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Back in the early 2000's, if you couldn't afford an SLR, the next best thing was the SL55 AMG, a supercharged V8-powered roadster packing a considerable amount of grunt.

Straight out of the box, it was good for 500 PS (493 HP) and a very impressive 700 Nm (520 lb-ft) of torque, before the first facelift came and added a little extra muscle.

Of course, those figures pale in comparison to what you had if you paid tuner RENNTech $108,000, which is what former baseball player Ray Durham did back then. Yep, this exact model used to be his car.

The tuner added a big brake kit, upgraded the suspension, made the exterior look more aggressive and, of course, fiddled with the engine. This example features RENNTech'sStage 6 conversion, which is good for 615HP, or 575 WHP, way more than you get even in a brand new SL65 flagship.

So what did The Smoking Tire's Matt Farah think after driving this car? He found it very enjoyable (except for the slow gearbox), and even called it a great cruiser, although perhaps not ideal for twisty canyon roads due to its hot rod driving characteristics.

VIDEO

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