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Newsletter No.113

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Hello and welcome to latest Newsletter. This newsletter we have some huge news about the future of our business as well as all the other usual articles and pile of interesting vehicles for sale.

Hope you enjoy it, John & Sandra Green.

M.B Spares & Service workshop for sale…..

Yes folks the time has come for a change in my life. Most of you will know that on the 23rd of August last year I suffered a heart attack. Since then I have made a steady recovery and of late have been working 4 hours a day in the workshop most mornings without too much trouble. However reality has set in and as much as I want the business, that I built up from my garage at home to what it is today, to carry on it as it did before the heart attack it would be foolish for me to do so.

The human body is in some ways like a car, not always clear why things go wrong, the doctors diagnosis as to what happened and why is a little sketchy, but basically it would appear that my body does not cope with the normal stress's of running a small business. There is no doubt that running a business the size of M.B Spares is stressful, but no more than thousands of the other similar sized businesses around Australia. However as it for some reason has an effect on me I need to step back and slow down a bit.

So Sandra and I have spent some time looking at which aspects of the business are stressful and what can be done to reduce this stress. The outcome of this long hard look at the business is that we identified the bulk of the stress coming from running the workshop. This is where the deadlines are and the issues with difficult diagnosis and customers who just don't understand why the car won't be ready today. Please don't get me wrong here, the bulk of our customers are great, but like any service industry there are always going to be people who are unrealistic about that is possible and what it not.

So whilst the obvious thing would be to sell off the entire business, I have decided to split off the workshop and change the general direction of the business. This decision is based on that fact that I need to do something. My Cardiac specialist recommended to me that I just sell up, get whatever I can and get a public service job. He doesn't know me very well….. I need to keep myself occupied and would find it hard to give up my love for all things Mercedes-Benz.

So what is going to happen is that the spare parts business is open as usual with no changes, Murray and Colin are doing a great job with the parts department and that will stay the same. We will also be continuing with our range of quality pre loved cars.

The workshop is up for sale. The only catch is that the new owner will not be able to use the building that it currently occupies. There are other possible locations nearby, so I doubt it will be going far. I plan to develop the restoration side of our business offering a professionally set up restoration and service center for Mercedes-Benz Classic owners. This new venture will be modelled on the Classic Center in Fallbach Germany working only on models that have reached Classic Status, that is have been discontinued for over 20 years.

Restoration work is a lot less stressful and without the complications or deadlines that general vehicle maintenance has these days I am hoping that it will be a more relaxed lifestyle.

So to those of you who have been loyal workshop customers over the years unless you own a Classic at sometime in the near future it will be time to say thank-you and goodbye, you will have a new face to talk to about your service options. However if you do own a classic we have an exciting new future for you and your car.

And if you think you would like to own a Mercedes-Benz workshop please send me an e-mail.

So in summary :

- Spare parts no change, business as usual.

- Workshop no change yet, but be advised it may be moving and have some new staff

- New restoration workshop coming sometime soon.

- Pre loved car sales to stay the same.

- No chance of me becoming a public servant.

If you have any questions please feel free to ring me on 1300 787 300 (mornings only) or send me an e-mail (link above). Make sure you check out the before and after shots of the 300SE engine bay.

New restoration page.

So as we are going to move more towards restoration services I have done a revamp of our restoration page. It showcases some of the work we have done inthe last five years.

Links of the month.

- Now here is an idea that makes Gullwing doors look boring…..

- The 2009 version of the R230 SL is out from under its raps. Check it out here.

- The recently released W204 C class has won the "Wheels" magazine car of the year. Check out the details here. And if the plan C class is not enough for you this should do the job.

- Want some cool plates for your car, click here.

- And finally, go all the way to the bottom of the newsletter and click on the link that says "Download file" It a very interesting document as supplied to emergency services personal by Mercedes-benz. Sorry it is at the bottom of the page I can't work out how to get it to appear here!

Cars for dismantling:

Been awhile since we have listed our cars to dismantle so here are a few of what we have received in the last few months:

W116 450SEL 1978, front damage, but great engine, auto and a good cream leather interior.

W108 250S 1966, engine worn out, great rust free panels.

W111 220Sb, someone's failed project, been stored after the engine expired for over 20 years! Great rust free panels. Also come with a rebuilt short motor that was never fitted, so would help someone looking to rebuild their engine cheaply.

W116 280SE, 1973 low mileage d-jet engine and auto box

W201 180E 1992, big front hit, but has a great tan cloth interior and 8 hole 15" alloys with good Michelin tyres.

Headlights, headlights, headlights........

If you drive a W123 you will most likely know about the two different types of headlamps for this model, round and square. Well we get lots of questions about these and the topic even came up on our forum. Here is the info on them as posted to the forum.

OK here is how it worked in Australia and most other countries with the exception of the USA. And for the sake of simplicity lets call them Square and Round headlamps.

On the release of the W123 series here which was 11/76 they all had round ones with the exception of the 280E. The 280E was marketed as the upmarket version; it also had chrome ends to the bumper bars (instead of plastic) and some extra chrome underneath the tail lamps. Things stayed this way until 10/82 when a big update was done on the entire W123 range and the square headlamp was used on all models. The chrome bumper ends and tail light chrome was still only used on the 280E.

Now then that we have that al sorted here is the next problem that causes confusion when people want to do headlamp swaps. From the introduction of the W123 up to 10/79 both headlamp version had manual adjusters. From 10/79 onwards they had vacuum adjusters, this is the little wheel with numbers 1-2-3 on it beside the headlamp switch. So if you want to put Square lights in your round light car you need to make sure you get the correct style of adjusted to suit your car. You can put manual adjusters in a later model car and just block off the vacuum line, but you can't put the vaccum adjuster headlamps in an early car as they is no way to adjust them.

More Gullwing history.

Back in Newsletter 111 we had the story of the RHD Gullwing, well I am still trying to find some more history on the conversion, but in the meantime one of our customers has unwittingly sent us another piece of history that relates to the same car. Check out this picture, it is the same car, now painted white in the carpark at Surfers paradise. We have rung the original owner and yes he has confirmed that he painted it white and used to drive it up to Surfers in the early 60's.

Upcoming events.

Here is the current list of upcoming events. If you know of an event that would be of interest to our Newsletter readers please e-mail me with the details as you will see below it does not necessarily have to be an exclusively Mercedes-Benz related event.. The plan is not to put each clubs entire calendar on here, just the major events. Here are a few that I know are coming up:

2nd March 2008 The Mercedes-Benz club of Victoria are holding their Concours d'Elegance to be held in conjunction with the RACV Classic Showcase promoted by the AOMC at Flemington Racecourse. Discounted Concours entry fee when paid on or before February 4th. More details here and the entry forms here.

6th April 2008 MBCNSW "Show & Shine Day"

This event is an opportunity to display your Mercedes-Benz regardless of vintage or condition. If you have never displayed your pride and joy, this non-competitive event is for you. Come along and meet other enthusiasts of the marque, if you know someone that has a Mercedes and isn't a club member, get them to bring their car along. Registrars of various models will be on hand to answer technical questions and what to look for when purchasing a car.

You are invited to have lunch with fellow enthusiasts from 1:10pm at the Canada Bay Club, a collared shirt and enclosed shoes will fulfil the dress code for the club. So to all those club members and forum members, come along and put a name to a face and bring your car - this is not a Concours - it's simply a chance to meet and talk all things Mercedes-Benz. There will be a "lucky gate prize" available to those bringing along their car for display.

WHEN: 6th April 2008 From 10:00am till 1:00pm.

WHERE: Canada Bay Club, 4 William Street, Five Dock. Car park entered off Mackaness Close.

COST: $2.00 "lucky gate prize" entry per car.

ENQUIRIES TO: Mathew Kean W126/W202 Registrar 0434 005 650


18th - 22nd April 2008. As reported in Newsletter 109 the next Biannual rally for the Mercedes-Benz clubs of Australia is being hosted by the Victorian club. Maybe you will have attended or seen our reports from the ACT Rally held in 2006 which was a great success. This rally also is shaping up to be an excellent time. Please have a look here for a general overview as supplied by the Victorian club. If you are interested in attending the rally application forms will be available from your local Mercedes-Benz club. A listing of their contact details can be found here.

16th March 2008. Shannons Wheels Expo is one of two major annual events hosted by the Council of ACT Motor Clubs. Each March since 1982, hundreds of vehicle enthusiasts have participated in this trip down memory lane which is an official part of the Canberra Festival supported by Australian Capital Tourism It is held on the lawns of Old Parliament House, Canberra and this year is being hosted by EJ-EH Holden Club ACT. This event has traditionally been very well supported by the Mercedes-Benz club of the ACT with over 50 cars on display.

Want to buy the best ML320 CDI Diesel in Australia?

We have a very interesting ML320CDI for sale. The original owner went over the top with the options. We checked with Mercedes Benz Australia and they confirmed that this is one of the most highly optioned ML320CDI ever ordered for Australia.

If you have been considering a current model ML then this car would be a unique opportunity. It still has factory warranty until November 2008.

November 2005 ML30Cdi Luxury 4wd done 59000kms. Metallic obsidian black

with black leather. New car price on the road with options totalling $52000 was approx $140,000.00. The owner is looking for $89990.00. Like I said a great opportunity.

Look at this list of options:

Metallic paint 2500.00

Luxury package 8000.00

Adaptive airmatic suspension

With ride height control 5250.00

Leather and wood steering wheel 1690.00

Glass electric sunroof 3500.00

Sump shield guard 300.00

Electric fold mirrors 700.00

Full command system with

Satellite navigation 6950.00

Thermotronic three zone

Air conditioning 1890.00

Bi Xenon headlights with

Cornering lights and headlight

Cleaning system 4250.00

Burr walnut trim n/c

Harmann Karmann sound package 2100.00

Privacy glass 1050.00

Heated front seats 1075.00

Interior lighting package n/c

Automatic tail gate 1690.00

Exterior chrome pack 1500.00

19" AMG alloys 6300.00

UHP phone cradle n/c

Rear DVD player with infrared

Headsets 2500.00

Ipod connection 800.00

Folding external mirrors

Factory tow bar

Sports pedals

Cars for sale.

Apart from the ML320CDI listed above we have some great cars that have come in for sale. This is one of the sections of our business that is getting back into gear now that I am starting to recover more. For the collectors or customers who appreciate old school quality we have an amazing low mileage 450SEL and a great 450SLC. And for someone looking for some comfort and excellent low mileage W140 S320 sedan with only 75000kms on it. Should have pictures up of this in the next few days.

We are also putting on the market Sandra's Viano 7 seat van, this has been our family transport for the last two years and is a great vehicle for a large active family. It has been a wonderful car, over Christmas we drove to Melbourne, across to Adelaide and back via the Hay plains averaging 9lts per 100kms for the trip including driving around Melbourne and Adelaide. Not bad for such a big car.

Cars sold this last month include the E320 wagon we had for some time and a C180 that was sold before we could even advertise it.

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

New cars into stock include:

280SE 3.5 coupe

S320 sedan 1993

450SLC coupe.

450SEL sedan low mileage.

Viano Ambiente

Cars sold include:

E320 Elegance station wagon

C180 Classic sedan 1999


Also in stock we have:

E220 cabriolet low mileage

E280 sedan 1995 spec

170S, classic sedan

170SD, classic Diesel sedan

W114 long wheel base sedan project

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.