Rutledge Wood: Making Wagons Cool Again

Many may recognize Rutledge Wood as one of the hosts of the American version of Top Gear, while others may know him as one of the hosts of NASCAR Trackside. Others still may be more familiar with his work as the host of Floor is Lava and The American Barbecue Showdown on Netflix. Besides his many TV appearances, one of the things Rutledge is known most for is his unique taste in cars. With a garage filled with vehicles ranging from a 2005 Scion xB 2JZ and 2004 Volkswagen Jetta Ute to a 1949 Chevy 3100 Thriftmaster, to say his tastes are hard to pin down is a bit of an understatement.

However, the goal he has for his latest project is easy enough to understand. As he told us, “my plan for the build was to make a functional classic wagon.” And indeed, that is exactly the sort of vehicle this 1995 Mercedes-Benz Wagon is shaping up to be.

1995 Mercedes Benz on MagnaFlow lift


Upgrades Where It Counts


To make this ride a “functional classic wagon,” some upgrades were in order.  Rutledge sent the car out to California, where Iceboxx Customs installed a new Airlift suspension system using a Commonwealth Chassis Works bag bracket kit. He also had the car sent down to our team at MagnaFlow while its out here on the west coast to have a custom exhaust system installed.

Rutledge Wood's 1995 Mercedes-Benz Wagon on MagnaFlow dyno

Using MagnaFlow Custom Builder Parts, our team at the Tech Center was able to create a bespoke, stainless steel performance exhaust system that will deliver the sound, improved exhaust flow and performance that Rut wants for his wagon, without the noise being overwhelming. You see, the Benz has a third row of rear-facing seats where his daughters love to sit, which is why he doesn’t want the exhaust system to be too loud and overpowering. This particular custom exhaust system setup utilizes 2.25” mandrel bent main piping, a 5”x8”x14” offset/center layout mid muffler and 4”x9”x18” offset/offset layout rear muffler.

MagnaFlow rear muffler and tail pipe


MagnaFlow tailpipe

Once the car makes its way back to Atlanta, Rut has a few more upgrades in mind for the wagon, including a custom set of Rotiform 3-piece wheels designed to replicate a period look with modern sizing and fitment. He plans to wrap those wheels in a set of Continental Extreme Contact Sport DWS06 Plus tires to “get some real performance out of the car year-round.” Lastly, Rut wants to update the stereo with a new head unit and upgraded speakers. In his words, after that, “the plan is simple…put some miles on it!”

“the plan is simple…put some miles on it!”

 Close up of MagnaFlow exhaust on 1995 Mercedes-Benz Wagon

Friend of MagnaFlow


Rut made a point to tell us how happy he is “to be a part of the MagnaFlow Family and thrilled to have another vehicle that’s been through the Tech Center and gotten its own custom exhaust.” The man knows quality when he sees it, and we’re appreciative that he loves the attention to detail that we put into our exhaust systems.

We value having Rutledge Wood as part of our MagnaFlow family of brand ambassadors and look forward to seeing what sort of unique and special ride he asks us to help him work on next.

Interested in creating your own one-off exhaust system using MagnaFlow Custom Builder Parts? Here is a link where you can find the same components that Rut used on his ride, and more! As always, on you can search by year, make, model, trim and more for the exact exhaust systems, components and catalytic converters you’re looking for.

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Have questions? Give us a call at 1-800-990-0905, and we’d be happy to help.