Tom Heap first came to our attention a few years ago, when he started what we can only describe as “pushing boundaries” with wheels. Said wheels were built to be the perfect spec for his first Mercedes W124 300CE. After a good few years at the forefront of our scene in the UK, Tom decided he wanted a change, and the only way was to sadly break his infamous Benz. Several strange vehicle based escapades later, Tom concluded that nothing gave him anything like that warm fuzzy feeling better than his old Merc. So, the search began for another 300CE, with the corpse of the previous incarnation languishing in Toms back garden goading him on. One day, whilst trawling the classifieds, he happened across the Azurite Blue beauty that became this very car. With nothing more than a gazebo in his garden, Tom wasted no time in changing the car beyond all recognition. With the body resto completed in record time, he decided on Audi White over grey to complete the look. Fresh, yet with more than a subtle nod to period correctness.
This was an absolute gem of a find. With more than a few obscenely rare parts already attached, Tom couldn’t believe his luck! Between the factory car and his skill for tracking down parts made of finest unobtanium, the car now has a genuine Zender front bumper, AMG side skirts, rear bumper, grill, rear lights and spoiler. To complete the 90s drug Miami drug dealer look, Tom tracked down what could be the only genuine Hella heckblende in the UK. If you didn’t know better, it could almost be factory.
When it came to the suspension, air ride was always going to be the only route. Of course, this was all custom work, as no kits were available for the car. We’re big fans of custom work here at WCS; taking something off the shelf is far to easy. To create the suspension set up, some severe head scratching was required. In the end, BMW E36 front struts were modified to fit the car, then tweaked to host the all important bag of air. The rear was a little simpler, with just a pair of modified Sportline shocks and bags needed to get the coupe laying frame.
It’s no secret that Tom is a self confessed “wheel whore“. After a LOT of deliberation and test fits, he finally decided to make his own set up using 2 different, but very similar, OZ wheels; Fitipaldis and Futuras. The fronts are OZ Futuras, measuring in at 17″x9.5J with 3″ Lips, with the rears coming in at a staggering 17″x12J with a 5” lip. The finishing touches came by way of OZ Flat centre caps with a carbon ring, and Gold Hardware. A surprisingly restrained look, but they really do suit the car perfectly. One we think even Elliot (Wheel Whores Owner) would be proud of.
When thinking of the interior of old Mercs, one conjures images of worn leather wingbacks, inhabited by bespectacled, slightly portly gentlemen in smoking jackets. Not so for Tom’s; He decided to remove the standard, slightly bulky, seats, and go for something a bit different. Enter stage left a set of tan leather BMW E36 Vaders, removed from their original home in an M3. With an Ital Volanti steering wheel, the inside really looks and feels like something special.
Photography by Mathew Bedworth
You can check out the full shoot here https://flic.kr/s/aHskbogV2D