Newsletter Number 91
15th August 2005
Welcome to the latest newsletter. Sorry it has been awhile since the last newsletter but I have been away in Germany on business. In this edition we have a reminder about the upcoming National Rally and news of two Concours's. Also we have the usual list of cars for sale and dismantling. . Hope you enjoy it. Thanks John and Sandra Green.
2006 Australian National Rally of Mercedes-Benz Clubs in Canberra.
The upcoming 2006 Australian National Rally of Mercedes-Benz Clubs in Canberra was covered in detail in the last newsletter. However I thought that I had better remind those of you thinking of attending that the deadline for payments is fast approaching. There are two options for payment:
a. in full at the time of registration, to be lodged by 31st August 2005; or
b. in two equal instalments. the first to be lodged by 31st August, and the second by 15th November 2005. Members adopting the first option (ie who register in full by 31st August) will be entered in a Free Draw, with the winner being announced at the Rally.
For more information go to the Rally website here or to the invitation to attend here.
And talking about Mercedes-Benz club events, there are two Concours coming up in September. The Mercedes-Benz club of NSW are holding their Concours d'Elegance on Sunday the 11th and the Mercedes-Benz club of the ACT are holding their Concours d'Elegance on the 25th. Click here for details of the NSW Club event and here for more details of the ACT club event.
Classic Cars for sale.
I am sure you all know that we always have a range of quality used cars for sale, but did you also know that we have a range of Classic cars for sale as well. Normally these are cars belonging to clients that have indicated they would like to sell. Cars we can offer for sale at the moment include:
- 170S 1954 model. White duco with burgundy trim. This is a very famous car here in Canberra having competed at the ACT Club Concours for the last 20 years! More trphies than you would believe. Last year we gave the car a good clean up just to freshen it up. It is for sale as the owner purchased the red 220SE cabriolet off us a few months ago.
- 190b 1961 model. Dark blue duco with grey trim. Currently living on the central highlands and surplus to the owners requirements. Nice solid car that has full NSW rego and drives well.
- 300SE Cabriolet 1965 model. Silver duco with black leather and soft top. Fully restored 5 years ago including all the air suspension and injection system. Owner is moving overseas.
- 170DS 1953 model. Battleship grey duco with red leather trim. Restored 7 years ago and driven very little since. Winner of many Concourse trophies. Loated in Melbourne and for sale as the customer has recently finished another resoration and can'd drive both cars at once!
If you are interested in any of the above cars please let me know by e-mail.
Germany Tour part 1
As many of you will know I have just got back from two weeks in Germany. Whilst there I visited most of our parts suppliers and some of the Major restoration shops. The following is part one of a series of reports that I will run the in the next few newsletters.
We flew to Germany via Japan with a stop over at Narita. Nothing special to mention about this except for an interesting observations of the car park at the Motel we stayed in. Firstly, it would appear that there is some prestige in having a LHD car in Japan which is a RHD country. The bulk of Mercedes-Benz's in the carpark were LHD! I have known for some time that there are a few LHD cars in Japan as a result of the American influence, but never had any idea that it was so popular. Also almost every late model car had Satellite Navigation fitted to it even the base model cars like C180 and E240. Obviously a standard feature of a Benz in Japan.
We arrived at Frankfurt airport late due to a delay in takeoff in Japan. We had ordered a Mercedes E200 hire car but were presented with a Chrysler 300C. What a barge! But more about that later.
Next day we went to the historic Nurburgring to check out the museum and do a few laps of the track. On the way there we spotted a newly released ML350 parked at a small bed and breakfast with a trailer on the back that had www.offroad.mercedes-benz.de on the side. I would love to know what was in the trailer, but this was not to be.
The Nubrurgring was a great experience and I can recommend this to any race fanatic who visits Germany. The museum has a large collection of late model Mercedes race cars from their DTM series and some other special cars like the car Ayrton Senna raced in the one off 190E 2.3-16 series.
The Nurburgringing was opened in 1927 with construction starting in 1925, during which at times up to 3,000 workers were on site. It was the first mountain, racing and test circuit built in Europe. Over the years it has had many changes and currently consists of two tracks the Grand Prix course at 5.148kms and the Historic Nordschleife at 22.8kms with 73 turns.
The first famous winner was Rudolf Caracciola in a Mercedes S. This was to set the scene as the Nurburgring has gone on to be the home of many famous victories for Mercedes-Benz and their drivers. Among other races which made history there, is the German Grand Prix of 1928, known for the incredible heat that reigned in that year. The winner was Christian Werner for Mercedes. The 1930 economic depression had a negative impact on the Nurburgring as well, however momentum was ignited with the beginning of the era of the Silver Arrows of Mercedes and Auto Union in 1934. The 1937 Grand Prix was won by Caracciola who was by now the lead driver of the Mercedes team.
In 1938 more than 200,000 visitors witnessed the victory of the English Mercedes driver Richard Seaman in the 1938 German Grand Prix. Hermann Lang set a lap record on the 22.81-km Nordschleife in his 12-cylinder (3-litre engine) Mercedes at 9:52.2 minutes (138.5 km/h) during the 1939 Eifel race, a record that stood until 1956. Rudolf Caracciola won the German Grand Prix again. This was to be the last Grand Prix on the Nürburgring for a long time. All motor sports activities come to a standstill with the outbreak of WW II.
It was not until 1948 that the track was repaired so that racing could be resumed. The European Grand Prix on 1 August 1954 was a highlight in the history of the Nurburgring. More than 400,000 visitors are estimated to have attended. They witnessed the German premiere of the Mercedes Silver Arrows and the victory of Mercedes driver Juan Manuel Fangio. In the following years, Fangio dominated the races on this circuit. In 1955, a year without Formula 1, Fangio won the Eifel race for sports cars in a Mercedes 300 SLR. This was however to be Mercedes-Benz's last taste of success at the Nurburgring for some time as they cancelled their sport programme, prompted by the Le Mans tragedy in 1955. This was the Le Mans race where a 300SLR driven by Pierre Levegh crashed into the audience, killing the driver and a number of spectators.
In 1984 the Nurburgring was once again rebuilt and Merced-Benz ran a one off race with Twenty identical 190E 2.3-16's raced by the finest drivers of the day, including Lauda, Prost and Rosberg. The race was won by a Formula 1 new boy, a certain Ayrton Senna. Since then the Grand prix circuit has seen many wins for Mercedes-Benz in the local DTM series. (German equivalent of V8 Supercars)
For the sum of 16.00Euro's any member of the public with a roadworthy car can "do a lap of the Nordschleife", or like us you can do five laps for 60.00Euro! This is a full blown race track with all the features you see on the Formula One replays and there are no speed limits. The carpark at the start line was filled with all sorts of exotic cars from all over Europe. Porsches of all types, M5 and M3 BMW's, Dodge Viper's, Lamborghini's, lots of WRX's and heaps more. There was even a Porsche with Arabic number plates.
Every hour a tourist bus does a lap of the track whilst everybody else is out there. The picture to the right shows a Porsche and Lamborghini passing the tourist bus at well over 200kmh! Or if you have 175.00 Euro to spare you can be driven around the ring in a 507horse power BMW M5 taxi in under 10 minutes. As you can imagine we were a little underwelmed by our Chrysler that drove like a barge but was still a real hoot to punt around the track. Our most embarrassing moment was when a W203 C220CDI pulled out in front of us and simply pulled away!
Next day it was back to business with an appointment at one of Germany's largest wholesaler of NOS (New Old Stock) Mercedes-Benz parts. I have visited their warehouse before but it was still breath taking to see the piles and piles of parts. Whilst walking down one isle I tripped over a new injection pump for a 300SEL 6.3! Up stairs is the biggest pile of panels you have ever seen. Including piles of doors for Roundie/Ponton coupes and W111 coupes/cabriolets. You may remember back in Newsletter 84 we did a feature on Classic parts and how it is amazing what is still available.
This is one of the many world wide sources we have for these parts. On avergae we can supply NOS Classic Mercedes-Benz parts at 40-50% off the Australian list price when dealing with suppliers like this. We have orders arriving from Germany every 2-3 weeks by air freight. Send our spares department an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a quote on anything for your classic Mercedes-Benz
Whilst there we checked out there own car collection. This included the most highly optioned W123 in the world. Have a look at the photos and see how many options you can count? Options you can't see include: lockable door side pockets, special hidden compartments in the boot and a anti carjacking alarm system. The carjacking alarm was divised for German Taxi drivers and is activated by a button under the steering wheel. They also own a W107 280SL that thay have owned from new (the hard top is still in the wodden box it was shipped from the factory in). It has the very rare fitted factory luggage. The last army issue Trabant from East Germany and a beautiful low milage 190c that we went out for dinner in that night.
From a different supplier the next day we purchased a bulk quantity of L319 and O319 parts that we will use to restore our O319 coach and to start a new section of our business supplying Classic Mercedes-Benz commercial parts. (more about that in a few months) Then it was onto a small town called Alfred to visit Dryer and Co who are the approved
Mercedes-Benz classic dealer and workshop for Commercial vehicles. In their workshop was a beautiful O3500 coach that they had nearly finished restoring. Here is a photo of a pair of similar coach's. They also had two trucks that were being prepared for the new Mercedes-Benz museum that is currently under construction in Stuttgart and due to be opened in 2006. They also had a great range of classic Mercedes-Benz fire trucks and Ambulances for sale, including a rather cool 1958 ladder truck that could be purchased for 12000.00 euros.
Next day we were off to Wolfsburg the home of Volkswagen and then to Berlin, but that will have to wait for the next newsletter.......
Membership of our new OZVETS forum for Australian Classic Mercedes-Benz owners seems to have been a great hit with a lot of interest being generated.The URL is http://forum.mbspares.com.au Several members have commented on it being harder to use than the old "mailing list" version, but it is just a matter to getting used to the tricks of using the forum. The best feature is the ability to log on (this can be done automatically if you select it) and click on the "View posts since last visit" link in the top right hand corner. This way you don't have to wade through all the sections and you don't miss out on anything.
At OZVETS you will find a great community of like minded Mercedes-Benz fans to chat with. The forum is currently broken up into the various chassis styles so you can pick where you want post information to. Discussion is mainly aimed at models over 20 year old, however they have been known to discuss later model stuff as well. And as it is a forum you will only receive an e-mails to tell you about posts on topics you are interested in. To join the forum you will need to register by clicking here.
Also don't forget the NSW Mercedes-Benz club forum is also growing into a great asset for their club. You can link to it from their website main page. Once again you need to register to take part, however you do not need to be a member of the MBCNSW. The NSW club forum caters for anything and everything Mercedes-Benz.
M.B Spares and Service is looking to employ another Automotive Technician (Mechanic) for our busy workshop. We are quite flexible as to how we employ someone, either an apprentice and a qualified tradesman, full time or part time. What is important however is the attitude of the person we employ. All the staff here at M.B Spares and Service are dedicated lovers of the three pointed star, in fact all but one of us drive a Mercedes-Benz! (and we are working on him!) If you love what you do and get enjoyment from it as well as a wage then everyone benefits. So if you or anybody that you know loves Benz's and would like to work with them please let me know. You can e-mail me direct or phone me on 0419 295 458 .
Cars for dismantling.
Recent arrivals for dismantling include the following:
W107 280SLC 1977 model. Severe structural rust has put this car off the road but it has some great parts. Good headlights, tail lights, bumpers, bonnet and some unmarked black door trims!
W201 190E 1987 model. Perfect intact car with a broken timing chain, good dark blue MB-tex interior.
W661 MB140 van 2001 model. Long story behind this one. 118000kms and lots of great parts left on this one.
Links of the month.
Here is something to occupy your time for a few hours. You need to down load some software to make it work but it is certainly worth it. Go to Germany and check out the Nurburgring!!
Ever wondered what happened to the 300SEL 6.8 that AMG built in 1970 to race at Spa and the German touring car series? Well it was put into service with the French air force!! Read all about it here.
Not sure what the time is? Here is a very clever clock.
Cars for Sale.
Whilst I was away the car sales front has been on hold. We have however sold the ML270 mentioned in the last newsletter, the 260E before I went away and the E280 on my return. The only new car into stock is a 1980 model 240D with auto transmission so our display of cars for sale at the front of our premises is looking rather thin!
Now that I am back I am actively looking for some more stock so stay tuned. If you are looking for a particular car please contact me on 0419 295 458 and I will see what we can do to find you what you want.
You will notice that there are no links to the cars that have been sold anymore! We have a system that when a car is sold where the page that advertised it is archived, not totally removed from the site. We can still access it but the general public can't. That way when we get a similar car it is just a matter of changing the pictures and some text rather than totally rewriting that page. However a change in the system has stopped us from showing you these archived pages and when you click on them you just get a blank page. We are working on restoring this function somehow so that you can see the cars that have been sold. This is an important function now that we have gone to a monthly newsletter as some times cars will be sold before the newsletter is published. Stay tuned!
You can check out all our cars for sale here:
New cars into stock:
240D W123 1980 model
Cars we have sold:
260E 1990 model
ML270 2002 model
E280 1993 model 187000kms
Also in stock we have:
280E W123 1983 model
300E 2.6 1991 model
250 Long Wheel Base sedan 1982 model
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.