Under the bonnet, there's 3.2-litre Benz V6 that's been fitted with a twin-turbo layout similar to the real C9. The results? 370hp and 450Nm of torque at 5000rpm. Fruity.

Slowing it down is a set of S600 V12 front brakes and E500 Sports Pack front brakes fitted to the rear, while underneath there's a sort of hybrid chassis, that bolts Johan's own setup to a modified C-Class front and rear subframe. Using a book written on the C9, he built it so it shared its wheelbase and track with the original car.

So, that body. There weren't any dimensions available for the shell, so Johan scaled up measurements from a 1/32 scale slot car, built a lightweight metal frame, then skinned it with 4mm-thick... cardboard. After which he coated it with diluted resin and fiberglass cloth on both sides. All told, and thanks to the slightly unorthodox materials, the whole jamboree weighs just over 1000kg.

Johan says: "It's great fun to drive - like a giant go-cart, and it sure steals the show on the freeway as most people can't believe what they [are] seeing. The build took 16 months from start to roadworthy, mostly part time. For me it was a labour of passion."

We salute you, Johan. And wholeheartedly support your shed-based endeavours.

Anyone out there building something daft this summer? If you aren't, click on for more pictures, they might just inspire you...