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Newsletter No.119 April 2009

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Hello and welcome to the latest Newsletter.

In this newsletter we have a reminder of the invitation to have dinner or a BBQ with me, news of a mystery, news of the new E class coupe and the usual list of interesting links for you to check out.

Please don't forget that if you have any ideas for Newsletter content please let us know .

Thanks, John & Sandra Green.

Australian made Crayford's, do they exist????

For some time the three known Australian owners of W116 "Crayford" wagons have been trying to get to the bottom of a mystery. You see, we believe that these were converted here in Australia, and that more than just the 5 we know of exist. The following information was dug up by Chris Martin who now owns theGreen 280SE wagon that we had a few years ago.

Last year I sent a request for any info on the history of the Crayford wagons in Australia to Classic and Sports Car magazine, and long after I had forgotten about it, they published it in the March 2009 issue. Consequently, I received the following info from a former employee who remembered building one or maybe two Mercedes /Crayford wagons.

He was apprenticed to a restoration company in Melbourne in 1976, this company, named Dawes and North Coachbuilders was born from the ill fated Illinga project, of which 2 cars were finished and shown at the Melbourne Motor Show in the mid '70's. Some of the workers in the Illinga business, Tom Dawes and Laurie North formed the company and employed many of the original guys, the company shared the Davies Craig Thermatic Fan factory in Port Melbourne and then moved into bigger premise in Keysborough.

The company then morphed into Dawes and Jones...when Laurie North got out and went to work for Holden. At some time it then became Dawes, Jones and Hawkins, (he admits his memories of this time are a bit vague)......Neville Hawkins was, at the time a wealthy entrepreneur and also a car enthusiast who had one of the wagons.

It may have been blue, he imported 1 maybe 2 kits from England and they built one...the silver car, and may have done the second car too.

He did have pictures, but alas they have long since gone.

Hawkins departed, and the company struggled on until the owner of the factory, who by this time was owed many months in back rent pulled the pin and locked the place up.

Dawes and a fellow worker Adrian Chapman moved the business to Moorabbin and continued there for a time.

".....the only other guy that may be able to help you is a guy by the name of Allan Jones, he lived in Waverely or maybe Endevour Hills I think, he was one of the partners in the business, and was a mechanic, he was with the company when I joined them in 1976 and was there at least until 80, 81. Tom Dawes was the principle of the business, he was an englishman who had worked with a number of Formula one teams before settleing in OZ.....I heard he later became destiute and was living on the streets.....I do not know how true this is. Laurie North went to work for Holden and lived in Noble Park (?) and Neil Davies was a the forman / panel beater he lived in Footscray or somewhere over that part of town and Adrian Chapman was the guy Tom started up the business again, with..... I think he is in Queensland. I hope this may help......"

Now I are telling you guys all this info is, I was wondering if any Newsletter readers may have heard of any of these companies or the people mentioned in the story?? The blue car that is mentioned is most likely my280SELas it has Australian compliance. The Silver car may be my450SELbut this is less likely as it is not an Australian complied car.

So if you know anything of this mystery pleasesend me an e-mail.

In the meantime here are some other great links to look into the history of these very rare wagons:

- Gordon Balfour-Haynes (AKA Ozbenzhead) has a great site with lots of info. You can find his site here.

- Christian Dannert has his own register of W114/115 Crayford wagons both living and deceased. You can find it here.

New chemical element discovered..

Lawrence Livermore Laboratories has discovered the heaviest element yet known to science.

The new element, Governmentium (symbol=Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton like particles called peons. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert.

However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from 4 days to 4 years to complete. Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2 to 6 years.

It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration.

This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass. When catalysed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium (symbol=Ad), an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium, since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

Thanks for the praise.

After each Newsletter I always get a few e-mails full of praise, I know I don't always respond to all of them but please be assured I do appreciate them,. Here is just one.

Thanks for the newsletter, it continually gets better and more interesting...given the limited time available to compile everything while running a business it is very good. Keep up the good work..


E class coupe.

Not since the W124 range has there been a coupe version of a mid size sedan. The W208 CLK was based on the W202 C class and the W209 CLK was based on the W211 E class but neither really shared their looks like the W124 coupes did with their sedan counterparts. Well, this is all about to change with the release of a coupe version of the new E class coupe. These will be badged E350/E500 etc, so will be different to the CLK. Here is the press release.

Stuttgart - Just three months after the international debut of the new E-Class saloon in Detroit, Mercedes-Benz will unveil the stunning coupé version of the new E-Class at next month's Geneva Motor Show.

The world's oldest car maker is adding a special highlight to the new E-Class range whilst at the same time maintaining a model tradition that has been the source of great excitement throughout the history of the popular E-Class.

The new E-Class Coupé offers a very special combination of two attributes for which the Mercedes brand is well known: fascination and efficiency. With its classic coupé side aspect - no B-pillars and fully retractable side windows - this new two-door car is a particularly sporty interpretation of the E-Class's dynamic design.

At the same time the most aerodynamic variant of these coupés achieves a new world best in terms of drag coefficient: with a Cd-figure of just 0.24, this model is the world's most aerodynamically efficient series-production car.

The model programme includes two new 4-cylinder engines, which consume up to 17% less fuel whilst offering a significant increase in performance and torque.

The new E-Class Coupé's standard-fit AGILITY CONTROL suspension adjusts automatically to the current driving situation. It combines driving enjoyment and excellent handling with maximum comfort.

The new E-Class Coupé will be in the showrooms of the European Mercedes-Benz dealerships and company-owned sales outlets at the beginning of May 2009.

The new Coupé offers all the technical innovations of the new E-Class series, features which customers expect to find in a sports-oriented luxury coupé. These include selective damper control, drowsiness detection, preventive occupant protection and an Active Bonnet.

As a feature specific to the Coupé, the Dynamic Driving package allows different suspension setups at the touch of a button.

Adaptive Main Beam Assist, road sign recognition and an automatic emergency braking system are other features with which the new series sets standards in this vehicle category.

The E-Class also takes on a pioneering role in the drive sector.

The new diesels and direct-injection petrol engines combine efficiency with an effortless power delivery.

The engine line-up includes two new four-cylinder models which deliver significantly more power and torque while consuming up to 17 percent less fuel.

The best example is the twin-turbo diesel E 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Coupé, which consumes 5.3 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres and emits 139 grams of CO2 per kilometre, making it one of the most economical vehicles in its class.

This exemplary low fuel consumption rate has been achieved not only been because of the new engines, but also due to a number of practical measures.

These include on-demand activation of the steering and fuel pumps, the use of tyres with low rolling resistance and an alternator control system which takes account of the current driving situation and the vehicle's electrical power requirements, plus the very important contribution made by outstanding aerodynamics.

MBCWA Presidents dinner

I would like to extend an invitation to all WA Newsletter readers (and any east coasters for that matter) to attend the Mercedes-Benz club of WA Annual Presidents dinner. Details as posted on their website: look in the calendar section...

Date 17.04.2009, 19:30 Hour
At West Perth
Organisers Mercedes-Benz Club WA Australia
Country Australia
Event Partner
Event Location Perth Soccer Club
Street / No. Dorrien Gardens, 3 Lawley Street
Postcode / City West Perth
Contact Chris Flamer
Telephone 08 9444 7685 (ah)

Join our President, Jeremy Ludlow, at the annual President's Dinner for 2009.Please note that this event has recently been rescheduled to Friday 17 April 2009.

Our guest speaker will be John Green, proprietor of MB Spares and Service in Canberra, and sponsor of the well known enthusiasts' forum

Anyone who's been to the President's Dinner in the four years we've run it will remember a fabulous evening, where the meal is memorably good and the company excellent. We're aiming to make this a big night in 2009, and in addition to our guest speaker, have some special prizes arranged for every table.

The cost will be $75 per person and we have arranged a delicious menu for the evening. The menu begins with antipasto, continues with either veal parmigiana or snapper fillets, and finishes with tiramisu. We're encouraging members to bring along friends and family members - especially any who are Mercedes-Benz or smart owners. If you can, please make up a table of up to ten people.

It's a chance to dress up and have a big night out with great company. Arrive at 7pm for canapés and sit down at 7.30pm for a wonderful 3-course meal. Venue is the Perth Soccer Club, Dorrien Gardens, 3 Lawley Street, West Perth WA 6005.

Tickets are available by pre-booking only and payment may be made by credit card.

Yes folks that's right I must be getting famous or something as they have invited me to come and bore them with stories about the business and MB's in general. To be honest I feel very honoured by the invitation and am excited to be attending this event. Just to give you some idea, they had Allan Moffat last year!

The members of the OZBENZ forum are also arranging a BBQ for the Saturday night. Detail of this will be posted here, but it will be the 18th of April.

Upcoming events.

Here is the current list of upcoming events. If you know of an event that would be of interest to our Newsletter readers please e-mail me with the details as you will see below it does not necessarily have to be an exclusively Mercedes-Benz related event. The plan is not to put each clubs entire calendar on here, just the major events. Here are a few that I know are coming up:

25th August 2009 . Shannons Eastern Creek Classic, an excellent event run by the NSW Council of Motor Clubs and is open to all clubs and their members. It is a great family day out and you even get a chance to do a lap of the circuit in your car!! More details here.

17th May 2009.Mercedes-benz Club of Victoria Concours d'Elegance Held in conjunction with the RACV Classic Showcase promoted by the AOMC at Flemington Racecourse. Discounted Concours entry fee when paid on or before the April Club Meeting. More details here .

13th September 2009. Mercedes-Benz club of NSW Concours d'Elegance is the highlight of the club year. A time when the Club exhibits its marque to Club members and the general public. The 2009 event will be held at Parramatta Park, Parramatta NSW. Enquiries to Karen Fail ph 02 9482-2216 or Concours Director

20th September2009.Mercedes-Benz club of the ACT annual Concours, held in conjunction with the ACT German Autofest. More details next newsletter, but you can see some pictures from the 2008 event here.

April 2010. Yes I know that is a long way off, but there is no harm in advance planning. The Mercedes-Benz club of WA will be celebrating their 50th birthday and running the next Bi-annual Mercedes-Benz Clubs of Australia rally from April the 23rd till the 26th. It will be followed immediately by a tour of the South West of WA from the 27th till the 31st of April. You can register your interest in this event by e-mailing them here . Further details will appear on this website soon .

Links of the month.

- We get a lot of questions about what wheels fit and don't fit. You also see these questions all the time on the various forums. So have a look at this site for a great list of what fits.

- Hmmmm, interesting story here

- How many firsts for Mercedes-Benz can you count in this YouTube video.. Not to mention some excellent historical footage.

- And while we on the subject of heritage, here is a new website from the same people that do the website.

- Like to buy a Mercedes cartoon??

- OK, you would have to be bored to do this.

- Here are a pile of pictures of the new E class sedan, these are so much better than the "factory shots"

Cars for sale.

Well I guess it was not much of a surprise when both C250's were sold within days of the Newsletter being published, we have also sold the C200K and the 450SL. The 450SL is currently making its way to sunny Cairns to be with its new owner.

We have a pile of new cars coming including a 95 SL500, a 2001 C180 and a 2003 ML270. Unfortunately the only one I have any pictures of at this stage is the SL500. If you are interested in any of these cars we will be e-mailing out the details with pictures to the customers who have registered their interest in these models on the website.

We also have a very neat E320 sedan that arrived a few weeks ago.

Click here for details of the SL500, but please ignore the wheels!! It has a very good documented history and only 68000kms . This car has some great options like "Leather exclusive" which is a hand stitched dash board in leather that matched the seats rather than a vinyl one. It also has the very rare Panorama roof option. Like the A160 I mentioned last Newsletter these have all of a sudden become very affordable at only $29990.00.

Here is the option list:


leather exclusive anthracite or black (571)



polar white (T) (с 01.01.1992)


polar white (T) (с 01.01.1992)



self-levelling suspension all-around, with adaptive damping system (ADS) (с 01.02.1988 по 31.01.1996)


left front seat electrically adjustable with memory feature. only applicable to w 210 when installed in conjunction with code 275. (с 01.03.1983)


right front seat electrically adjustable with memory feature. only applicable to series w 210 when installed in conjunction with code 275. (с 01.03.1983)


mirror with memory circuit (с 01.02.1988 по 01.09.1996)


trunk set, (280 SL)
steering wheel with sports design (390 mm dia.) and gearshift lever in leather trim (с 01.05.1990)
steering wheel (390 mm) with sports design (с 01.03.1989)


additional lamp (с 01.09.1982)



instrument with mileage reading and english lettering (с 01.04.1990)


automatic antenna and front loudspeaker - without radio set (model 500SEC with loudspeaker only) (с 01.10.1989)


anti-theft warning system (с 01.11.1978 по 31.03.1998)


rear seats used on sl models (с 01.01.1963)


automatic climate control (с 01.01.1977)


heat-insulating glass, all-around, heated rear window pane (laminated glass), band filter
green heat-insulating glass all round, heated rear window, laminated safety glass - tinted strip (с 01.01.1972)


headlamp wiper/washer (с 01.08.1971)


lamp unit, asymmetrical, l.h. traffic (с 01.02.1963)



fire extinguisher (с 01.04.1970)


folding top fabric9001 black (с 01.08.1972)


Technical changes of modelling year 1995 (с 01.01.1994 по 19.10.1997)


closing system with infrared remote control (с 01.02.1988)

Don't forget Sandra's Viano 7 seat van , have had this for sale for some time and I must admit it is a difficult vehicle to sell. The main problem is that most people don't even know that Mercedes-Benz do a "Tarago" style people mover. This has been our family transport for the last two years and is a great vehicle for a large active family. It has been a wonderful car, over Christmas we drove to Melbourne, across to Adelaide and back via the Hay plains averaging 9lts per 100kms for the trip including driving around Melbourne and Adelaide. Not bad for such a big car.

You can check out all the cars we have for sale here.

New cars into stock include:

SL500 1994 only 68000kms

C180 Classic 2001, low mileage (pictures soon)

ML270 2003 seven seat, Luxury version (pictures soon)

E320 Elegance sedan 1998 only 125000kms

Cars sold include:

C200K Sports coupe

C250 Diesel

C250 Diesel

450SL Roadster, 1979 great history

Also in stock we have:

300SE sedan 1988 model

280CE coupe 1978 only 154000kms

Viano Ambiente

170S, classic sedan

170SD, classic Diesel sedan

W114 long wheel base sedan project

450SLC 1976 model

Paddy V's the French

And finally seeing as I have upset our Public Service customers I may as well upset our Irish and French customers at the same time.

The French President is sitting in his office when his telephone rings.

'Hallo, Mr. Sarkozy!' a heavily accented voice said. 'This is Paddy down at the Harp Pub in County Clare , Ireland .. I am ringing to inform you that we are officially declaring war on you! We voted to reject the Lisbon treaty!'

'Well, Paddy,' Sarkozy replied, 'This is indeed important news! How big is your army?'

'Right now,' says Paddy, after a moment's calculation, 'there is myself, me Cousin Sean, me next door neighbour Seamus, and the entire darts team from the pub. That makes eleven!'

Sarkozy paused. 'I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 100,000 men in my army waiting to move on my command.'

'Begoora!' says Paddy. 'I'll have to ring you back.'

Sure enough, the next day, Paddy calls again. 'Mr. Sarkozy, the war is still on. We have managed to get us some infantry equipment!'

'And what equipment would that be Paddy?' Sarkozy asks.

'Well, we have two combines, a bulldozer, and Murphy's farm tractor.'

Sarkozy sighs amused. 'I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 6,000 tanks and 5,000 armoured personnel carriers. Also, I have increased my army to 150,000 since we last spoke.'

'Saints preserve us!' says Paddy. 'I'll have to get back to you.'

Sure enough, Paddy rings again the next day. 'Mr. Sarkozy, the war is still on! We have managed to get ourselves airborne! We have modified Jackie McLaughlin's ultra-light with a couple of shotguns in the cockpit, and four boys from the Shamrock Bar have joined us as well!'

Sarkozy was silent for a minute and then cleared his throat. 'I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 100 bombers and 200 fighter planes. My military bases are surrounded by laser-guided, surface-to-air missile sites. And since we last spoke, I have increased my army to 200,000!'

'Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!' says Paddy, 'I will have to ring you back.'

Sure enough, Paddy calls again the next day. 'Top o' the mornin', Mr.Sarkozy! I am sorry to inform you that we have had to call off the war.'

'Really? I am sorry to hear that,' says Sarkozy. 'Why the sudden change of heart?'

'Well,' says Paddy, 'we had a long chat over a few pints of Guinness and packets of crisps, and we decided there is no fookin' way we can feed 200,000 prisoners .

So that's it for another newsletter . Hope you liked what you saw. If you have any ideas or want to contribute any articles, pictures or other material please e-mail me here. Also, don't forget that you can check out the old newsletters here
Thanks, John Green.