HooptieX is like LeMons racing for off-road cars. But who’d ever think a 300D would work so well with a lift kit and mud tires?
There’s something entertaining about using a luxury car for a bit of tomfoolery. It’s like watching your straight-laced grade school principal ride away on a sport bike. It makes no sense, yet it’s absolutely cool. That’s exactly what we have here with this 300D built for competition as seen on the HooptieX challenge Facebook page. What is HooptieX? In essence, it’s a cheap car challenge, but with all of the competition happening off-road.
Starting with a W123 300D, this Mercedes is now a ready-to-run off-roader. A highly unique aspect is that it has been built by students at Dekaney High School. This school has an automotive shop, and they teach far more than just the usual tire changes and fluid flushes. As demonstrated by this build, this school teaches outside of the box thinking, and lets their students have a lot of fun along the way. We wish our high school was this much fun. Perhaps we would have paid more attention…
Anyway, starting with a 300D, the build seems to center around cramming as much wheel into the wheel well as possible. And when that doesn’t work, make the wheel wells bigger. Power comes from the OM617 turbo diesel engine. So right away you know it is going to be a tank. The final result is a 300D with all terrain tires, what appears to be a mild lift, and a cool hood-exit exhaust. Peek behind the window nets for driver and navigator, and you’ll see Kirkey racing seats for when the trails start getting really rough. All of which will come in handy when the HooptieX challenges start.
HooptieX is a mix of obstacle challenges, mainly rallycross style: timed runs against the clock, around cones on the dirt. Going one step farther, some challenges include technical trails, but there’s still an element of speed, so why not throw a jump or two in for good measure? Soft suspension from the factory makes the 300D a particularly good choice. If the students know how to yield a welder, we hope they got to the rear diff, too.