672hp Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black Series – Wild Ride


The teaching profession isn’t renowned for its selection of vehicles. Educating a class of students doesn’t lead many to want, or perhaps to afford, exotic transport. Nevertheless there should always be the exception, and Joseph Galante from Seattle, WA is the rule-breaker with the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black Series the truth is here.

Although he’s a school principal, Joe has belonged for the modified car scene for several years, tracing his participation to the early events of Hot Import Nights and being involved ina small role in F&F: Tokyo Drift.

For his next project, Joe knew he wanted something equally as rare and similarly performance focused. Although the show scene was always about vehicle aesthetics and presentation, I usually had a performance mindset, Joe explained. So, despite never taking his previous cars near a track, each of them had the capability to perform.insane and scarce vehicle, he vowed to keep it stock. Yet in the time it took him to find one, a set of wheels and suspension had somehow come into his possession.

With few CLK63 AMG Black Series cars available, they were being snapped up fast. He only found this example after hitting refresh on his web browser. Because brief moment, a dealership in Santa Barbara, CA posted the car and a flight was booked.

Only getting two speeding tickets on his way home was seen as a success by Galante, who clearly enjoys his driving but confirmed the lunatic trustworthiness ofa number of mild mods included Vorsteiner carbon pieces,wheels and exhaust, etc. I had no idea it would get out of hand, Joe laughed as he recalled the early days.

Having built many show cars, Galante had secretly fostered a desire to create his own race team. I had developed the notion that I dreamed of being a racecar driver, he explained. He wanted an auto that could compete for time attack and autocross trophies, rather than simply Best Paint or Best Wheels – the Mercedes CLK63 AMG Black Series was that car.

2008 mercedes benz CLK63 AMG black series cantrell motorsports rollcage 07

2008 mercedes benz CLK63 AMG black series cantrell motorsports rollcage 08

2008 mercedes benz CLK63 AMG black series cantrell motorsports rollcage 09

Stainless steel cage meets NASA regulations and includes aluminum driver protection zone

Fluid MotorUnion

He admits to getting caught up in the dream, going so far concerning contact Fluid MotorUnion (FMU) in Plainfield, IL. He wanted an exhaust system and, after seeing the company’s work online, flew co-owner/founder OJ Lopez to Seattle to go about the project.

The criteria were simple: he wanted something better and unique than currently available. Even though FMU was working on simply that, Joe got word that Mobil 1 would exhibit his car at the SEMA Show.

This took everything up a notch and that led to the hue change, swapping its silver hue for JG Grey Pearl paint. JG represents Joe Galante, with the custom mix named in his honor. It was developed by BASF, a firm he’d dealt with on numerous builds in past times, and this wasn’t some fast solution. With the AMG Black Series engine and interior stripped, the car was painted inside and outsidecare of Fluid MotorUnion, a company with the enviable track record of imaginative custom builds, OJ Lopez simply instructed the car’s owner, Trust me, I have a great idea…

The Mercedes-Benz has continually evolved within the three years of ownership, even though the idea was really a version of what you see here. It started with a stage 2 supercharger from Weistec Engineering based upon an M156 2.3-liter twin-screw compressor. The kit included an aura-to-water intercooler, cast aluminum inlet manifold and throttle body inlet, new fuel rail, mounting brackets, serpentine belt and software.

Stage 2 was meant for cars using a high-flow exhaust system, which FMU took care of with its custom headers, X-pipe and exhaust system. It has a bypass valve, activated with a switch around the console labeled silence and violence, creating the project’s name in the process.

With the ability to be uncorked to scare small children, dogs, etc, though the idea ended up being to allow the exhaust to be muted to meet racetrack noise regulations.662 and 672hp lb-ft, and Joe reports seeing around 600hp at the wheels on the dyno. In the past I used to pay attention to every horsepower but now I’m happy with enough, he laughed.

As for the stock seven-speed transmission, it wasn’t designed for motorsport applications so the crew discussed a manual conversion. Weistec came to the rescue with its rebuilt 722.9 auto transmission that uses a hardened gearset and internals, an uprated clutch pack and valve body along with revised control software that features rev-matching for downshifts.

The stock 500hp CLK63 AMG already enjoyed a reputation as being an untamable animal, so the extra horsepower didn’t calm it down any. And as if to provoke the beast further, FMU stripped about 500 lb of weight by discarding the air-con, interior panels, insulation material, and radio/nav head unit (now replaced with a panel labeled Genuine Cardboard Fiber).

It never experienced a lack of power either, though The car still weighs about 3400 lb, Joe proclaimed, so it’s not really lightweight. It’s definitely a fewset of ADV.1 wheels – another company Joe had worked with closely in the past, in addition to Pirelli,Moton and Brembo, etc. All these brands would be involved with the CLK63.

ADV.1 supplied a collection of its a different one-piece 10.1 SL Super Light Track Series wheels, designed to shed pounds but maintain strength. Although only 20 lb per corner, the team had planned to fit 18s to access a broader array of track tires, but they wouldn’t fit throughout the enormously expensive Brembo GT-R motorsport brake kit: They were about $17000 and ridiculously expensive! Joe declared.

Using six-piston calipers up front and four-piston rears, the 15 and 13.6 rotors, respectively, demanded clearance. Fortunately, Pirelli was able toto include even more downforce

Keeping the rubber glued to the road are several carbon fiber aerodynamic upgrades that include a Vorsteiner DTM front spoiler and Varis Euro GT rear wing on carbon mounts. However, the FMU adjustable diffuser takes the cake. It’s actually a Formula One-style blown diffuser that utilizes the hot exhaust gases to contribute to its aero efficiency. Our basic math calculated the diffuser contributes about 20 lb of downforce on both sides, our school principal explained.

Moton had never built suspension for your Black Series before, so FMU dispatched the stock dampers to Holland and received some two-way adjustable, remote reservoir dampers in turn. These were matched to Swift Racing springs and Moton front upper pillow ball mounts, while FMU created adjustable rear control arms to help with suspension geometry.

The final task of establishing the car traveled to Cantrell Motorsports in Bellevue, WA. They optimized the geometry and fabricated a six-point welded-in rollcage, as an experienced racecar preparation center. Constructed from 1.75 diameter 304-grade stainless steel, the job took a couple of weeks as they experimented with bracing and arranged several fitting sessions for Joe. There’s also an aluminum driver’s side impact-suppression structure, which Justin Elin at Cantrell confidently expects to pass any NASA tech inspection in the event it finally reaches the racetrack.

Is the project finished? It’s as complete as I’m willing to bring it, Joe explained. It’s now time to utilize it. It’s a chance to smell the flowers.

Since I’ve done some local training, I needed more seat time to get comfortable with the automobile. My goal is to find time and energy to enter a couple of events and ultimately create the race team I’d always thought about.