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Newsletter No.032 Franks 250SL, The Otto system, 1300 number.

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Newsletter Number 32

Hello and welcome to another newsletter.

Sorry it has been awhile since the last newsletter, things have been very busy with the Christmas rush at work and all the work I put into the Campervan to go away with it at Christmas. I trust that all of you had a Merry Christmas and will have a Happy and prosperous New Year.

John Green.

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Another great story.

Remember the story last year of the 630K. Well here is another one. On the Veterans mailing list is a chap called Frank Mallory who owns a 250SL. Nothing special there until I tell you it has a five speed manual transmission and a limited slip diff. Now here is the rest of the story.

On the Vets list we were discussing lots of things including chromed engine bays. As most of you would know Mercedes-Benz don't come with chromed engine bays. Wrong, here is the story as told by Frank.

I got a job assignment working in Holland starting in Jan., 1967; so I sold the Gullwing, 220S Coupe, 190SL, and Volvo P1800 I had at the time and figured I would buy a new 250SL configured the way I wanted it (5-speed, limited slip, etc); delivery to coincide with the MBCA Stuttgart Saffari so I could take advantage of the VIP treatment that Club members got at that time.

The 250SL was introduced at the Geneva Auto Show in March '67. So I went to the show and when looking over the 250SL show car, noticed that the engine was finished very specially: Valve cover painted black, aluminum parts polished, injection lines and other pipes chrome plated. So I asked the Factory rep if I could buy a car with the engine finished like that, and he said "Sure!" Fortunately, I GOT HIS BUSINESS CARD.

There was a side door next to the MB stand, and he said I should go out there and get a test drive. Went out with a Factory driver, and he let me drive the car after showing me how everything worked; got it up to 200 kph on a road leading from Geneva; very impressive!

So when I got back to Holland, I ordered a car with my desired SA codes through the Dutch importer; also told them that I wanted a "factory polished show car engine". They didn't know what I was talking about, so I got in touch with the MB rep from Geneva and asked for his assistance. Well, that's the way I got it. Found out later that the sale of such a car to me had to be approved by the DBAG directors, and I have a data card that shows that.

Other "sticky" items were omission of outside mirror (I preferred a pair of Talbots) and the 5-speed trans on a USA car. Both of these were violation of laws (German law required cars to have a side view mirror, and American laws required smog controls that were not available with the 5-speed). When I picked up the car at the Factory, they told me that they washed their hands of it and couldn't guarantee that I would be able to get it into the States; if I succeeded, it would be the only 5-speed 250SL going to the U.S. I had no trouble at all getting the car through customs when I returned to the U.S.

The MB rep told me that next time I wanted a car,I should order it directly through him; but I still have the 250SL and have never taken advantage of his offer; I am sure he is gone by now.

So that't the story of 250SL #3757; and tho it is not one of the last two cars produced, I am sure that everyone will agree it is as I said, "rare and unique".

This car is one of 5,002 250SLs made during 1967. It was delivered to its present owner, Frank Mallory, at Stuttgart, Germany, on Sept. 7, 1967. It was used extensively in Mercedes-Benz Club of America events through 1971. It won the Daimler-Benz trophy in 1969, and placed second in men's point rank and first in women's rank in M-BCA National Events; it placed first in the GT class at the 1970 Gunston Hall Car Show.

On the road, 250SL no. 3757 has covered 140,000+ miles in the U. S., Canada, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, Hungary, and Austria.

More explanations...

As promised in the last newsletter this time we will discuss the Otto system.

Who invented the engine? Was it Hier Daimler or Hier Benz? Neither, it was another German Nicolaus Otto.

Engineer Nicolaus August Otto invented the first practical alternative to the steam engine. Born in Holzhausen, Germany, Otto built his first gas engine in 1861. Then, in partnership with German industrialist Eugen Langen, they improved the design and won a gold medal at the Paris Exposition of 1867. In 1876, Otto, then a traveling salesman, chanced upon a newspaper account of the Lenoir internal combustion engine. Before year's end, Otto had built an internal combustion engine, utilizing a four-stroke piston cycle. Now called the 'Otto cycle' in his honor, the design called for four strokes of a piston to draw in and compress a gas-air mixture within a cylinder resulting in an internal explosion. Although an earlier patent by French engineer Alphonse de Rochas was found, Otto built the first practical and successful four-stroke cycle engine.

This is the same principle that engines are built to today. Even the Diesel and Rotary engine use the same principles.

The ordinary Otto-cycle engine is a four-stroke engine; that is, in a complete rotation of the crankshaft, its pistons make four strokes, two toward the head (closed head) of the cylinder and two away from the head. During the first stroke of the cycle, the piston moves away from the cylinder head while simultaneously the intake valve is opened. The motion of the piston during this stroke sucks a quantity of a fuel and air mixture into the combustion chamber. During the next stroke, the piston moves toward the cylinder head and compresses the fuel mixture in the combustion chamber. At the moment when the piston reaches the end of this stroke and the volume of the combustion chamber is at a minimum, the fuel mixture is ignited by the spark plug and burns, expanding and exerting a pressure on the piston, which is then driven away from the cylinder head in the third stroke. During the final stroke, the exhaust valve is opened and the piston moves toward the cylinder head, driving the exhaust gases out of the combustion chamber and leaving the cylinder ready to repeat the cycle. Most engines are doing this 3000 time per minute at 100kmh!

The efficiency of a modern Otto-cycle engine is limited by a number of factors, including losses by cooling and by friction. In general, the efficiency of such engines is determined by the compression ratio of the engine. The compression ratio (the ratio between the maximum and minimum volumes of the combustion chamber) is usually about 8 to 1 or 10 to 1 in most modern Otto-cycle engines. Higher compression ratios, up to about 15 to 1, with a resulting increase of efficiency, are possible with the use of high-octane antiknock fuels. The efficiencies of good modern Otto-cycle engines range between 20 and 25 percent—in other words, only this percentage of the heat energy of the fuel is transformed into mechanical energy.

New Phone Number.

Thought I would put this in again as a reminder. We are already getting quite a few calls which is encouraging. We have a new phone number! With our ever increasing number of interstate customers we thought it was time to do something for them so we now have a toll free number. The new number is:

1300 787300

Calls to this number are charged at the same rate as a local call from anywhere in Australia.

Site of the week.

Not very often I would point my customers to another commercial site but this one is differant. Would you believe that Mercedes-Benz have decided to get into the dismantling game as well. They have been doing a bit for a few years now but are now getting into it seriously. Check this site for info.

Cars for Sale.

Lots of action in the pre loved car department this newsletter. The 180E was sold to a regular customers wife who had the misfortune of having her prized Peugeot written of by a less than careful driver of a lesser car. We have received some excellent cars into stock including a very nice 1993 190E 2.0. Have a look here at our Cars for Sale page. This newsletter we will be starting what should become a regular feature of the newsletter. I am sure that all of my customers know that we buy and sell cars. But most of you are not aware that we do have access to a lot more cars than what appear on our webpages. We have contacts in the Car industry Australia wide. Here is a list of just some of the cars we can source for you.

560SL - 86 model with only 43000kms. An "as new" car. $65000.00
C250D - 96 model rare 20 valve 5 cyl diesel. Super economy. $39990.00
260E - 1990 model country car, 184000kms with excellent service books. $22990.00
230E - 1991 model one owner with only 112000kms. Excellent value at $25900.00
190E -1985 model with only 72000kms on the clock, fully optioned. $21900.00
190E 2.3 - 1992 model, air bag, abs, Cd player, rare model. $22900.00
190E 2.6 - 1987 model, rare 6 cylinder version of the W201 series. $19900.00

We also have customers coming to us looking to sell their classics. Have a look at this 1959 300d from a customer in Queensland.

Dons-300d.jpg - 40.32 K

It is a 59 model 300d pillarless saloon. Recently restored, rebuilt motor, new brakes, good tyres, some spares and manuals, rego 5.4.2002. VGC. The chap who owns it is still a bit undecided about price. If you are interested give me an e-mail.

190E 2.0 sedan 1992 model.

190E-white.jpg - 50.51 KOne owner with full service history. Unmarked blue cloth trim, with lambs wool seat cover on front seats. All the usual Mercedes features including:ABS brakes, Air conditioning, Power steering Multi point central locking, etc. $21500.00AUDMore details


560SEL sedan 1986 model.

560SEL-black.jpg - 55.80 KTwo owner car with an amazing service history. All services done by authorised dealers. The 560SEL was the top of the line W126 sedan in the 80's. Grey leather trim with lambswoool seat covers front and rear. Has the lot, sunroof, cruise control, Air conditioning, Power steering Multi point central locking, leather interior, ABS brakes, external temp gauge, 10 stack CD player, factory alarm, tow bar, alloy wheels, etc, etc. $22990.00AUDMore details


280SE sedan 1984 model.

280SE-green.jpg - 46.60 KGreat low mileage car, travelled 151000kms. Cream MB-tex interior with seat covers on front seats. Sunroof, climate control, cruise control, electric windows, ABS , etc. Has 16" alloys at the moment, can be supplied with correct 14" alloys. $12990.00AUDMore details


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.