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Newsletter No.107 The Brownshirts, dinner invite

Newsletter Number 107
10th April 2007

This newsletter we seem to catch up with a lot of old news, we have the history of the Pre war 230 sedan from as far back as Newsletter 15 and a whole heap more. There is even an invitation to have dinner with me!

Hope you enjoy it.

Thanks John and Sandra Green.


Super trouper with a grim past

Back in Newsletter 15 I detailed a trip to Perth to buy a 1937 W143 230 sedan with my father. Well, after many years of toil, the car has been finished and was a few months back a feature in the Age Newspaper in an article by Justin Collins. Here is the text from the article:

When Rob Green went to Perth with his son four years ago to inspect a pair of pre war Mercedes Benzes, little did he know one of them had a history that placed it in the midst of Nazi Germany. Rob and his son had heard a whisper that a 1937 Mercedes Benz 230 sedan and a 1938 230 cabriolet were for sale and the two were soon on a plane. Arriving in Perth on a Saturday, they returned, to Melbourne on Sunday with Rob the proud owner of both vehicles.

The cars have been his most recent restoration project the 230 sedan finished just about 12 months ago and the cabriolet now in the very early stages but he has been restoring cars flying the three pointed star for the past 20 years. "When I was working I always wanted to restore a car, and one thing I believed was when you retire, you have got to have something to do, and I was lucky, I retired fairly young and wanted to restore a car," he says.

He retired in 1986 and bought a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 that "didn’t need a great deal of work but did need foglights, which were missing. He found an exceptional pair on a 1955 220a at a wrecker's in Wallan and bought the car with the idea of keeping the foglights and selling the rest as parts. "But when I had a close look at it, it had no rust and was straight despite having had an accident on the left front side, with mudguard and door wrecked. So I decided to restore it and that’s when it all began, really 12 months after I retired in 1986."

After restoring a fleet of classic Benzes, including a 1955 and 1958 300, a 1954 170 diesel and a 1960 220se cabriolet, he went pre war for a new challenge.  Rob had the two cars he bought in Perth delivered to Canberra, where his son has a Mercedes restoration and service business do some work on the diff before heading to Melbourne. When the Perth owner originally brought. the cars to Australia from the US he intended to wreck the sedan to restore the cabriolet, but Rob had other ideas. "The cabriolet is worth more but I thought the sedan was too good to wreck, and I thought later on I might have a go at doing the cabriolet, which, of course, I am now."

Starting on the body, one of the first things he had to overcome was rot in the timber frame. But the key timber elements - two rails that go along, the bottom between the body and the chassis –were sound, which provided a strong platform for the rest of the restoration. Originally a joiner by trade, Rob had no problem with re creating the timber pieces required to get the car back to full strength. "I then dismantled the motor and had to put new pistons in it, did all the brakes, painted it myself, did some of the upholstery myself and my daughter helped me with the sunshine roof It took about 2 1/2 years, which was quite a long process a lot of work".

A surprise came when he was removing the paint to prepare the metal body for painting. After stripping back 60 years worth of paint, he came to the first finished colour and it was not what he expected. He and his son had found in research that the original colours for these cars were blue, green, brown or black, all with black mudguards as standard.
'When I stripped the layers off, it was brown underneath the body, which was normal, but when I stripped the mudguards, the first finished colour on them was brown as well," he says. "So we are presuming it was in Germany right throughout the war. But due to this unusual colour combination, we are also presuming that it most likely belonged to the Brownshirts.

"It was not one of Mercedes' standard colours. There was a reason for it to be painted all brown." The Brownshirts or Sturmabteilung, were stormtroopers, a paramilitary arm of the Nazi Party during Hitler's rise to power in the 1920s and early '30s. Their position was taken over by the infamous SS. "I have spoken to a friend of mine who was in the German army I have yet to take the car out and show him but he said it is quite possible the car was used by the Brownshirts."

In a bid to answer this question, Rob has painted over the original on one mudguard instead of stripping it to leave proof of the original colour.His passion for the Mercedes-Benz extends back to boyhood when his father read up on the cars and dreamed of one day owning one - a dream that remained unfulfilled when he died in 1958. Rob bought his first Mercedes in 1978 and joined the Mercedes Benz Club of Victoria in 1984. He remains enthused about each of the cars in his collection and believes he will be restoring classic models of the German marque for the rest of his days.

You can find the article and some more pictures here on the drive site.


M.B Spares in Hobart.

No we are not opening up a branch in Tasmania, but I will be in Hobart on Friday the 27th of April after walking the Overland Track with my son.  I thought it would be a good idea to have a meal with the local customers and OZBENZ forum members. Not exactly sure how we will go about organizing this as I will need some local input as to where to meet etc, etc. So if you are interested please send me an e-mail before the 17th of April to find out where we will be. There should also be some discussion of this here on the OZBENZ forum.

Mercedes-Benz Modellauto-Club


This was sent to me by Dev Kuruppu who is the local representative for the MBAC.


In late 1985, three friends, all Mercedes model collectors, and Daimler-Benz employees, were discussing the upcoming festivities due to take place in early 1986, celebrating "100 Years of the Automobile". It was then they realized the lack of and need for a Mercedes model car enthusiasts club. So on February 2, 1986, the "Mercedes-Benz Modellauto-Club" (MBMC), was registered.DaimlerChrysler AG is a member of the MBMC, and recognizes the club as the only official umbrella organization of all Mercedes-Benz model car clubs worldwide.

Since then, several MBMC regional clubs have been set up in various countries such as in the Netherlands, North America (Canada/USA), and recently Russia. Presently there are over 500 members worldwide in the MBMC, among others also from the UK, Belgium, France, Italy, Austria, Greece, Macao, as well as from Australia, just to name a few.

The members of the Mercedes-Benz Modellauto Club (MBMC) in Australia are planning to form a new regional MBMC-club. We invite you to join our international Mercedes-Benz world of scale model collectors, and its benefits. For more information please contact Dev Kuruppu at:




Who changes your oil?


This was sent to me a few weeks back. I  have taken the liberty of a few minor changes to the original text.


Oil Change instructions for Women:

1. Pull up to M.B Spares & Service after driving 5000 or 10,000klms since the last oil change (depends on your average annual mileage).
2. Either wait and have a cup of coffee or take advantage of our free courtesy car (please book in advance).
3. Later that day  write a cheque and leave with a properly maintained vehicle.

Money Spent for oil change $150.00 to $250.00 depending on model (Coffee was free)


Oil Change instructions for Men:

1. Wait until Saturday, drive to auto parts store and buy a case of cheap oil, aftermarket oil filter with incorrect valving,  kitty litter, hand cleaner and a scented tree, write a cheque for $95.00.
2. Stop by Liquorland buy a case of beer, write a cheque for $30.00, drive home.
3. Open a beer and drink it.
4. Jack car up. Spend 30 minutes looking for jack stands.
5. Find jack stands under kid's pedal car.
6. In frustration, open another beer and drink it.
7. Place drain pan under engine.
8. Look for 14mm combination spanner
9. Give up and use pliers.
10. Unscrew drain plug.
11. Drop drain plug in pan of hot oil - splash hot oil on face and arms in process. Swear.
12. Crawl out from under car to wipe hot oil off face and arms. Throw kitty litter on spilled oil.
13. Have another beer while watching oil drain.
14. Spend 30 minutes looking for oil filter wrench.
15. Give up, crawl under car and hammer a screwdriver through oil filter and twist off.
16. Crawl out from under car with dripping oil filter splashing oil everywhere from holes. Cleverly hide old oil filter among trash in trash can to avoid environmental penalties. Drink a beer.
17. A mate shows up - finish case of beer with him. Decide to finish oil change tomorrow so you can go see his new garage door opener work.
18. Sunday: Skip church because "I gotta finish the oil change." Drag pan full of old oil out from underneath car. Cleverly dump oil in hole in back yard instead of taking it to recycle.
19. Throw kitty litter on oil spilled during step 18.
20. Beer? No, drank it all yesterday.
21. Walk to Liquorland buy beer.
22. Install new oil filter making sure to apply a thin coat of oil to gasket surface.
23. Dump first litre of fresh oil into engine.
24. Remember drain plug from step 11.
25. Hurry to find drain plug in drain pan.
26. Remember that the used oil is buried in a hole in the backyard along with drain plug.
27. Drink beer.
28. Shovel out hole and sift oily mud for drain plug. Re-shovel oily patch of ground. Wash drain plug in lawn mower fuel.
29. Discover that first Litre of fresh oil is now on the floor. Throw kitty
litter on oil spill.
30. Drink beer.
31. Crawl under car getting kitty litter into eyes. Wipe eyes with oily rag used to clean drain plug. Slip with stupid pliers tightening drain plug and bang knuckles on frame.
32. Bang head on floor pan in reaction to step 31.
33. Begin swearing fit.
34. Throw stupid pliers.
35. Swear for additional 10 minutes because pliers hit Miss August
36. Beer.
37. Clean up hands and forehead and bandage as required to stop blood flow.
38. Beer.
39. Beer
40. Dump in five fresh litres of oil.
41. Beer.
42. Lower car from jack stands.
43. Accidentally crush remaining case of new motor oil.
44. Move car back to apply more kitty litter to fresh oil spilled during (steps 23-43.)
45. Beer.
46. Test drive car.
47. Get pulled over: arrested for driving under the influence.
48. Car gets impounded.
49. Call loving wife, make bail.
50. 12 hours later, get car from impound yard.

Money spent:
Parts $95.00
DUI $2500.00
Impound fee $75.00
Bail $1500.00
Beer $60.00

Total-- $4230.00 . But at least you know the job was done right!


What is this?


OK, time for a quiz. What is this car? Answers next Newsletter.....


Mercedes-Benz club of Victoria Concours .


The Mercedes-Benz club of Victoria Concours has been and gone for another year and as advised in the last newsletter the weather gods were kind to us. I have uploaded some of my pictures here for you to check out. The Concours is run as part of the AOMC with the Mercedes-Benz Club contingent being by far the largest. Have a look at this layout map to see the size of it.


Chris Righton (our Service manager) and I drove down in the W116 280SEL Crayford wagon which performed perfectly. This year we did not run a trade stand, it was a pleasant change to be able to walk around and look at the cars for a change and spend the time socialising with our customers. The results are listed below:


2007 Concours d’Elegance winners








Show and Shine






R1       Chassis Register

3 Point Motors Spares

Rob Green





R2       Roundie Register

Starline Motors P/L

Alex Rackstraw





R3       Finnie Register

Chips “n” Scratches

Michael Symmons


220SEB Coupe



R4       New Generation Register

Blackburn Motor Body

Doug & Win Smith


280SE 3.5



R5       Compact Register


Harry & Anne De Groot





R6       S-Class Register

Manuel Automatics

Brian Quirk





R7       E & C-Class Register


Bruce & Lyn Dench


E320 Cabriolet



R8       A & B-Class Register

3 Point Motors Spares

Ron & Skeet Callinan





R9       4WD Register


Rebecca Wolf





R10     SL-Class Register

B&M Refinishers

Darren and Jennie Thomas


280SL Pagoda



Pre war & Post-war Chassis

Metal Master Panels

1) Rob Green


1) James French


2) Nicholas Doutsas



Motor Wagen






Roundie (Ponton)

Triple R Car Hire

1) Murray Allen


2) Not awarded




190SL / 300 SL (Coupé & Roadster)

David Watson Memorial Trophy

1) Wayne Fitzgerald


2) Not awarded




Finnie sedans

Heinz Grand Limousine Service

1) Kirsten & Brad Owen


2) Not awarded




Full bodied Coupé & Convertible

M.B Spares and Service

1) Bob & Ronnie Cumberlidge


2) Not awarded

220SEb coupe



Pagoda SL

Carwood Refurbishing Service