In late April, the aftermarket and tuning community lost a true legend. BODO BUSCHMANN, founder of Brabus – the famed Mercedes tuning and aftermarket company – died on April 26. He was 62. He was a pioneer in the industry, blazing a trail that many others tried to follow. Leaving a wake of beautiful builds and quality tuning behind him.
His story started with humble roots in 1977. While in law school he was looking to modify his Mercedes but couldn’t find a company with the quality he was after. So, he created his own. Starting in a small garage in Germany, he quickly began turning an insatiable passion for cars into a worldwide empire. Even in his early days, his creativity and drive were too much for some. In fact, early on in Brabus’ history, co-founder Klaus Brackman left the company after receiving a payout of the equivalent of 100 euros. Bodo’s work was too extreme, Klaus was noted as saying.
Over the decades, Brabus went on to create some of the coolest, fastest and most-high tech builds the world has ever seen. He was a true artist, calling car modification a process of “refinement”. Never overbearing, his designs put tuning and the euro aftermarket scene on the map. Look at the Brabus 900 rocket for example- a beast of a car that generates 888bhp and 1,106 lb-ft of torque, and hits speeds of 230mph. These numbers placed the car into the Guinness book of world records.
He could see what others couldn’t and was responsible for helping build the scene that many euro enthusiasts are proud to be a part of. His company went on to enter the luxury jet and boat market, and even developed an OEM brand for the manufacturers who started noticing the quality of his work. Today, Brabus is the second largest Mercedes tuning company in the world, after Mercedes’ own AMG. In an industry full of legends, Bodo Buschmann is a giant among them. With Brabus’ work still being sought after by drivers on every continent, it’s safe to say his legend will live on for generations to come.
For giving the world some of the best driving machines it’s ever seen – we tip our hats to you, Bodo.
We’ll see you on the next lap.