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Newsletter No.085 Plymouth to Dakar trek, Smart parking

Newsletter Number 85
14th February 2005


Welcome to the latest newsletter. In this newsletter we have news of a trek across Africa, several specials for you and a real mixed bag of links for you to check out.

Thanks John Green.

Plymouth -Dakar challenge

In January there was an interesting event run from Plymouth, in the UK, to Dakar in Africa.  The Challenge is to simply drive the route from Plymouth to Dakar (on a limited budget) with the principle aim of helping some Charitable causes in Senegal and The Gambia.  A customer of ours entered a stock standard 1976 250 W123 Mercedes.  It was one of quite a few that entered the event.  Here is an e-mail he sent us telling us of his travels.  Below I also have some links to other Mercedes related stories from this event.

This is an update on the performance of the team 1976 Mercedes Benz 250 auto in the Plymouth -Dakar challenge.  We departed the UK ON 24.12.04 and headed of across Europe via France and Spain (worst snow in living memory but the old merc plus trailer performed faultlessly).  Then on into Morroco and South through the Atlas Mountains and more snow we then headed into Spanish Sahara. Up to this point the car ran like a dream plenty of power and returning 24 mpg fully loaded (weber conversion worked very well). We got to 200 kilometres  from the Mauritainian border when oil pressure dropped to zero and it ran the mains and destroyed one con-rod. We got a tow into no-mans land between Spanish Sahara and Mauritania. I sold the vehicle on to a local camel trader who in turn sold it to a taxi company in Nouadibou. It was last seen getting a 240 diesel lump grafted in. They expect it to do another 20 years and 1 million kilometres as a taxi in Mauritania. We continued on to the Gambia with a Citroen 4x4  1 ton van towing my trailer. I acquired a 208 Mercedes van in the Gambia this along with the trailer was donated to the Hospital in Banjul Gambia as per plan. I was told the 250 would not make it but at least it tried and made 2 thirds distance and will still continue for some time as an African taxi.

As an aside many vehicles including 4 wheel drives failed to make it. A number of Range Rovers and Pajeros etc included.Best performance was a 1984 190D with an amazing performance of road and in sand driving it out performed most 4x4. Vehicle was totally un-modded and had 250,000 plus on the clock. I had the pleasure of driving this vehicle for many desert kilometres.
Hope this is of interest to you   Simon R Boon

Here is a website with details of a W124 300D that entered it.  The photos of the Sahara crossing in the photo gallery are worth looking at.

These guys took a Trabant!

The official website can be found here.

Check out the camper van that did the trip on this page.

And the Ambulance on this page would be handy to stay close to, just in case!

Want to update your sound system.

We have a quantity of Becker Audio 10 AM/FM Radio cassettes that have been removed from the current model ML and replaced with CD players when they were sold.  They come with the wiring loom and security code card.  They have the optic fibre plug in the rear that supports the Becker CD player.  They will fit straight into the following models.  W116, W107, W123, W126, W201, W124, W202, they will also fit most earlier models with an adaptor plate.  We have been selling these on for $135.00 using the buy it now system.  You can find a link to our current auction here. If you are interested in one you can ring us direct on 1300 787 300 and purchase one rather than via eBay.




                Cars to be dismantled.

Here are some of the cars we have had in to dismantle since the last newsletter:

350SE 1974, very nice car but has a damaged engine, usual problem with the left hand inner chain guide breaking and upsetting the cam timing for the left hand bank. Otherwise a very nice clean car with a nice blue interior.

So if you need any bits for your 350SE give us a ring on 1300 787 300 or e-mail the spares department.

Smart parking.


Do you live in Brisbane and are thinking of buying a Smart car? Then check out this press release from Daimler Chrysler:

Brisbane City Council has become the first in Australia to endorse legal parking of two smart cars in one parking space. The smart fortwo coupé measures just 2.5-metres in length and was recently hailed Australia’s most environmentally friendly car by the Australian Government.

Brisbane councillor Graham Quirk told the Courier Mail: “If people want to go to the trouble of buying environmentally friendly, space saving cars, we ought to be giving them incentives.” The move follows a recent Swiss court ruling that found in favour of a Swiss couple who challenged a fine after parking their two smart fortwo coupés in one parking space and paying for only one ticket.  The cantonal court in Zurich ruled owners should pay only one parking fee if both smart cars fit into a single parking space, vindicating the couple’s 18-month legal battle against Zurich’s municipal police force.

Approximately 500 Australians currently own a smart fortwo and sales of the 2.5-metre car accounted for the bulk of smart sales in 2004, the brand’s first full-year on sale in Australia, with 55 per cent of all customers taking delivery of a smart fortwo. Cars from smart, which is part of the Mercedes Car Group, take up the top three positions in the Government’s Green Vehicle Guide, achieving the best possible score of five stars. The five star rating includes a greenhouse rating based on CO2 emissions and air pollution rating based primarily on emission standards, along with fuel consumption data. The smart fortwo coupé is also Australia’s cheapest car to repair following a low speed crash, according to tests carried out by leading general insurer, NRMA Insurance.

The range of smart cars are available from selected Mercedes-Benz dealers ( starting from $19,900.
Fuel pump diaphragms.

If you have a W120/121, w180 or early W111 with the early fuel pump where you can replace the diaphragm we have  6 new diaphragms in stock at the special price of $85.00 each. These are currently out of production in Germany and may not be available for some time.  It is a handy thing to keep in your glove box as one small hole can ruin a weekend trip away with these early cars.

Joke of the week.


We don't have one! If you would like to send us in some jokes for the newsletter please feel free. Send them to

Links of the week.

 Ever thought of owning a 6.3 or maybe even a mighty 600? Well, maybe you need to have a read of this page.  Make sure to read all the way to the bottom to see the "M100 ownership paradox". A good 6.3, 6.9 or 600 is indeed a very nice car to own, but there is a point with these cars that if they deteriorate past they become a serious liability. Mind you we don't mind you guys buying them and ordering up big with all the parts you need to fix them ....... :-)

Our neighbours in New Zealand have their own club website now.  It can be found here.  A number of members from the New Zealand club are coming to Canberra in Easter 2006 for the Bi-annual Mercedes-Benz clubs of Australia rally.

If you can read German the Mercedes-Benz Veterans Club has a great article on their site about the 170S-V. If you can't read German the pictures are quite nice! Just click on the 170S-V.

Now this restoration story has got to be one of the best documented I have seen for some time. Take the time to read right though it and check out all the period pictures that he has tracked down. It is also an interesting insight into what life was like is Germany during the second world war.

If you are an ebay crawler you might have seen this. Possibly the most expensive car ever to sell on ebay?  Mind you that's if it did sell. If you look at the bid history it is a bit suspect.

Look here for info on a veggie powered Mercedes.

Thanks to Hendrik from the OZVETS mailing list for these last two links.

Cars for Sale.

Once again heaps of action in the car sales department.  The 240D sold very quickly and there was a lot on interest in it.  For any of you who missed out we may have another one of these later in the year. The chap who brought it picked it up last weekend and drove it straight back to Melbourne. I received an e-mail on Monday morning saying that it went like a dream. We have taken a deposit on the E430 and it will be picked up this week.

We had a 380SEL came in and went out very quick, we traded the 350SE that you will see in the dismantling section above.

New into stock is an immaculate E230 Elegance sedan from 1996 with the 5 speed Auto option, an excellent one owner E280 from 1993 and a 1986 300SE with only 135000kms on the clock. We may also have another 1994 E280 coming into stock with only 115000kms and a full history.

And finally we have re listed a 220Sb that we sold about 18 months back. The chap who brought it has realised he does not have the time to restore it so it is back on the market for what he paid for it. If you want a great Finnie project this is certainly it.

  You can check out all our cars for sale here:

Cars just arrived:

E280 1993 model 187000kms

E230 1996 model 142000kms

300SE 1986 model 135000kms

Cars we have sold:

E430 1999 model 98000kms

240D 1980model 4 speed Manual

300E 1989 model 263000kms

230E 1989 model 168000kms

380SEL 1982 model 223000kms

Also in stock we have:

ML320 7 seat  2000 model

C200 1997 model 150000kms

220SEb Cabriolet 1965

300d Limousine 1959 model only 110000miles

260E 1989 model only 123000kms

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.