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The first thing you have to understand is that something that is “different” isn’t necessarily better. You can beat a car’s body with a shovel and that would make the car different. But we doubt anyone would say it is better. And so we have here Las Vegas performer Wayne Newton’s custom 380 SL Mercedes. Yes, it is different.

Yes, this custom Mercedes is different. No, it’s not good

But is this custom Mercedes better than a stock SL? No, not by a long shot. There is nothing compelling or sexy about what singer Newton had done to his different SL. That’s why we prove again that money can’t buy taste. This wasn’t designed so much as it was discharged.

We don’t know what would compel someone to take a classic SL and mangle it up like this. Oh, we know it is about stature, exclusivity, and the need for attention. But we don’t get why the end result would look so hideous? Maybe to embarrass Mercedes. Or Newton?

We have no idea why someone would do this to a Mercedes SL

The reason this monstrosity has reared its ugly head is that it is going to auction. A Barrett-Jackson auction in Las Vegas, to be specific. The idea of having something that was in the possession of a well-known performer will compel someone to step up and buy this POS. And if that item were truly a beautiful custom car, it would be understandable. 

But the only reason to buy this is for some YouTuber to haul ass to the local car crusher and film it for his or her fans. While it is being crushed. That way it will have existed for a reason. And that reason is for the entertainment of YouTube fans and the satisfaction of those who feel it shouldn’t exist because it is so horrible. 

The auction house notes with glee that “every surface of the car has been touched.” Well, OK, then! The sharp-edged, blunt front is made worse by the out-of-scale rectangular headlights that don’t quite follow the plan view. Mercedes should sue to have its copper-plated badge removed from the grille. 

The sloughed-off rear ends with still more sharp-edged details hinting at the sheet metal origins of its customization. On a vehicle with stamped steel body parts the obviously fabricated “custom” front and rear look awkward. But whoever performed this mess had no concept of continuity. 

There is a Katana-like knife for a door handle. Why?

The heavy-handed copper trim at the beltline incorporates a katana-like Japanese sword-like door handle. Who knows why this was done? You can see from the handle detail that all of the body mods incorporate hard-edged fabrication that fights with the rest of the car. 

The driveline and interior remain stock. Why this desecration was limited to the outside is unknown. Buried into the press release is that Niko Sokol of Niko-Michael Coachworks gets the blame for the mods. They were known for hacking up Rolls Royce sedans into convertibles and other less notable conversions. 

This looks like the company’s most ambitious attempt at a redesign. Obviously, it didn’t endear other monied dimwits to have a similar mistake applied to their own elegant steeds. It takes a special person to want to drive this. We won’t say what kind.