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Newsletter No.105, MBUSA classic center

Newsletter Number 105
6th November 2006

Welcome to newsletter number 105 The birthday party/Concours has been and gone but we have another chance to meet the ACT Mercedes-Benz club members next week at our Sausages and Spanners night. Other articles this month include a run down on the new Classic centre in America and news on what we have been up to for the last month (it has been rather hectic). . Also, we have the usual line up of interesting articles for you.

Hope you enjoy it.

Thanks John and Sandra Green.

Sausages and Spanners.

We will be running another workshop night with the Mercedes-Benz club of the ACT on the 14th of November. 6.00pm start. Come along and have a gourmet snag from Unique Meats in Jerrabomberra (they use a Vito as a delivery van (that we service!)) and a beer before the proceedings, which will start around 7.00pm . We will be discussing a number of things including some of the issues that we are starting to experience with later models like Air flow meters and Wiring looms. If you are interested in the marque this is a great chance to meet the members of the Mercedes-Benz club and have a chat. You can see articles of previous workshop nights in Newsletters numbers 83 and 54. See you there.

What have we been up to?

Had trouble getting me on the phone for the last month? Did your parts arrive a day late? Hopefully not but things have been very busy for the last month due to whole range of things all happening at once. Here is a brief run down:

- As I made mention in the last newsletter the local Mercedes-Benz dealer closed up shop about two months ago and created a huge vacuum in the local market. This has caused us two short term problems. Firstly we have had a sudden increase in business in both our Spares and Service departments and have had to make some changes to the way we handled some jobs to cope with this. Secondly we have been actively trying to source as much of the infrastructure of the old dealership as possible.

- We have managed to secure all of the technical documentation that they had, there were hundreds of manuals covering everything from Automatic transmissions to wiring looms.

- We also have secured all of the factory tooling that they had. Both the manuals and tooling are current right up to the latest W164 ML and W221 S class models. It is very rare that documentation and tools like this becomes available for sale so it was a great success to be able to get these.

- We have also purchased most of the shelving from their spare parts department which we are now using to hold the increased amount of stock we need to cope with the extra business. This also required us to relabel all of the old shelving as we expanded which is a work still in progress. We were looking at a change in shelving some time back so I guess this just forced the issue.

- And we had the 10th Birthday party/MBCACT Concours.

- And we are building a 80 square meter mezzanine floor at the western end of the workshop to house our stock of O/L319 parts and to store parts of cars that have been stripped for restoration. The balance of the shelving that came from the dealership will be used for this.

- And I have set up a new desk next to Murray's with a new computer, phone, the lot just waiting for the right guy to come and work along side him? Anybody fancy a job selling spare parts for the best cars in the world?

- And in between all that we sent out over 120 parcels by courier to address's all over Australia, handled 100's of over the counter sales, serviced/repaired over 120 cars, sold 4 cars, had 4 air freight shipments arrive from Germany, etc, etc, etc.

Here is what is planned for the next month:

- Finish labelling the new shelves.

- Install a new 6 tonne two post hoist that is designed to lift the largest Sprinter models including the big campervan versions. We are doing more and more commercial vehicles and need to be able to lift them safely. We have also invested in a new 4 tonne floor jack for the same reason.

- Build another mezzanine floor in the dismantling shed. We are also out of room there also. We are also hoping to pack our first container for parts to be sent back to Germany before the end of the year .

So as you can see things are very busy. If you have been caught up in all this and think you have been overlooked please don't hesitate to ring us and let us know. We are quite literally operating at 11/10ths and doing the best job we can. I have a lot of people telling me how great it must be for us that the dealer closed down and in the long term this will most certainly be the case, M.B Spares & Service is now possibly one of the best equipped independent Mercedes-Benz workshops in Australia. However, the short term is the issue we are dealing with and it is much harder to keep up with quality control at this pace. So once again if you have been effected by all this please let us know and we will make sure you get looked after. (some how)

10th Birthday/MBCACT Concours

The 10th birthday party has been and gone and what a success it was. It is always a great feeling to receive unsolicited praise after such an event and that is what happened. To all of you who rung, e-mailed and told me how great it was and how much you enjoyed it thanks. I also need to thank all of the members of the Mercedes-Benz club of the ACT, Shannon's Insurance (who sponsored the German Autofest) and everyone else that make it a great day.

We had over 100 cars on display and a huge crowd in attendance. The Concours judging went smoothly and a great time was had by all. We even managed to get the weather absolutely perfect which was great based on what the Saturday was like. You can see the pictures from the day here. And you can see some more pictures and comments on the day on the NSW club forum. The other German car clubs were also represented, have a look here (about 1/2 way down the page) for some shots of the BMW forum. The winners are listed below:

Class Winners:

Road 1- Wain Fenton 220a ACT member

Road 2- Matthew Stickley 280 SL NSW member

Road 3- Wolfgang Minge 280 SLC VIC member

Road 4- Brian Doyle 190E 2.3 - 16 NSW member

Road 5- Michael Minge C200 VIC member

Road 6- Not contested

Class A- Alex Holland 170 Va NSW member

Class B- Mike and Rhonda Symmons220s VIC member

Class C- Not Contested

Class D- Sam Bekiaris 230 SL NSW member

Class E- Geoff Odgers 220 SEb VIC member

Class F- Mirsad Beglerovic 200 NSW member

Class G- S.Goodwin and R.McGinley 300SEC 6.3 ACT/NSW member

Class H- Julian and Christine Sharrad 280CE ACT member

Class I- George Matheson 450SEL 6.9 NSW member

Class J- Vince Thompson 350SL NSW member

Class K- Barry and Jennifer O'Shannassy78/300D VIC member

Class L- Barry and Rowena Sargent 560SEC NSW member

Class M- Susheela Mulquiney E280 ACT member

Class N- Joe Acciarito CL600 NSW member

Class O- Not Contested

Class P- Not Contested

Best Engine Bay:

Simple - Wayne Fitzgerald 190SL VIC member

Complex - Peter Grasinger380SL NSW member

Best Paint - Garry Wood 280SL NSW member

Distance Award - Geoff Odgers 220SEb VIC member

ACT Presidents Award- Bob and Helen Coulson 280SL NSW member

Best ACT interior awarded by Vic President -

Susheela Mulquiney 86/420SELACT member

Life Members Award- Martin Kass 70/280SE3.5 ACT member

Champion of Champions- Wayne Fitzgerald 190SL VIC member

Runner Up Out Right67 Winner - Sam Bekarias /230SL NSW member

OUT RIGHT Winner - Wayne Fitzgerald 190SL VIC member

Classic cars for sale.

The 230SL from the last newsletter is in the process of finding its way to a new home, We now have some pictures and news on the W180 220S I mentioned int he last newsletter.It won Class B at the recent Mercedes-Benz club Concours!

W180 220S 1959, beautiful original example in classic Blue.

This is a fully imported car, not an Australian assembled one and has the unique Hydrak transmission that is in perfect condition.

The car has an interesting history in that it was restored by a chap who worked at a Mercedes-Benz dealer using genuine parts some time back. It has been laid up for a few years but is still in excellent condition (to the point that it won its class at the concourse).

If you were thinking of restoring such a car then this is a bargain as you could not produce a car like this even with double what we are asking to spend. More pictures and details can be found here.

As a result of building the mezzanine floor mentioned above I have decided to sell the W110 230 Binz ambulance that It has a very interesting and some what tragic history. I have listed it on ebay and you can find it here.

One of our Singapore customers has decided to sell one of his W112 300SE sedans that is currently being stored for him here in Canberra. You can see some pictures of it here. He also has another one that is not is quite as good a condition that I can supply pictures of if requested. You can contact him here.

We also have for sale the two 170's that are on our Cars for Sale page. The white 170S belongs to a customer and the grey 170SD is from my fathers collection.

So if you are thinking of buying a classic car please give us a ring on 1300 787 300 or e-mail me here.

W163 ML and W210 E class workshop manuals.

New into stock are two more workshop manuals on DVD. These cover the W163 ML class from 1998 to 2004 and the W210 E class from 1996 to 2002. These both compliment the large range of factory workshop manuals that we stock on CD-rom. They are not cheap but they are worth there price after one use in some cases as these are the same manuals as what a Mercedes-Benz dealer uses. For more details on workshop manuals click here.

Joke of the month.

OK, this one is not a joke and some of you will have read it before, but i thought it was worth sharing.


When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar... and the coffee...

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very Large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar.

He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things. Your Mercedes-Benz, your family, your children, your faith, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions. Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter. Your job, your house, and your car.

The sand is everything else. The small stuff.

If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the House and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Tour of the MBUSA Classic centre.

Remember Martin Kass? he was the ugly one that went to Germany with me last year? No not really, (the ugly bit, he did go to Germany with me) Martin is a good friend and customer of mine and found himself in Los Angeles recently with a day to spare so I organised a special tour for him of the new Mercedes-Benz classic centre in Irvine. He was kind enough to write a quick report and send me some pictures so we can all experiance a little of what he saw.

Mercedes Benz has recently invested in the building and fitting out of a factory owned Mercedes Classis centre in Irvine, Los Angeles. America is their next biggest market after Europe and the sheer number of older Mercedes in the USA should keep the centre busy. The centre is now open with a service manager and a parts manager. The centre has a expensive painting and sand blasting booth installed but has yet to employ a manager for the paint and body division.

The best feature of the centre for a visitor is the the cars that are on display. Mercedes classic in Germany have sent out several cars and these are rotated every couple of years . The Californian staff hope to start purchasing there own cars so that there are always vehicles on display that can be sold. They have a couple of cars on consignment for sale as well. The gold 3.5 cabriolet on the hoist display had just been sold for $165,000 US. In the photos you can see the vehicles on display each being a original and usually low mileage example of that model.

I was lucky enough to be shown the one off Maybach coupe called the Exelero which cost eight million US to build.

You cannot believe the size of this car and take note that the 22 inch tyres are made exclusively for the car and have the cars name on them .

By chance I was at the Beverley Hilton a couple of days later and it was on display for a awards night being attended by the A list celebrities.

Mercedes in Germany and here are making great efforts to get the older Mercedes marque out on display and even let the older cars from the collection can be driven. John and I found that in Germany a journalist could virtually book a drive of any model they choose - they pull them out of storage , give them a check over and let them be driven. You will see many of these cars in the English Mercedes magazine being driven and compared. The US centre has a 3.5 cabriolet that is used solely for journalists etc.

Another car with a fascinating history is a W123 240D in cream done 55000miles. The amazing thing is only the engine and rear wheels have done the mileage the rest of the car is new. It was the car used from new to "warm up" the dyno machine for Mercedes USA emission control centre. The car was saved from going to the crusher.

The green 220 ponton cabriolet in the picture is superb. The current owner bought it new for his wife's first wedding anniversary and had it restored and presented it back to her for their fortieth anniversary. They just picked up a new SL500 at the factory . As you can see various vehicles come in for servicing.

While not ready to do complete restorations the centre is already quoting and have vehicles brought in for assessment regularly. The classic centre will only do complete and thus expensive restorations. Reconditioning is not undertaken for a good reason. The centre does not want people claiming that the car has been restored by the centre as they may well be credited with poor workmanship. You obviously don't want a owner not sending a car for work due to a bad impression made from a incomplete job.

You may have read the story of the couple who drove the yellow SLK around the world.

It is a SLK body on a G wagon chassis. They towed the trailer and were followed by the G wagon in the picture. The country stickers represent all the countries they went through on the journey. Mercedes supplied the chassis so they own the car.

Cars for Sale.

Quite a bit of action in the used care department in the last month, cars sold have included both the W124 E320's, the 420SEL, the W210 E300 Turbo Diesel.

New cars into stock in include a W124 300D sedan with only 87000kms on the clock, this is a very rare find to get a diesel with such low kilometres as most have done heaps. The condition is outstanding and a credit to its former owner. More details here:

Also into stock is a very very early W107 350SLC coupe. It is so early it is chassis number 000108, which would make it possible one of the first RHD cars made. This car was restored about 10 years ago with new paint, leather, chrome, dash, rubbers the lot and is still in excellent condition. More details here:

And finally new into stock is the Roundie mentioned above.

You can check out all our Mercedes-Benz's for sale here.

Or you can check out all the other cars we have for sale here:

New cars into stock:

350SLC 1971 chassis number 000108!

300D W124 very low mileage

300E W124 sedan

ML350 seven seat and only 35000kms

220S Classic Roundie sedan

Cars sold:

420SEL sedan 1990 model

E300 Turbo diesel 1997 model

E320 1993 model only 79000kms

W124 E320

Also in stock we have:

230E W124, 1986 model

300SEL sedan time warp car

280CE coupe 1979 model

170S, classic sedan

170SD, classic Diesel sedan

280SE Rare Crayford station wagon

Rolls Royce Silver Spirit. (yeah, yeah I know)

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.