Finnish W123 Diesel Drift Wagon Never Gets Old
Black Smoke Racing’s diesel drift wagon is an internet classic.
Teemu Peltola made waves back in 2010 with one of the craziest and best drift builds anybody has ever come across. Having won the Extreme Drift Challenge championship with a 414-horsepwoer Mercedes 190E the year before, the Finnish drifter wanted something a bit more extreme. He eschewed a Supra, like you’d typically see in drifting events, for what is surely the world’s best drift wagon: a W123 estate. Let’s revisit this madness, and its glorious wake of diesel and tire smoke.
The first thing Teemu did with the W123 was throw out the boat-anchor OM617. Instead, he installed a 24-valve 3.0-liter from a ‘98 E-Class. The particulate-puffing engine was left alone, except for a custom-made exhaust manifold. It used the exhaust gases to spin up a take-off Scania semi-tractor turbo, putting out 36 pounds of boost. 36 pounds! A homemade intercooler and upgraded diesel pump put out around 450 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of torque.
The transmission, a TKO-600, was probably at the limit of its torque-handling capacity, and the first attempts to run a Mercedes driveshaft and rear end destroyed four driveshafts in one weekend. Whoops. A Toyota Aristo — GS300 or GS400 here in the States — donated its diff and assorted other parts. The whole contraption sat on Mazda RX-8 coilovers.
CHECK OUT: What Forum Members Are Saying About This Classic Drift Wagon
Teemu and his Black Smoke Racing team moved on from the W123, going to a diesel-powered W203. That fresh build debuted in 2013, with more than 500 horsepower to the wheels. He later put in an even-more modern OM648 engine, which he still uses to turn diesel and tires into a whirling maelstrom of slate-gray drift smoke.
You can read all about the build in Jalopnik‘s 2010 article. Or check out Black Smoke Ltd.’s YouTube channel, where you’ll probably spend a couple hours watching the evolution of Teemu’s oil-burning Mercedes. Enjoy!