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Newsletter No.072 MBCV Concours report, History lesson

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Newsletter Number 72
22nd March 2004

Welcome.  This newsletter we have a report on the MBCV 2004 Concours, an interesting history lesson, another "What the?" and the usual line up of jokes and interesting cars.

Thanks John Green.

What the?

I could not believe how many of you got this right! Most impressive! It was in fact the insides of a R129 500SL or SL500 Roadster. Last month we had to replace the twelve hydraulic rams that operate the automatic soft top on one of these. The system is powered from a hydraulic oil pump that lives in the boot in the middle of the spare wheel. There are supply and return lines running to each of the twelve rams and then there is the auto roll bar as well!

We received over 20 correct answers. The first four correct answers were:


Martin Butson

Steve Holder

Maurício C. Galvão Anderson

Rod Garnett


OK, here is a different challenge. What is the chassis designation of the car on the right of this picture?



Mercedes-Benz Club of Victoria

Concours d’Elegance

The Mercedes-Benz Club of Victoria Concours has been run and won! Here is a copy of the report I wrote for the ACT club magazine:

Once again the Mercedes-Benz Club of Victoria ran there annual Concourse in conjunction with the AOMC (Association of  Motoring Clubs) British and European car display and once again it was an excellent day out for both lovers of the three pointed star and motor cars in general. Wain and Cheryl Fenton, Chris Righton (my Service Manager) and I attended to represent the ACT Club. Chris and I were also representing my business as we were running a trade stand.  The weekend started with a cocktail party at Silver Star motors in Docaster on the Saturday night. This was an excellent evening with all of the latest models on display for us to check out. They even had a E55 there!

All though the Victorian Club promoted this event as a “low key” event due to the closeness to the Bi-annual rally it was by no means a small event. Estimates of the number of Mercedes-Benz cars in attendance ranged from 250-300 and there was certainly quality and well as quantity. One stand out model was the W111 coupe and cabriolet. For some reason there were more of this model in attendance that what I have ever seen before at any Concourse. I even managed to find a 280SE 3.5 cabriolet hiding at the end of one row. It was a factory RHD and must be one of the five that were imported by MB Australia in the very early 70’s. Parked across the road from it was an E320 W124 cabriolet which must be considered to be a classic in the making.

 The club celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Roundie model with an excellent display of all the various forms of the Roundie body style. This included the 220S cabriolet and 220SE coupe that we have seen here at our concourse. There were also two examples of sedans with the rare sunshine roof option.  Congratulations need to go to the Roundie register captain Mike Symmons for organizing this display.

 Other stand out cars on the day were Nerio Dizane’s W5 and my fathers W143 230 sedan which only just made it to the Concourse as it was registered only the week before.

 The outright winner was the same yellow 190SL that won our Concourse last year belonging to Wayne Fitzgerald. My 1998 412D campervan won the Commercial Class.

 The Victorian club is planning a three to four day event for there Concourse next year. This will include some Museum tours and some social events, so stay tuned for more details.-

You can see all the pictures here.

Cars for dismantling.

W126 280S 1984 model.  Hong Kong import, but quite a nice original sort of car. Engine is very good (carburetted version M110) but the transmission is worn out . Speedo reads 141000kms but I suspect that may not be very accurate. Has a black MB-tex interior which is quite rare. 

History lesson.

I received an interesting e-mail from a Newsletter reader last week as follows:


 Please have a look at the attached photos.  I found these in the National picture archive - they were apparently taken by the NSW Board of Transport, I suspect in the 1930's but I have not yet managed to establish the date.
They show what I believe to be a Mercedes 130 H (a very early one judging by the body shape) - if you look closely you can see (on the original photo files on the archive www site at least), the car is wearing NSW rego plates!
I had always wondered of any of the "H" models ever came out here, now it appears that at least one did and when it was still a new design.  I have never seen a H in Australia - do you know of any? An interesting if unsuccessful model.
If you go to the Picture Australia www site and type "Mercedes" in the search box, you will see about 4 pages of Mercedes photos - mostly of old race cars etc and I suspect most of these photos are 1930's and 1940's, although there is one of fintails being assembled in Melbourne and several of training (on auto transmissions) at MBA in Melbourne.

IT is amazing to think where these cars went to. maybe this car is sitting in a barn somewhere in rural NSW?  And what about the other cars in some of these pictures? Like wouldn't you like to own car 20 from the Dunlop reliability trial held in1905! 

Joke of the week.

 "An Important Historical Fact"

In the 16th and 17th centuries, before the invention of commercial fertiliser, everything had to be transported by ship. Therefore, large shipments of manure were common. It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it, it not only became heavier, but the process of fermentation began again, of which a by-product is methane gas.

As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles you can see what could (and did) happen. Methane began to build up below decks and the first time someone came below at night with a lantern, BOOOOM! Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was determined just what was happening. After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the term "Ship High In Transit" on them which meant for the sailors to stow it high enough
off the lower decks so that any water that came into the hold would not touch this volatile cargo and start the production of methane. Thus evolved the term "S.H.I.T," which has  come down through the centuries and is in use
to this very day. You probably did not know the true history of this word. Neither did I. I always thought it was a golf term.

Links of the week.

Last week I received an e-mail from the Mercedes-Benz club of NSW advising me of a change to there website URL.  It read as follows:

Just a quick note to advise you that the Mercedes-Benz Club (NSW) Inc. web
site has moved to in keeping with some of the other
Australian Mercedes-Benz clubs. Some committee members can also be sent
e-mail via this site using either their position or name (eg.

Here are two bizarre creations made from W116 chassis's both are for sale on ebay at the moment. Firstly a wagon, and a strange looking cabriolet.

Here is a website with only one picture of a Mercedes-Benz but I thought it was worth a mention for the really cool floating logo. Try scrolling down the page.

Here is a link to a really cool Mercedes-Benz add, it is a Movie so you will need broadband or better to view it.

Cars for Sale.

We have a 380SL that has just arrived for sale. Red with cream leather (most of these had MB-tex) and the rare rear seat option. Amazing service history and near faultless condition.

We have had a lot of interest in the 280SE 3.5 sedan we have for sale. The car belonged to a collector who used it as his everyday car for the last 17 years. It has been fully restored over the 17 years and maintained with absolutely no expense spared. The car has won a heap of Concours trophies and comes with a huge inventory of new parts including a set of fully restored headlamps and a new grille. If you are interested in this car give me a ring on 0419 295 458 and I will give you more details.

Click here to see all the cars for sale.

The following cars have recently arrived for sale:

380SL 1981 roadster 140000kms

Also in stock we have:

280SE 3.5 sedan 1972 model 

320E 1993 model 159000kms

280E 1978 model 224000kms

C200 1996 model 176000kms

C180 1997model 103000kms

Collection of three factory Stretch Mercedes-Benz's

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.