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Extremely Rare Isdera Imperator 108i on Sale for Nearly €1M

One of 17 made

Just 17 first generation cars were made, and this is the prototype

A German specialty car dealer in Düsseldorf is selling an incredibly rare Isdera Imperator 108iImperatorIsdera ImperatorGermany, 1984 > present1 photo
1 video
that is just one of 17 made. More than that, it is the prototype that the other Imperators were built from. It can be yours for €900,000.

The Isdera Imperator 108i has an odd and complicated history. Eberhard Schulz was an engineer at PorschePorschePorscheGermany, 1931 > present43 models
4654 photos
29 videos
who started his own company called Isdera in 1972 to create one-off sports cars. He decided to create a spiritual successor to the 300SL300 SL Gullwing CoupeMercedes-Benz 300 SL Gull...Germany, 1954 > 195731 photos
and began working on a concept called the CW311 that was finished in 1978. The name refers to the car's 0.311 coefficient of drag. The car was initially shown with the Mercedes star on the front without having asked for permission, but later Mercedes eventually allowed it. It is the only car ever designed outside of Mercedes to legally carry the brand's star.

Schulz decided that the CW311 would be a great car for his company's first series production car. It took until 1984 for a production version called the Imperator to be ready, but Isdera was able to build 17 of them from 1984 to 1991 and built 13 more second-generation models from 1991 to 2001. 

The Imperator production car is not exactly the same as the CW311. The exterior was enlarged to provide more passenger room, and the pop-up headlights were replaced with fixed units. Instead of the mid-mounted 6.9-liter V8 from the CW311 that was shared with the 450 SEL, the Imperator got a 5.0-liter Mercedes V8 with 235hp with a five-speed manual.

The body was made from fiberglass that covers a tubular steel space frame. The weirdest part of the design was the top-mounted rearview mirror that could be viewed through a window in the roof. 

The car on sale in Germany was the first made and acted as the prototype and car driven by the press. The original engine has been replaced with a 5.5-liter AMG-tuned V8 with 405ps (400hp) and a new intake manifold, forged crankshaft and new exhaust. The seller claims that it brings the top speed to over 300km/h. The suspension has received titanium springs and adjustable stabilizers. It has covered 60,000km since new.

It will be interesting to see if any buyers emerge for a nearly 30-year-old German supercar for almost €1 million.

Source: Porsche Performance Hoffmann and Car Scoop

V 8 ( 90.0º vee)
338 cu in
Top Speed
171 mph
5, Manual
Maximum power
279 hp @ 5200 rpm
Fixed-head coupé
Fuel consumption (combined)
annual ownership cost
$ 1.042




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