Newsletter Number 92
17th October 2005
Welcome to the latest newsletter. Yes, I know it has been awhile. Things have been rather hectic here and unfortunately the Newsletter is one of the casualties when this happens. Getting the cars out the door of the workshop on time, and the parts delivered on time, becomes a priority when things get busy. Anyway, we have some new employees so things are now returning to normal. To those of you who rang/e-mailed asking what happened to the newsletters, thanks for the concern. I did start typing this back in the middle of September but could not find time to sit down and finish it.
In this edition we have a run down on the NSW and ACT Concours's, details of a website update, part 2 of my Germany report and our usual line up of articles for you. Hope you enjoy it.
Thanks John and Sandra Green.
Mercedes-Benz club of NSW Concours
September the 11th was the annual Concours for the NSW Mercedes-Benz club and it was a great day for all concerned. On the preceding Saturday night G Brothers of Monavale hosted the annual Pre Concours Cocktail party which was also a great success. The event was held in their new workshop facilities and G Brothers are to be congratulated for extending us their hospitality. For the first time, we ran a trade display on the day of the concours and were rather overwhelmed with the amount of questions and requests that we answered/took. Over this last month I have been trying to get back to as many of you whose details I collected as possible. I have posted all the shots from the day on our other website at http://mbspares.mbz.org/mbcnsw2005. The outright winner on the day was a beautiful 300SL Gullwing. Just to give you an idea about what it takes to achieve perfection, it was reported that the trimmer who did the immaculate green leather interior took 120hrs to do the job!
Our website is always a work in motion and we have just made three changes to it that effect the way our customers use it.
- Firstly, we have added a link on the front page to a Mercedes-Benz classic webring and a Mercedes-Benz top 100 website listing. The webring is up and working and we are still waiting for the application for the Top100 site to be sorted, more about that next newsletter. In the meantime check out the webring.
- Up until last week, if you wanted to change your registered e-mail address you couldn't. This was a part of our anti spam system that stops people from registering fictitious e-mail address's. What had to happen if you changed your e-mail address was that your records had to be deleted by us and then you start all over again. The change is that now if you change your e-mail address you simply notify us and we can change it for you.
- We have updated the lists in the Specials and Recycled parts pages so that they are aligned correctly with the options you have to choose from when registering or editing your details. The additions are all the commercial vehicle variants and some of the later models like W202/203 C class and the W210 E class. Most of the new pages have no content in them yet, but will be sorted out in the next few weeks.
The idea of customers registering their preferences when they subscribed was so that we could send them offers of parts on special and inform them of cars that we are dismantling that are relevant to their car only. No point telling people that we have Roundie and Finnie tailshaft couplings on special if they own a later model car, is there?
We can also use the system to let people know what cars we have for sale by only letting those who are looking for a certain model know, rather than sending an e-mail to everybody. We are aware that junk e-mail is a major hassle these days and wish to be as responsible as possible, whilst at the same time promoting our business.
However, to make this all work, we need all the Newsletter Subscribers to log on and check/correct their details. Due to the drop down boxes not being configured correctly when you first subscribed we may be sending subscribers the wrong information.
To do this please follow these steps:
- Open up another window by pressing Control and "N" at the same time. This allows you to read the instructions at the same time as changing your details.
- On the right hand side of the page you will see several boxes, the lowest one has "Member Login" on it. Type in your e-mail address and password and then click "Login". If you don't know your password, don't type anything into the password box and click "Login". The system will e-mail you a reminder about your password instantly, so go and check your mail and then follow the instructions again.
- Once you are logged in, you should see some blue text in the Login box that says ""Edit my details". Click on the blue text.
- Please check all your details and then go to the bottom of the page where you will find five fields that allow us to know what sort of cars you own and what sort of cars you would like to own. Each field has a "drop down" box with multiple choices. You can select two cars that you would like to know about parts for and three cars that you dream about owning. If you select any of these, you will receive information on cars we have for sale that suit your needs and on specials that we have that suit your car. As mentioned above, the idea is that we don't send the wrong information out to the wrong people.
- Finally there are four boxes that have ticks in them if you don't want to be notified of any of these options please "untick" the box. If you select all the right things and tick all the right boxes, we will only notify you about New arrivals and specials that are relevant to your car, or the car that you would like to own!
- Click save (lower left hand corner of the screen) and you are done.
Germany tour part2
Here is part 2 of my Germany trip in August. But first I need to point out who the other half is when i refer to "we" or "us". Some of you may have presumed it was Sandra, but it is in fact a friend of mine, Martin Kass, who is a fellow Mercedes-Benz nutter. Travelling without our wife's gave us a chance to soak up every little bit of all the car museums we visited! (Yes, I so enjoyed looking at the 500 or so photos of cars and 30 photos of scenery John took!, Sandra)
Continuing on from the last newsletter, we made our way up the A2 autobahn towards Berlin stopping for a visit at Wolfsburg, which is the home of Volkswagen. They have an excellent combined delivery centre, museum and factory called the Autostrata. You can order a VW from anywhere in the world and pick it up here. The cars waiting to be delivered are stored in two 20 story high glass round glass towers. When you arrive to pick up the car an automated lift is sent to fetch your car and deliver it to the ground floor! The Museum is not just Volkswagen! It has four floors, each one dedicated to an era of motoring with a selection of Volkswagens from the period and other significant cars from the same era. There were several Mercedes-Benz's there including a 1921 6/25/40 tourer, a 1899 Victoria and the obligatory three wheeler patent wagon. Wolfsburg is certainly the home of Volkswagen as the streets are lined with them. There must be a very generous employee discount scheme.
Next it was back to the A2 and off to Berlin for a meeting with another supplier. On the drive into Berlin we were amazed at the number of damaged cars and older cars all without registration plates being transported on everything from overloaded single axle trailers to full size very serious car carriers. More on this later. We arrived late that night and had until 5pm the next day to do a spot of site seeing. I am sure all of you would know about the reunification of Germany in 1989 and of the infamous "Checkpoint Charlie", well we stayed in a Motel at Checkpoint Charlie.
In 1961 because of dissatisfaction with the economic and political conditions, an increasing number of people left the German Democratic Republic (GDR). From January to the beginning of August, about 160,000 refugees were counted. Also, the international political situation was tense. The Soviets had delivered their Berlin ultimatum, demanding that the western allies should withdraw their troops from West Berlin and that West Berlin should become a "Free City" within six months. In the morning of Sunday, August 13, 1961, the GDR began to block off East Berlin and the GDR from West Berlin by means of barbed wire and antitank obstacles. Streets were torn up, and barricades of paving stones were erected. The subway and local railway services between East and West Berlin were interrupted. Inhabitants of East Berlin and the GDR were no longer allowed to enter West Berlin. In the following days, construction brigades began replacing the provisional barriers by a solid wall.
The border between West Berlin and East Berlin and the GDR had a total length of 166 km, and there was a deeply staggered system of barriers. The wall was made up of concrete segments with a height of 4 mt, usually with a concrete tube on top of it. Behind it (at the "eastern" side) there was an illuminated control area (also called death area). Refugees who had reached that area were shot without warning. A trench followed which should prevent vehicles from breaking through. Then there was a patrol track, a corridor with watchdogs, watchtowers and bunkers, and a second wall. The border cut through 192 streets, 97 of them leading to East Berlin and 95 into the GDR. Here is a diagram of how it looked. At least 100 people were killed at the Berlin Wall trying to escape to the west.
In 1989, there were dramatic events such as a massive flight of inhabitants of the GDR via Hungary and big demonstrations in Leipzig on Mondays. After weeks of discussion about a new travel law, the leader of East Berlin's communist party (SED), Günter Schabowski, said on November 9, 1989 at about 7 p.m. in somewhat unclear words that the border would be opened for "private trips abroad". A little later, an onrush of East Berliner's towards West Berlin began, and there were celebrations at the Brandenburg Gate and at the Kurfürstendamm in West Berlin. On November 10, demolition works began with the aim of creating new border crossings. On November 12, a checkpoint at the Potsdamer Platz was opened, and on December 22, a checkpoint for pedestrians was opened at the Brandenburg Gate. So-called "wall woodpeckers" hammered pieces out of the wall, many of which were sold as souvenirs. A few larger segments were officially donated or sold such as the one that now sits on my desk!
It was great to absorb some of the history of the area. We visited all the significant sites around Berlin via the open top tourist bus. All except for a 150mt length of the Berlin wall has gone and been replaced with a two wide row of cobble stones that marks the original position of the wall. Whilst there has been a mini building boom since the wall came down, much of the land that was "no mans land" is still vacant as you look around Berlin. Check out the row of taxi's in front of the Brandenburg gate! All taxi's in Germany are painted this lovely shade of cream.
Later in the day we drove out to an industrial estate to visit our supplier and then for dinner with them. It was a very interesting dinner as the owner had grown up in West Berlin and lived next to a US army base. He had seen it all over the years and helped us fill in a few questions we had on how the whole separation thing had worked. He also explained the damaged cars heading east! There is a huge trade in taking old/damaged cars to Poland to be repaired and then sold into the old Soviet block counties. Whilst most of the trade is legitimate there is quite a bit of corruption and there is a camera set up on the boarder to photo every car as it cross's.
Next day we where off to the Horch Musuem in Zwickau and then onto Stuttgart, but that will have to wait until the next newsletter!
Last month our new OZVETS forum for older Mercedes-Benz owners reached the mile stone of 100 members and at last count has already jumped to over 130. The URL is http://forum.mbspares.com.au Here you will find a great community of like minded Mercedes-Benz fans to chat with. We are even getting people join up from the USA! It was great to see some of the forum members at the Mercedes-Benz club of NSW Concours last month and put a face to the names.
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.
Mercedes-Benz club of the ACT Concours.
The ACT Mercedes-Benz club held there annual Concours on the weekend of the 25th and 26th of September. Details can be found here. There was an excellent dinner on the Saturday night at Rydges on Capital Hill and the Concours was on the Sunday. This is an annual event not to missed as not only are the cars on display spectacularly but the venue is also spectacular. It is held on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin looking over to both the old and new Parliament houses. Just down the road is Canberra's annual Floriade display, you can find details about Floriade here. The Concours is held as part of the "Shannons German Autofest" Which is a celebration of all things German and Automotive. Other clubs with displays on the day includes the Porches, VW, Audi, Mini (BMW style), BMW car and BMW bike clubs. The Mercedes club had over 70 cars on display with a grand total of well over 250 between all the clubs. Shannons run a "Peoples choice award for each marque and there is an award from the German Ambassador for his favourite which this year went to yours truly for my 300d. Luckily the prize was two German beer steins as I have sold the car so the new owner can have one and I can have one! That me and the ambasador in the picture. I have uploaded the rest of the pictures here.
The outright winner for the third year in a row was Wayne Fitzgerald in his amazing 190SL, Champion of Champions went to Ray Hennessey in his 280CE. The full results are listed below:
1 Ken Edwards 220SE coupe ACT
2 Christine and Julian Sharrad 280CE ACT
3 Wolfgang Minge 280SLC Vic
4 Matthew Ritchad E220 coupe NSW
5 George and May Millynn C220 ACT
6 Eugene Petrie SL500 ACT
A Ken Edwards 170S ACT
B Sonia Goodwin/Rob McGinley 220SE cabriolet NSW
C Nil entries
D Wayne Fitzgerald 190SL Vic
E Gary Mazloumian 300SE coupe NSW
F Mirso Berlervic 200 NSW
G Nil entries
H Richard Binks 230 ACT
I Joe Simon 280SEL NSW
J Peter Grasinger 380SL NSW
K Nil entries
L Susheela Mulquiney 420SEL ACT
M Greg and Karen Yates 300TE NSW
N Mike Fleming 400SEL NSW
P Chris Righton 280E ACT
Long distance Wolfgang Minge 280SLC
Best ACT interior Susheela Mulquiney 420SEL
Best paint Wayne Fitzgerald 190SL
Best engine bay simple Wayne Fitzgerald 190SL
Best engine bay complex Peter Grasinger 380SL
Presidents award Kevin Jackson 300CE-24
Life members award Alex Holland 170Va
Champion of Champions Ray Hennessy 280CE
Outright runner up Peter Glasinger 380SL
Outright winner Wayne Fitzgerald 190SL
Joke of the month.
Here are a few jokes that have been posted on the OZVETS forum in the "Lighter side" forum. As you can see some members have been checking to see if I have a sense of humour!
A lot of people can't understand how we came to have an oil shortage here in Australia.
Well, there's a very simple answer.
Nobody bothered to check the oil. We just didn't know we were getting low.
The reason for that is purely geographical. Our oil is located in Bass Strait and off the coast of W.A..
Our dipsticks are located in Canberra.......
Sandra borrowed John's 450SLC. She called and said, "There's a problem. There is water in the carburettor."
John asked her, "Where's the car now?" She replied, "In Lake Burley Griffin......."
And this one was sent to us by Tony Visentine who is one of our customers. Apologies in advance to any Italian customers....... :-)
Germans in an Audi.....
Five Germans in an Audi Quattro arrive at the Italian border. The Italian Customs Officer stops them and tells them "It's illegal to
putta 5 people in a Quattro."
"Vot do you mean it's illegal?" asks the German driver. "Quattro meansa four" replies the Italian official. "Quattro is just ze name of ze
fokken automobile" the Germans says unbelievingly. "Look at ze dam papers: ze car is designed to karry 5 persons."
"You canta pulla thata one on me!" replies the Italian customs officer. "Quattro meansa four. You have five-a people ina your car and you are
thereforea breaking the law."
The German driver replies angrily, "You idiot! Call your zupervisor over. I vant to speak to someone viz more intelligence!"
"Sorry" responds the Italian officer, "He can'ta come. He'sa busy with a 2 guys in a Fiat Uno."
Cars for dismantling.
Recent arrivals for dismantling include the following:
W116 450SEL, super rusty heap of crap with the engine already missing. But that is the sad story, it was sold damage to the last owner who pulled out the engine to use in a hotrod based on the badge on the back that read 450SEL 6.9. Unfortunately I have to break the news to him that he had a plain old 450!
W116 450SEL, yes another one, only this one was complete and even came with 1/2 a tank of petrol (almost doubled its value). Has good bars, lights and the early d-jet version engine.
W123 280E, engine smokey but has a good auto and some other great bits.
MB140 van, I mentioned this in the last newsletter but forgot to say that it also has a LPG conversion so if you own a MB140 van and want to save some money on petrol we can sell you this as a kit.
W126 380SEC, light front hit other wise complete, has a modified rear bar with spoiler!
W114 230.6, quite a nice car actually! 4 speed manual transmission with floor change, good solid body with spunky yellow duco with brown trim, been sitting for a few years. Could be put back on the road without to much trouble if you wants a cheap manual car, otherwise we will be dismantling it.
If you are interested in any parts from these cars please feel free to e-mail Murray Mules our Spares Manager or you can ring him on our toll free number 1300 787 300
Links of the month.
Click here for some German humour!
I took a phone call the other day asking about Mercedes colours for Roundie's/Ponton's and referred the person to this site. It is the home of all things Roundie or Ponton. They have a great page which list a lot of information on early colours. They also have a great page of old brochures.
Cars for Sale.
As it has been awhile there is plenty of action on the Cars for sale front to report this newsletter. We have a huge amount of cars that are (or were) new into stock, twelve to be exact, and have already sold a few of them. Already sold are a very low mileage E220 wagon (96000kms) and a 380SL that we had purchased from a deceased estate, the 280S with only 56000mls that was traded on the E220T, the W123 280E, Sandra's ML270, a 2001 C200 kompressor, the 380SEL, a 260E and a partridge in a pear tree!!!. Both the E220T and 380SL were sold within days of being listed on the website. As mentioned above we e-mail customers who have registered there interest in certain models direct so that they don't have to wait for the Newsletter to see what is new into stock.
Yes the 450SLC listed below is my silver car, we also have a gold 1973 model for sale. We have sold Sandra's ML270 to purchase one of the new Mercedes-Benz Viano's and the the SLC is on the market as I have decided it is time for me to move on. It is still one of the best SLC's I have owned but like all my cars it is company stock and needs to be sold.
As a result of selling Sandra's ML270 we have traded a 1999 ML320 which whilst it has done nearly 220000kms is a great car showing wear that makes it look more like 120000kms. If you have been thinking of an ML but could not afford one this is very affordable at $22990.00
If what you are dreaming of owning is not here then please feel free to contact me on 0419 295 458 and I will see what we can do to find you what you want.
You can check out all our cars for sale here:
New cars into stock:
ML320 Luxury 1999 model
E280 Elegance W210 1998 model
C200 Elegance W202 1996 model
190E 2.6 Sedan 1990 model
450SLC Coupe 1978 model only 139000kms
190E Sedan 1987 model, only 110000kms
300TE wagon 1990 model
E230 Elegance W210 1996 model only 96000kms
Cars we have sold:
260E Sedan 1990 model
E220 W124 wagon 1995 model only 96000kms
380SL W107 1981 model
240D W123 1980 model
ML270 Wagon 2002 update model
380SEL Sedan 1995 model
280E W123 1983 model
C200 Kompressor W203 2001 model
Also in stock we have:
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.