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1998 Mercedes E430 Death Kart Has a V8 and Not Much Else—and It’s for Sale

The seller of this old Benz removed the sedan's body and roof to turn it into a V8-powered go-kart.
Micah Walley

Car creativity knows no bounds. You have your straight-up weird builds, like an International Scout built off of a Nissan Titan XD; and your crazy ones, like a W12-swapped Nissan 350Z drift car. But this 1998 Mercedes-Benz E430 for sale might take the cake for both the weirdest and craziest I’ve happened upon in quite a while, because it is now a V8-powered missile-kart.

I’m not sure what could possess me to take a perfectly fine Mercedes sedan and turn it into a death kart, but it sure possessed seller Micah Walley. He reports that he’s driven the car for 80,000 miles, but did not note when it was converted into its current form. With 162,000 miles on the dash, there was plenty of time to consider when to chop the Benz up, though the listing doesn’t state the motivation to modify it. This might just be a classic case of well, why not?

Walley took the E430 and modified every single panel on it. The only recognizably Mercedes parts left are the hood, front doors, and a small portion of the trunk. The front and rear fenders, rear doors, and roof are either totally gone or modified to fit the kart aesthetic. The wheelbase was not hacked, despite the E430 looking shorter than a stock example, but the entire rear passenger space was replaced with a mid-mounted open-air storage area, while the trunk now serves as a fuel cell. The windshield was also cut down and turned into a pre-war speedster-style example of steampunk glory.

What remains is a 275-horsepower, 4.3-liter V8 running through a five-speed automatic gearbox and the forward portion of the E430’s interior that is in shockingly good shape. Walley says the car is “fast,” which feels believable considering the absurd weight savings that come from deleting most of a car. It runs and drives, but has a “slightly bent” rear axle.

The car’s currently residing in Seattle, and it could all be yours for just $3,000. I don’t think there’s a better way to party for the money—or flirt with a glorious-yet-quick death, if you’ve been itching for that sort of thrill.

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