Excalibur, a kind of Mercedes-Benz?

Excalibur series 1
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Excalibur, not a star, but a sword on the radiator

The Excalibur was a car made with inspiration and lots of fiberglass-reinforced polyester, with the 1928 Mercedes-Benz SSK as a shining example. By the way, only 28 of those Mercedes were made. The Excalibur was an idea of ​​Brooks Stevens who worked for Studebaker, which at the time imported Mercedes-Bens into the States.

The Excalibur SS prototype was built in just 8 weeks. At the New York Auto Show, he hit 1964 like a bomb. The coach was mounted on a Studebaker chassis and with an 290-hp Studebaker 289 CUI V-8. Studebaker then almost immediately stopped car production, which meant that he had to switch to another V8 supplier.

A good neighbor is better than a distant friend

Stevens then formed his own company to produce and market the cars, which became less and less 'Mercedes-Benz tribute car' and much more lavishly American over the course of their development under the rallying cry, "More is always better" . The Series 4 Sedan is pretty much the superlative of that. But first…

Stevens fortunately had friends at General Motors: Ed Cole and Semon Emil “Bunkie” Knudsen. He could handle that approach Chevrolet 327s 300 pk Corvetteblocks and transmissions and chassis, making the Excalibur with a short final drive a very fast car. The top speed was specified for> 200 km / h.

If desired, such an Excalibur could of course also be supplied with a Chevrolet 454 Big Block. Our archive does not state how many times the width of the road you needed at that speed. With the conventional American chassis, the Excalibur had to be the most gravitational in terms of handling. A little well-equipped Excalibur was well above the 2000 kilo.

Such an 3500 Excaliburs seems to have been built. In 1986 the party was over. But after that there have been several unsuccessful restarts. And there were and are people who started to provide parts.

Of the Series One most similar to the example, only about forty have been made. With a new price of $ 7.500 at the time, such a car was not even unaffordable. Now such a doorless Excalibur Series One is worth the top prize on the production line. Rightly so. Because the Series One are most like the Great Example. They even have a sober outline. Beautiful!

Excalibur: Nice for it

'These' masterpieces of American Engineering 'were of course just meaningless cars. They were also bought by people who ... well. By people who wanted to distinguish themselves. Who already had everything else. That included quite a few film and TV stars. They were 'toys'. That is why many of the specimens produced remained alive.

And most of them have driven fewer than 20.000 sunny kilometers. They are therefore often ZGAN cars where after purchase - or in the negotiation process - only a set of fresh tires, brake hoses and brake fluid are actually required. The sidepipes can be 'empty'. But if they are functioning, they are a priceless contribution to engine noise. An Excalibur is a 'cruiser'. Impressive with a traffic light sprint. At least surprising when it comes to tight steering and braking. No Mercedes-Benz genes can be found in the handling.

But an Excalibur is now a recognized classic

The technical parts supply is perfect. And strangely enough, there are quite a lot of specific parts for sale. And if you are not bothered that you are constantly checked by people with open mouths? Then such an Excalibur is even more fun.

The price of plastic

Ah. A Corvette is also made of plastic. And we don't blame such an icon either. Plastic cannot rust, but it does get blister-shaped. In that case you have to scour back to the blank 'plate'. But Excaliburs are not cheap. The prices are between € 50.000 and € 100.000. And if you are going to burn such a thick V8 on E10 - Small Blocks are indestructible - then you have to take into account that a consumption of 1 on 4 is a decent value. But oh well: at every fuel stop you will be admired again

Not a Star, but a sword
A doorless Series One
But how beautiful are we to find a Series 4 Sedan?



Give a reaction
  1. We have had a Series I for over 15 years; indeed 40 years old with relatively few kilometers. Didn't cost too much in the USA at the time. It was number 214, no doors, manual 327 ”with 350 hp kit. Great sound, super fast but only straight given the torsional stiffness of a fries container…. Sexy car!
    In the many years and many classics the only thing I have earned, he now drives in Japan.

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