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Newsletter No.086 Website update, Motoring landmarks

Newsletter Number 86
8th March 2005


Welcome to the latest newsletter.  In this edition we have news of some changes for the website, some dates for your diary and some interesting Motoring landmarks for you to check out.

Thanks John Green.

Website administration.

Last week we updated the list of cars that you can register interest in on our website. When you subscribed to this Newsletter you could select from a list of the models you were interested in. As we are now offering for sale a wider range of later model Mercedes-Benz's we have had to update this list. The additions are:

W203 sedans, coupes & wagons C180, C200, C180K, C200K, C240, C320, C220CDI

W210 sedans & wagons E200K, E230, E240, E280, E320, E430, E55, E300D, E270CDI

W208 Coupe and Cabriolet CLK200, CLK230, CLK240, CLK320, CLK430, CLK55

W163 Wagon ML270CDI, ML320, ML350, ML430, ML500, ML55

W168 Wagon A140, A160, A160LWB, A190, A190LWB

R170 Roadster SLK200, SLK230, SLK320

R129 Roadster 500SL, 600SL, SL500, SL600, SL280

If you have registered interest in any particular model, when we receive one into stock we will notify you by e-mail.  To check what models you have registered interest in, or to edit your preferences, please follow the following instructions:

- From any page on our website type your e-mail address and password into the "Members login" box that appears in the right hand margin.

- If you can't remember your password, then type in what you think it is and hit the Login button, if a red error message is then shown in the Members login box then you have been sent an e-mail with your correct password

- If you logged in correctly there will be a blue message saying "Edit my details" click on this to bring up all your details.

- At the base of this page are four tick boxes.  If you want to be notified of a particular model being for sale, you need to tick the "New arrivals for sale" box.

- You then have three choices of model to enter.  Use the drop down boxes titled I'd like to own,  and also like to own and I'd love to own, to select these choices. It does not matter what order you place them in.

- Finally click on the "Save" box at the base of the page.

These instructions also work to register interest in used parts of New parts at special prices, just tick the appropriate box and select from the appropriate drop down boxes. You can find more information on our subscription system here.

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 the vehicles were sold.  They come with the wiring loom and security code card.  You may have to purchase an aerial adaptor depending on what socket your aerial lead has. These are easily obtainable from any decent car radio store or Dick Smiths. 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 and purchase one rather than via eBay.




Motoring landmarks.


Here are some interesting Motoring landmarks. Very few have anything to do with Mercedes-Benz but are never the less interesting. This article was published in the latest Mercedes-Benz Club of the ACT magazine.

·         The first ever motor race was run in Paris on 20 April 1887.  Comte Jules deDion was the sole entrant on his steam quadricycle.

·         The first motoring magazine Le Locomotion automobile went on sale in Paris on 1 December 1894. 

·         On 11 December 1894 the first motor show, Exposition Internationale de Velocipede et de Locomotion Automobile opened in Paris.  

·         Edouard Michelin was the first competitor to use pneumatic tires driving a Daimler in the Paris–Bordeaux race of 1895.  He changed tires 22 times. 

·         The first motoring organization in the world was the American Motor League, formed in Chicago on 1 November 1895. 

·         The first automotive fatality was Bridget Driscoll run over at the Crystal Palace London on 17 August 1896 by a Benz driven by Arthur Edsell.  

·         The first motor insurance policy was written on 2 November 1896 in England by the General Accident Company.  The premium was 30 Shillings excluding damage caused by frightened horses. 

·         Motor racings first fatal accident occurred on May 1 1898 during the Course de Perigueux in south west France.  The Marquis de Montignac and his mechanic died when their Landrey-et-Beyroux ran off the road as a result of de Montignac taking his hand off the steering tiller to wave thanks to another competitor for letting him past.

 ·         The first woman to take part in a motor race was Mme Labrousse who came fifth in the Paris Spa race on 1 July 1899.

 ·         On 19 June 1903 Barney Oldfield achieved the first circular mile in under one minute at the Indiana State Fair dirt track at a speed of 60.4 mph.

 ·         The world output of cars in 1903 was 61,927.  Of these 30,204 were French, 11,235 American, 9,437 British, 6,904 German 2,839 Belgian and 1,308 Italian.

 ·         The first man to officially exceed 100 mph was Louis Rigolly in a Gabron-Brille on 19 June 1903.

 ·         The first mass produced car was the curved dash Oldsmobile. 5,508 were built in 1904, it cost $650 and had a top speed of 20 mph.

 ·         The Targa Florio race, a 150 Km circuit of Sicily, was first organised by Count Vincenzo Florio in 1906.

 ·         The first race titled Grand Prix was arranged by the Auto Club de France in 1906.

 ·         The first supercharged car was a Chadwick.  Willie Haupt first raced it in a hillclimb on 30 may 1908.

 ·         The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was completed and the first race held on 19 August 1909.  It is the worlds longest established motor racing venue still in use.

 ·         Isotta-Fraschini was the first manufacturer to introduce front wheel brakes.  They were used for the first time in the 1911 Indianapolis 500.

 ·         Ralph Mulford saw no hope of winning the 1912 Indianapolis 500 so he completed it at 56 mph to qualify for starting money.  He even stopped for lunch.

 ·         Peugeot driver Jules Goux was reported to have consumed six bottles of champagne on his way to victory in the 1913 Indianapolis 500.

 ·         At the 1916 Indianapolis 500 drivers Eddie Rickenbacker and Peter Henderson wore steel helmets.  The first time crash helmets were used in a race.

 ·         The first Coppa Acerbo race in 1924 was won by Enzo Ferrari in an Alfa-Romeo.  He was awarded the title Commendatore by Premier Mussolini.

 ·         In October 1937 Bernd Rosemyer was the first to exceed 400 Km/h driving an Auto Union on the Darmstadt- Frankfurt autobahn.

 ·         The Mercedes-Benz W165 racing cars were in Switzerland when World War Two broke out.  Under international law they were interned for the duration.  (There is no record as to whether the Red Cross was           alowed to ensure they were being properly cared for).

·         The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) was formed on 14 December 1947.

·         Disk brakes were used for the first time by the Croze brothers in the 1951 Indianapolis 500.

·         The phrase 'Gentlemen, start your engines' was first used to start the Indianapolis 500 in 1957.

·         Slick tires with no tread pattern were first used in premier motor racing in 1970.

·         The total prize money for the Indianapolis 500 exceeded $1 million for the first time in 1970.

·         Two way radio communication between driver and pits was used for the first time by Al Unser in the 1971 Indianapolis 500.

·         Ferraris 500th Grand Prix was the 1992 Hungarian GP.


Fuel pump diaphragms.

If you have a W120/121, w180 or early W111 with the early fuel pump that has a replaceable 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.

Events for your Calendar.

This weekend in Canberra the ACT Car Club Council is holdings its annual "Wheels" exhibition. This is a combined display from all the Car Clubs in Canberra run as a charity event. The display is this Sunday the 13th on the lawns of Old Parliament House from 10am to 3pm. The Mercedes-Benz Club of the ACT will have a display of over 50 cars there. We will be displaying our 220SE Cabriolet and our 300d Limosine (pictured below), both of which are for sale.

And next weekend in Melbourne, the Mercedes-Benz Club of Victoria will be holding their Concours as part of the Annual AMOC British and European Motoring Show. The show is at the Dandenong Showgrounds from 10am to 3pm. M.B Spares and Service will be holding a trade display there and would welcome all our Victorian customers to call in and say hello. We will have a pile of door and windscreen seals on special at the Concours and what is not sold, will be listed in the next Newsletter.

Hopefully I will have pictures from both these events in the next newsletter.

The Mercedes-Benz clubs of Australia are running a tour of Tasmania from the 3-16 April. This tour is booked out, however I thought it was worth mentioning to reinforce how good a job the Mercedes-Benz clubs here in Australia are doing to provide interesting events for there members and in supporting the marque. I know that some Newsletter subscribers are going on this tour and if any of them would like to write a report for the Newsletter that would be very much appreciated.


Joke of the week.


Well, last Newsletters plea for jokes was certainly successful.  Many of what was sent to me are not repeatable here, however here is a sample of some of the better ones:


Dave Jeanes sent these one liners in: 

The circus manager was upset because the human cannon ball had resigned, and he didn't know where he could get another one of the right calibre.
The famous anthropologist was planning to make a last trip to darkest Africa. He wanted to track down a tribe of giant pygmies.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa said to Big Ben, "If you have the time I have the inclination."
Texas has the world's biggest midgets.
Sign in a florist's window - "If your mother-in-law is at death's door our flowers will pull her through"
Sign in jeweller's window - "Ears pierced while you wait, or leave them and call back"

John Schoolderman sent this joke in:

A couple from Minneapolis decided to go to Florida and planned to stay at the very same hotel where they spent their honeymoon.  Because of hectic
schedules, the husband flew to Florida on Thursday, with his wife flying down the following day.  The husband checked into the hotel.  There was a
computer in the room, so he decided to send an email to his wife.  However, he accidentally left out one letter in her email address and without
realizing his error, sent the email.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned from her husbands funeral.  He was a ministre of many years who was called home to glory
following a sudden heart attack.  The widow decided to check her email expecting messages of condolence.  After reading the first message, she
fainted.  The widows son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor and saw the computer screen which read:

To:  My Loving Wife
Subject:  I have arrived
Date:  16 January 2005
I know you're surprised to hear from me.  They have computers here now and you are allowed to send emails to your loved ones.  I have arrived, and have
been checked in.  I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow.  Looking forward to seeing you then!  Hope your journey is as
uneventful as mine was.  PS.  Sure is hot down here!

And finally one that I came across myself:

Does the statement, "We've always done it that way" ring any bells? ... read to the end... it was a new one for me   

The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used?
Because that's the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the US Railroads.   Why did the English build them like that? 
Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.   

Why did "they" use that gauge then?  Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing. 
Okay! Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts. So who built those old rutted roads?  Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (and England) for their legions.
The roads have been used ever since.   And the ruts in the roads? 
Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.  The United States standard railroad gauge of 4feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot.

And bureaucracies live forever. So the next time you are handed a specification and wonder what horse's ass came up with it, you may be exactly right, because the Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war horses. Now the twist to the story When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs.  The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory at Utah.  The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds. 

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's ass.        

... and you thought being a HORSE'S ASS wasn't important!


Thanks to all the the other Newsletter readers who sent jokes in, please keep them coming. Even if I don't publish them, the staff and I certainly appreciate them.



Links of the week.

 Ok, this week we are short of links.....please send them in.

Here is a bit of wacky English humour for you.  Once again thanks to Hendrik from the OZVETS mailing list for this link.

And here is the second most useless website on the net. (not sure what the most useless one is, but there is bound to be one.)

And this one is the most baffling link I have ever come up with. I am sure it is some strange maths equation that makes it work! If you know how this works let us know....

Cars for Sale.

Well after great run with car sales things seem to have dropped off a bit! And of course all this when we have plenty of stock. So that means we are certainly in the mood to sell some cars. If you are interested in any of the cars listed below give me a ring you never know what might happen!

The 300SE listed as coming in the last Newsletter did not eventuate. We had been promised this car from a MB dealer in Sydney where it was being traded, however the previous owner decided to not trade the car at the last moment. The 190E is on hold at the moment with its potential new owner flying down from Brisbane this Friday.

New into stock is a car that will be familiar to regular Newsletter readers. It is a 1994 E280 in Azure Blue with Cream leather. We sold this car five months ago with 107000km on the clock to a local customer. He has just been given a company car and has sold the car back to us with 116000kms on the clock. This is an exceptional example of the last of the W124 series with heaps of options and in the stunning Azure blue which is a pearlesent colour.

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 1994 model only 116000kms

Also in stock we have:

E280 1993 model 187000kms

E230 1996 model 142000kms

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.