Long before nouveau-riche Russians provided the likes of Mansory, Techart, Hamann, Lumma and FAB Design with endless opportunities for creating automotive mutants, there were plenty of tuning and coachbuilding companies doing horrifying - yet fascinating - things to expensive cars.
And, thanks to the wonders of the internet, we have found our way to a place called 1000SEL.com. This, according to its creator, is "the only site on the web fully dedicated to coachbuilt, tuned and modified luxury cars from the 1975-1995 era".
Fancy a convertible Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit in lurid yellow? Course you do - and in 1986 you could have had one for just £200k courtesy of Autocostruzione SD. Or how about a W126 500SEC with gullwing doors? That'll be the Sbarro Shahin, then. Perhaps a stretched Range Rover with a Rolls grille is more your thing - Rapport Engineering would have been only too happy to help.
One thing really confuses us, though - what's the idea with putting stick-shifts into all those S-classes?
have a click through to 1000SEL.com, start making your way through the list of tuners and coachbuilders on the left-hand margin of the 1000SEL.com homepage and tell us your personal favourites - and if you've ever seen any of these beasts out on the road. But please don't blame us if you get no work done today...
Our thanks go to PHer RetroWheels for bringing the site to our attention in the first place, and to Bram Corts of 1000SEL.com for creating such a cornucopia of gaudy riches.