Sam Philip10 June 2009

Merc’s CLonvertible

Californian modifier takes angle-grinder to big CL coupe, creates something very expensive

Californian-based garage Newport Convertible Engineering has a philosophy, and that philosophy runs something like this: there ain't much you can't turn convertible.

Having already created a drop-top Toyota FJ Cruiser, Chrysler 300C, Toyota Prius, Maybach 57 and, most inexcusably of all, a Range Rover (see pictures of the cars), NCE has turned its angle-grinding attention to Mercedes' big coupe, the S-Class-based CL.

Yes, you're looking at a convertible CL. Or, if you prefer, a convertible two-door S-Class. Sort of.

Rumours have been knocking around for a while that Mercedes is planning its own CL convertible - the CL coupe, it's said, was designed to make a convertible easy to engineer, and don't forget that the Ocean Drive concept we saw in Detroit a couple of years ago was effectively a convertible S600 - but with plans seemingly on the back burner, NCE decided to ditch the CL's roof in favour of an automatic folding soft-top.

No word on how much it'll cost yet, but be warned: though NCE's oft ill-advised conversions usually cost between $10,000 and $15,000, particularly complicated roofectomies have run into six figures. Eep.

So, the CLonvertible: what do you think? We can't decide if it's slightly cool in a old-school, Saab 900 convertible style... or just plain hideous? We're veering towards the latter...

Talking of drop-top disasters, here’s a clip of the telly boys lopping the roof off a Renault Espace and then trying it out in the lion enclosure at Woburn Safari Park: 

Now share it...

What do you think?

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