The ofﬁcial Mercedes-Benz Club
In this month’s issue
E220 CDI estate Flying Scotsman Rally SLK radio retro-ﬁt
First ever Mercedes-Benz Club – founded 1952
Only UK club recognised by Mercedes-Benz
Free access to the Mercedes-Benz Electronic Parts Catalogue
and Workshop Information Service
Local, national and international events
Discounts from many MB dealers
Members’ website forum
Free subscription to Mercedes-Benz Classic magazine
Discounts from parts suppliers
Discounts from hotels and ferry operators
For membership and general enquiries telephone
0845 6032660 www.mercedes-benz-club.co.uk
Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Ian Keers OBE
Vice Chair and Membership Services Director
Finance Director Maurice Stapleton
Company Secretary Chris Cloke
Marketing Director and liaison with
Mercedes-Benz UK Michael Chapman
Technical Director Jeremy Stevens
Internet Services Director Kenny Ooi
Regional Development Director Trevor Mitchell
Club Services Director Tony De Frates
Correspondence for Club Directors should be
sent to: The Mercedes-Benz Club, PO Box 284,
Stamford PE9 9BY
Honorary President John Surtees OBE
Honorary Life Vice-Presidents
Tina Bellamy, Erika Gupwell, Jacqueline White,
Roger King, Vic Harris and Mike Powell
Founder R H Johnson
Past Presidents G C Monkhouse (1952-1971),
Interregnum, Roger King (1989-1992),
Tina Bellamy (1992-1995), Interregnum
Past Chairmen C W E Kerr (1955-1963),
A J Ray Whiteway (1963-1970), John Barley
(1970-1975), Gerald Coward (1975-1982),
Dr Herbert Ochs (1982), Roger King (1982-1989),
Jacqueline White (1989-1996), Mike Powell
Mercedes-Benz Silver Star Winners
Ron Cushway (deceased), Tina Bellamy,
Roger King, Gordon Hoey (deceased),
Jacqueline White, Maurice Stapleton,
Vic Harris, Mike Powell and Steve Emeny.
This is a rarely made award from the Mercedes-Benz
Museum in Stuttgart to club ofﬁcers who have made a
particularly long and distinguished contribution to their club.
Help for Heroes
is the Mercedes-Benz Club’s
The Good Garage Guide and the current password for the
Club website Members’ pages can be found in the Club
Directory distributed with this Gazette.
Advice and recommendations in the Gazette are given
in good faith by the authors concerned, but neither they nor
the Mercedes-Benz Club Ltd will accept responsibility for any
direct or consequential loss or damage resulting from persons
acting on such advice or recommendations.
Reproduction of any part or whole of this magazine is
prohibited, unless written permission has been obtained from
September issue closes July 9
October issue closes August 6
Published by the Mercedes-Benz Club Ltd
Editorial Ofﬁce: Chris Bass 94 Advertising, Design and Production: Gazette distribution queries:
Connaught Road, Brookwood, Hine Marketing, 19 Suffolk Road, Rosemarie Maslin,
Woking, Surrey GU24 OHJ. Cheltenham, Glos GL50 2AF PO Box 284, Stamford PE9 9BY
Tel: 01483 481836. Tel: 01242 210412 Fax: 01242 222077 Tel: 01780 460922
E-mail: ch firstname.lastname@example.org E-mail: email@example.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
your model of car please.
We will have an area for Members’ cars
offered for sale. We are planning activities
for the children and we hope to have
presentations for the highest authenticated
mileage car, longest journey and maybe
one or two more. A lovely gift from Annie
Sturman is her trophy, in memory of her
husband Richard, for the owner of the
‘Car of the Day’ according to the votes
from everybody attending.
Mark has negotiated a very good
price for us at the Copthorne Hotel
(about 20 minutes from Beaumont)
at 400 Cippenham Lane, Slough SL1
2YE, telephone 01753 516222, which has a
pool for a lazy, refreshing swim after a long
journey. Please make reservations directly,
quoting Mercedes-Benz Club and your
membership number. The double or twin
Thank you to all the Members who there will be an introduction and welcome room rate is £75.00 per night with family
responded to my letter in the Gazette in in the Beaumont Lounge, with Mark’s rooms (two adults with two children) at
November 2009 and who have written, presentation to follow at 11.00. Lunch will £95.00. The location of the Copthorne is
called and e-mailed me since then with be at 1.00pm on the terrace, but we do have north of the M4, junction six. Tickets are
support and encouragement, collectively a ‘plan B’ if, by any remote chance, the available at reception (at a discounted
resulting in a W123 Day to be held on weather is unkind! (England in July? Bring price) for the nearby Legoland.
July 18 at the Beaumont Estate, Burﬁeld swimsuits – for the pool, of course!) We are planning a relaxed and sociable
Road, Engleﬁeld Green, Slough SL4 2JJ. The cost of the day, including lunch, meal together locally on Saturday evening.
We have been so very lucky in ﬁnding is £15 for each adult and £7 for each We appreciate that some Members will
this venue, very near to the M25, in a child (under 13). If July 18 happens to have travelled a long distance, so this
beautiful location, with spacious, surfaced be any Member’s birthday, we’d like to should be an evening to ‘take it easy’,
display areas. We may freely use the know please! We would be most grateful chat, catch up and generally enjoy.
lounge – which has a very large screen, if all Members wishing to attend would If any Member needs further
microphones etc for Mark Cosovich’s send their cheques to Catherine Barlow information, please contact me – my
technical presentation, the swimming pool (PO Box 284, Stamford PE9 9BY) with details are in the Directory, as a Valuer,
(children to be supervised by an adult at all a stamped, addressed envelope for their on page 11 – and I will do my best to help
times), squash and tennis courts, the gym, passes, which will double as tickets for you. We emphasise that all Members will be
the extensive gardens, lawns and nature lunch, as soon as possible please. The welcome at the W123 Day, with or without
trail. closing date for registration is July 1. After a Mercedes-Benz. We are looking forward
We would like to start the day with this date Catherine will be away. We would to seeing everybody on July 18.
arrivals from 9.30 to 10.00am. At 10.30 also appreciate the inclusion of details of Meg Wynne-Mayﬁeld
This summer the Beaulieu Motor With Southampton, Bournemouth and dinner together.
Museum in the New Forest will be our host Portsmouth close by, there is plenty of Beaulieu really needs little introduction.
for the Club’s National and Family Day. A choice for the dedicated shopper. For This world-renowned National Motor
comprehensive range of activities for all others, Rose and Gerald Philpotts have Museum has over 250 vehicles from every
ages is planned for Sunday August 22 but organised a gentle road run to give you a motoring era, including legendary world
for those who wish to make a weekend of ﬂavour of the area. The run will start at the record breakers such as Bluebird, TV star
it we have reserved a number of rooms at Museum of Army Flying in Middle Wallop cars like Del Boy’s Reliant Regal and rare
the Norton Park Hotel, a truly excellent and ﬁnish at the Norton Park Hotel in time oddities like a giant orange on wheels.
hotel on the outskirts of Winchester. for you to freshen up ready for our Club Other things for you to visit during
• • www.mercedes-benz-club.co.uk
We are pleased to announce the release of another three CDs, to cover the ‘Introduction Into
Service’ of the many models dating from the late 1960s to the late 80s. This information is
very detailed and covers the salient points of each new model. This is not service information
as such, but is nevertheless invaluable technical information. All ﬁles are searchable for text
as they have been processed using Optical Character Recognition (OCR).
The CDs are priced at £15 each including VAT, postage and packing. We are also now
in position to reduce the cost of the existing six Technical CDs to £15 each as well.
CD seven covers W100, W114/115, W116 (including the 6.9), R/C107 to W108/109.
There are also details on carburettors and automatic transmissions.
CD eight covers W123, W126 and R129 (including the 6.9 and AMG models).
CD nine covers W201, W124 (including cabriolet), W140 and W460/1/3. Also
included are AMG and 4-Matic models and the electronic carburettor ﬁtted to M102
engines as well as ASR and ASD.
The First 40 Years CD is a compilation of material and photographs documenting Insurance is a must-have for you, and
the ﬁrst 40 years of the Club’s history in eight volumes compiled by the late Jim and for us it’s our specialist subject – but
Lorna Selby. Jim’s original ambition was to produce a book reﬂecting the yearly life we also share a passion for cars of all
of the Club’s existence from its beginnings in 1952 up to 1986, but the manuscript was shapes, sizes and ages. Among the ones
never published. Mike and Joan Powell (with assistance from Andy Thomson) have that really set our pulses racing is the
painstakingly been through the volumes and added and edited where possible in order fabulous Mercedes 300SLR, driven
to make scanning possible. As with the technical CDs, the ﬁles are searchable for text as by the great Stirling Moss in the 1955
they have been processed using Optical Character Recognition (OCR). There are errors Mille Miglia. At Flux, we love our
and omissions, mis-spellings and typos in the document, but these reﬂect the patina of cars so much we have commissioned
the original manuscript. This CD is priced at £10 including VAT, postage & packing. some evocative prints picturing some
All these CDs are obtainable from Catherine Barlow at the Club Ofﬁce and she can of the very best – as you can see from
take telephone orders. the accompanying image. These prints
Jeremy Stevens have all featured in our dedicated on-
line magazine, Inﬂux (www.inﬂux.
co.uk), which features an eclectic mix of
Mark Stevens, the new general manager of Mercedes-Benz South West Taunton, has automotive culture designed to inspire
decided to add more interest for people wishing to purchase a new or used three-pointed- motor enthusiasts.
star. He has taken the west by storm with his idea of introducing the brand in a different Of course the iconic SLR name
form – showing all the latest models to a vast number of people over a two-day period. was revived through the collaboration
While would-be buyers view the range they can also have a hand massage from experts, of Mercedes and McLaren, with its
eat at an all-day barbecue with a professional chef from the Mount Somerset Hotel, relax swansong being the launch in June
on the latest garden furniture, view the latest spas and have a chance to win an SLK for last year of the incredible Mercedes-
the summer months. If you would like to take part in one of these events e-mail Mark via McLaren SLR Stirling Moss. Just 75 have
email@example.com or call 01823 259555. been built at a cool £815,000 each – while
James Lloyd an original 300SLR is priceless. Should
you be looking for insurance for your new
SLR Stirling Moss, do give us a call…
Another of our passions here at Flux
is enjoying the comeback of Michael
Schumacher in the Mercedes F1 team,
nicknamed the Silver Arrows once again.
Some might have thought this was a
mid-life crisis for a former F1 champion
– after his performance in Turkey, who
would write him off? After all, watching
Stirling Moss at Goodwood shows that he
still has ‘the right stuff’.
Lewtrenchard Manor, at Lewdown near Okehampton Devon (postcode EX20 4PN), is virtually
untouched by time and is mentioned in the Domesday Book. If you love good food, this is the
place to go – the general manager is also the chef and he produces exquisite cuisine. To encourage
you to try it, there is special offer for Mercedes-Benz Club Members. You can book three nights
for the price of two and enjoy a complimentary Devonshire cream tea on one afternoon of your
stay. This offer will run until the end of the year, subject to availability and not in conjunction with
any other offer or package. Details of how to contact Lewtrenchard and the code to quote when
booking are given in the Club Directory enclosed with this Gazette.
Letter of the Month
As a thank you (and as an incentive for even greater
efforts) we like to choose a letter of the month.
Meguiar’s have kindly agreed to sponsor this and
the Member whose letter is selected receives a
Wash & Wax car care kit.
I was carrying out some routine
maintenance on our early R170 SLK
yesterday and noticed a broken earth strap Dear Alan (Cross – North West Regional Ofﬁcer),
running from the power steering pump to We just wanted to drop you a line regarding our recent ‘adventures’ with our 1965
the nearside chassis leg. As can be seen SEb coupé MVF 981C, known as the ‘Duchess’. It’s 12 months since we approached
from the photo, the original lead is poorly you on the Club stand at Tatton Park to ask about obtaining a new wing for our car.
supported and has suffered water ingress You asked, “Where is your car, you should have brought it?” We said we were too
and hardening of the insulation, all of which ashamed of the rust to bring it to any show so you introduced us to Chris Murphy of
contributed to the failure. I have made up a Gratt Motor Company who just happened to be on the stand at the time.
new lead that is somewhat more substantial Chris is a very unassuming man and stated there and then, “I can ﬁx your car,
and ﬂexible than the original. We also had no problem at all.” You also told us about Dave Collins at Hebden Bridge, where
a similar problem just after we obtained we obtained a wing and took it to Chris. He did a fantastic job of ﬁtting the wing
the car two years ago. The two earth straps from Dave and repairing the other one so that the car looked fantastic. What a great
on the exhaust system, one amidships and recommendation and we now know that Chris really can ﬁx it. We then took our car
one on the rear silencer (only one is shown to two car shows, one at Capesthorne Hall, where you made us very welcome, and
on the EPC though), were both found to one at Townley Hall in Burnley, which we were told about when visiting Dave Collins.
have disintegrated due to salt corrosion. I’d We then saw the trip to Monte Carlo was being planned and decided our Duchess
advise all keen DIY SLK owners to check should go, as we never cease to say our old Merc will go anywhere, but the trip was
these straps and replace as required – faulty 3,000 miles, would she make it? We asked around for advice on who could check out
earth straps can lead to all sorts of odd our car locally and were advised strongly that the Guru is Harry at Greenvale Services
electrical system behaviour. in Whiteﬁeld. We went and interviewed Harry and decided we could trust him to look
at our car, so we booked it in. Harry did lots of jobs, one of which was to replace the
Regards, bearing on the prop shaft, however we received some disturbing news which went
Jeremy Stevens, Club Technical Director, something like this: “We can't make the car run correctly and think the head needs
via e-mail to come off and further investigations made because you will not get to Monte as
it is.” We agreed to this and have had the head reconditioned with hardened valve
seats and new valves etc. The Duchess now runs better than at any time in the last 20
years and takes unleaded fuel. We had a panic because new valve guides could not
Dear Chris, be sourced, however, at the 11th hour the guides were found and the car was ready.
The item about the Shooting Break (June We asked Harry if the car would get us to Monte and he said, “There's nothing to go
‘News and views’) reminds me of an wrong with these old Fintails.” So that was all right then.
amusing incident during the early days Harry did a great job and we set off on the ‘Mercedes to Monte Carlo’
of the lordly 600 going on sale in Britain. commemoration run which celebrated the ﬁrst, second and third places of Mercedes
It was told to me by my old friend and 220SEs in the 1960 Monte Carlo Rally. We have had a fantastic trip and met some
colleague Gordon McKenzie-Wylie who fabulous people, who all appeared interested in our old car. The French kept
was in charge of 600 sales and swore it stopping us and saying, “La belle voiture.” We have seen some fantastic places and
was true. An Arab gentleman called into everywhere people stopped and asked us about our old car and what the trip was
Normand’s Park Lane showrooms and all about. It was well organised from start to ﬁnish and Nicky Porter and Andrew
enquired if a shooting brake version of the Bodman did a great job, and many other people put in a great deal of work to organise
600 was planned. The salesman explained this. The itinerary and the accommodation were just stunning. We would recommend
that extending the rooﬂine backwards anyone to participate in any Mercedes-Benz Club event as they are ﬁrst class in every
and adding a vertical tailgate would spoil way and the people are so friendly and helpful.
the looks of the car. “No, no,” said the One day we stopped after about half an hour on one of the cols, just to check the oil and
customer miming the action of shooting a the ATF, and every single Club car stopped to enquire if we were all right and if we needed
riﬂe in two directions. “I mean open the help! Fantastic. We would recommend Gratt Motor Company, Greenvale and Dave Collins
roof so I can go shooting!” to any Members who need great service and skilled people to look after their cars.
All the best, We are now looking forward to our next trip.
Erik Johnson, via e-mail Steve and Marilyn Wilkinson, via e-mail
far away in Buckingham – Automec Ltd
(www.automec.co.uk) and rushed down
there to buy a precious bottle. Automec
is an interesting company that provides all
kinds of specialist brake components and
is worth keeping a note of. Finally the job
was completed and the car ready for its
wheel alignment check, but…
Last year I had a Pertronix electronic
ignition module ﬁtted, together with a
‘Flame-thrower’ high output coil as I
thought this would be a big improvement
over the ﬁddly business of managing the
two sets of points these cars have. I have
been generally convincing myself that
things were better and I was glad there
was no more gradual degradation of points
as was the case before. However, if I am
honest, there has been a patch of rough
running between 2,000 and 2,500rpm plus
some hesitation when the car was booted
at 2,000 rpm. Once through the hesitation
it seemed ﬁne. We were planning to travel
to Munich in convoy with Jeremy Stevens’
170Sv and Michael Morrison’s W112
300SE cabriolet and obviously the 170
will determine the convoy speed. I started
to realise that we will be spending a great
deal of time in my rough-running rev zone
and I really did not fancy that all the way
to Munich and back, so the other night we
decided to whip the plugs out, clean them
and open the gaps to 0.028-inch to see if
the ﬂame thrower coil would work at its full
potential and perhaps cure the problem. It
was worse, much worse in fact, so then we
made a very late decision to change the car
back to points for the trip. Fortunately I
had kept the old coil (actually, it was only
Preparing the 6.3 for Munich about a year old) and the ballast resistor
We were due to leave for the Ponton Rally only £26 each but it made sense to do them plus I had some new points in stock, so
in Halbergmoos near Munich in the early when the torsion bar was coming off. This we were OK. However, this late problem
hours of June 1 and I thought I had made plan of work would be followed by a full caused me to have to cancel the wheel
a good preparation plan for the car, but at wheel alignment check, which has never alignment appointment.
the 11th hour things began to go wrong and been done during my ownership of the car. Doug prefers to remove distributors
stress levels had risen! It was very easy in from the car and to set them up on the
the dark days of last December to casually Silicone brake ﬂuid bench, which I think is the best way too.
say, “Oh, we’ll just take the 6.3,” but as you The 6.3 was ﬁlled with silicone brake We noticed that the black collar that comes
get closer you begin to realise that taking a ﬂuid when it had a major braking system with the Pertronix kit was slightly loose on
41-year-old, very complex car on a big trip overhaul in 2006 by the previous owner. the distributor spindle. It seemed very tight
like this is no light undertaking and quite Perhaps not everyone is familiar with this when it was ﬁrst pushed on, so maybe this
a bit of preparation has to be done. At fairly special product, but it does have
the last MoT test it was given a couple of several beneﬁts: a) it does not boil; b) it is
advisories, speciﬁcally, worn rear torsion not hygroscopic (water absorbent) so never
bar rubbers (6.3s have rear anti-roll bars needs replacing and c) it does not damage
as well as a front one) and two worn paintwork. It conforms to the US DOT 5
bushes at the front. Doug also wanted to standard and is standard speciﬁcation for
ﬁt new rear caliper housing bearing kits as the US Army vehicle ﬂeet for example. It is
well. I believe these are only used on air- expensive though, at around £38 per litre.
suspended cars and allow the rear calipers (So you need to keep it in a safe!) We lost
to move as the suspension ﬂexes. The rear a bit of brake ﬂuid during the strip-down
axle is ‘gripped’ by a steel housing, inside and I only then realised I had no silicone
which are two plastic shell bearings. The ﬂuid in stock, so set out to buy some. By
assembly is ﬁtted with a grease nipple. the time I had been to three motor factors
They gradually seize and can cause ‘groans’ in Northampton plus Halfords and had
to come from the back and, as the newness drawn a blank in every case, I realised
had certainly worn off mine, I decided to this was rare stuff. In the end, I used the
have them replaced. The repair kits are ‘interweb’ and found an importer not that
• • www.mercedes-benz-club.co.uk
Club polo shirts with
logo, in a choice
of burgundy, navy
blue, red or white.
Alloy tax disc holders, Please state size when
Magnetic tax disc holder Club logo wooden ordering. £21.50
twist-off back, in Wheel and tyre key chain,
with Club logo. wall clock, hand made.
titanium or black. Club logo one side (both
£22.00 sides shown) £7.00
Square metal key ring
with Club logo on both
sides. £7.50 Black leather key ring
Baseball caps with Club logo. Choice of navy blue with red or with Club logo.
silver logo, stone with navy logo, burgundy, £8.00
black, red or yellow with silver logo, and navy with taupe peak.
Navy blue storm-proof
coat with silver thread
logo. Please state size
when ordering. Satin ﬁnish key chain
£35.00 Round Club alloy with Club logo.
key ring. £10.00 £7.00
Black sports bag in black with silver thread Oval metal key ring
Club logo, ideal for the boot of the car. with Club logo on
£22.00 both sides. £7.50
Heavy gauge stainless
steel number plate
backing plate £23.00
Anti-theft spinner valve
Luxury lap-top carrying Club window
Suit carrier with stickers, silver or Anti-theft valve
silver thread bag with padded caps with Club
compartments and white background
Club logo. £2.25 logo £17.00
£25.00 Club logo.
blue with Club ﬂeece in navy
Club logo. Woolly hats in blue or burgundy
Please state burgundy or with silver thread
White slim porcelain size when black with silver logo. Please state
Burgundy mug with White slim porcelain mug mug ‘I love my ordering. thread Club size when ordering.
Club logo. £8.00 with Club logo. £8.00 Mercedes’. £8.00 £25.00 logo. £12.50 £33.50
Visit our Club website shop. Orders can now be made via the
site with payment by credit card, Paypal or cheque. Log onto Steve Evans, 131 Balmoral Way, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset BS22 9DJ.
the Club website and start shopping the easy way. Please make
cheques payable to S Evans. Paypal payment address: sales@ To order please ring 01934 418545
classicmerchandise.com If we are unable to answer the phone, please leave a message on the
All orders will be despatched within 24 hours, if there is answer-phone and we will call you back. Faxes can be sent on the same number.
a problem we will contact you. UK post and packing is now The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
included in all prices, please ring or e-mail for overseas rates.
Sorry, but due to bank charges,
Goods found to be faulty through design ﬂaws or postage
we have had to introduce a minimum order value of £5.00.
damage will be replaced free of charge.
Club merchandise will be on sale at Tatton Park June 5-6, the National Concours June 26,
the SL Rally August 8, the National Weekend August 22 and the NEC Classic Car Show November 12-14.
o there it is, I have just collapsed leave the Birmingham NEC paling into a exchanging pleasantries and awaiting our
into my hotel room having side hall. transport for the weekend. Ahead of time
completed the ﬁrst of the two- Having packed my bags in London the coach pulled up and we duly loaded
day extravaganza that is Essen. ready for the long weekend, I became our luggage into its cavernous bowels and
This is my ﬁrst visit to the Techno-Classica aware that something special was going to hopped into our seats. At this point there
Classic Car Show and I have already been happen as everyone appeared just that little were already other Members on board
briefed on what to expect, but nothing can bit happier than normal. Smiles were that who had got on at an earlier point and
really prepare you for the sheer enormity, little bit wider, handshakes that little bit there began another round of big grins
the grandiose cars, the variety of vehicles ﬁrmer and wallets bulged, the eager euros and ﬁrm handshakes before we all settled
of all ages, colours marques, types – both itching to be exchanged for shiny chrome down for what seemed to be a very short
concours, everyday and ‘project’, and car parts. At 7.15am on the Thursday we all journey indeed to Folkestone and the Euro
the sheer size of the halls which together gathered at the South Mimms coach park, Tunnel departure area for breakfast.
• • www.mercedes-benz-club.co.uk
eike writes: “My relationship This got rather addictive. I came away afford and pay for it ﬁve-fold, over the next
with this car is all the feeling slightly dirty. Is that normal? 25 years’. Sounded good to me.
Mercedes-Benz Club Gaz- Eventually I spoke to a charming man, So the beautiful car and I glided back to
ette’s fault. Thanks to it, I whose integrity and candour dripped from Cambo. It took us nearly two days, as I am
have worked my way through most of the every syllable. The car had been his reward not the world’s fastest driver. Doing 50 in
seven deadly sins and in the end I pretty to himself for qualifying as a doctor. He had the middle lane is quite fast enough, thank
much gave in to all of them. only owned it a few months before getting you. Yes, the damp was very expensive and
Firstly ‘lust and envy’. It all started a contract in Australia, so sadly it had to monstrously complicated to ﬁx. So was the
about 10 years ago. I had always wanted a go. I asked lots of questions, (mainly, “Is engine. So was all the rust that appeared
280SL (so bad it hurt) but hadn’t seriously it blue?”) and everything sounded good. within days. In all, I spent more than twice
looked into it, correctly assuming I Especially the price. I had been sucked in. what I paid for the car. I still suffer from
couldn’t afford one. I was, after all, a single For the ﬁrst time I agreed to actually go ﬂashbacks about the bills, but that is all a
mum, working part time as a hairdresser. and look at a car. Oh dear. long time ago and time is a great healer.
Anyway, I had a ﬁne W115, otherwise Naturally it was in Glasgow. As I live To cut a long story short, Stewart and
known as ‘the Beirut taxi’. It was orange, in Cambridge there are very few places Wisbey (stewart-wisbey.co.uk or 01353
it was immaculate, it had a lot of chrome, that could have been further away. This is 665343) did a truly awesome job in sorting
it sounded sweet and looked deeply cool. where ‘extravagance’ comes in... I booked a out the engine. Barr Tech (barr-tech.com or
But it wasn’t a 280SL. single ﬂight and arrived in torrential rain at 01223 425300) made the bodywork like new.
When I bought the W115, in 1997, I dusk. Under the glow of a street lamp, the Eight years later, all the work is still faultless.
joined the Mercedes-Benz Club and, like car did look fairly blue and it was deﬁnitely I would never take it anywhere else.
clockwork, the Gazette crashed onto the very shiny. Glistening, in fact. I took it for a When things are going badly and I
doormat once a month. If I am honest, I spin and noticed it was sopping wet inside am hovering above some professional or
didn’t always read it from cover to cover. and burning a fair bit of oil. I slithered to ﬁnancial abyss, I say to myself, “Yes, but I
There is a limit to the amount of enthusiasm a halt outside his ﬂat, emerged from the have got a 280 SL (in blue)” and suddenly
I can generate for a detailed photographic steaming interior, waded through the river nothing seems quite as bad.
analysis of how to get the light working that had now formed in the gutter, wafted Finally, ‘pride and vainglory’. As I
again inside the glove compartment of an a passage through the smoke, and the doc am among like-minded people, I think
E-Class. In truth, I always ﬂipped straight to and I went upstairs to talk business. Having it is safe to confess that I still love every
the ads at the back. I began, hypothetically coltishly broken every rule for buying a car, over-priced, blue molecule of my car.
of course, ‘having a look’... My needs were I did redeem myself a bit by beating him When I approach it in a car park, not only
very speciﬁc and unshakeable. It had to be down mercilessly on the price. Well, he was do I feel ridiculously proud, I rather hope
a 280SL. It had to be pale metallic blue. a doctor, he could afford it... someone sees me getting into it... When I
Er… did I say blue? Oh yes, and shiny. I knew I’d been naughty. I had paid see people I know, I always toot. Not really
Very, very shiny. for it using an ‘additional advance’, my to be sociable you understand, but so they
Well, as they say, one thing led to mortgage company’s euphemism for ‘Go can see what a fab car I’ve got. Come on...
another. It started with a few phone calls. ahead and buy something you really can’t We’ve all done it...”
If you would like your car to be a Car of the month, please send a good photo (conventional or digital) and a few details to the Gazette
Editorial Ofﬁce: Chris Bass, 94 Connaught Road, Brookwood, Woking, Surrey GU24 0HJ or email@example.com
‘F Duct’ banned for 2011
Following meetings in Barcelona, the F1 with both drivers taking points in eighth Hill, decided this was a breach of the
teams have agreed to ban the so-called ‘F and ninth positions. In Turkey di Resta was regulations and demoted the German to
Duct’ for the 2011 season. McLaren was also left out of the practice. 12th place. Mercedes was adamant it was
the ﬁrst to exploit the loophole in the rules in the right but did not appeal against the
and several teams have since followed suit, McLaren’s Monaco blunder decision. The rule has now been clariﬁed
some with more success than others. Button failed to make the second lap of and there is to be no overtaking allowed
the Monaco GP due to an air intake cover, under such circumstances.
Motor homes which was inadvertently left on the car on the
After having to slum it in its old motor home left side en route to the grid, blocking air to Hamilton charged
in Spain, the McLaren team was able to use the engine. The team tried to remove it on Following Hamilton’s exuberant departure
the new three-storey structure in Monaco the grid but were unable to do so due to the from the entrance gates of the Australian
after a three-day construction period. With heat. Had there been no safety car during the GP in March, a court hearing has been set
its two indoor sections and roof terrace, race it would not have been such an issue, for August 24 at Melbourne Magistrates’
the team wined and dined its guests during but the car over-heated after the ﬁrst, early Court, a mere three days before ﬁrst
the weekend as well as running its normal safety-car period, leading to engine failure practice for the Belgian GP at Spa. It is
activities. Red Bull had its new ‘Energy and Button had to retire. He refused to unlikely he will be present at the hearing.
Station’, which was ﬂoated into the harbour name and shame the hapless mechanic but
after being constructed in a port nearby. was satisﬁed he would not do it again. Button GP round up
also suffered a dashboard problem in Spain Three races were held in May, beginning
Cause of Hamilton’s Spanish the previous week, delaying his pit-stop. with the Spanish GP. Schumacher, in the
crash Mercedes, managed his best ﬁnish so far, in
The McLaren team conﬁrmed that McLaren loses Pat Fry fourth, beating his team-mate Rosberg, albeit
Hamilton’s penultimate lap retirement After 18 years with the team, chief engineer over a minute behind Webber’s winning Red
crash was caused by a rim failure and not Pat Fry announced he is to leave. Martin Bull. Button came ﬁfth place and the Force
a Bridgestone tyre failure. The accident, Whitmarsh said “…in these situations it’s India of Sutil ﬁnished an impressive seventh.
similar to Kovalainen’s in 2008 at the a great opportunity for someone younger, Monaco in mid-May saw the Red
same circuit, pitched the McLaren driver maybe hungrier, to come along and replace Bull domination continue, with Webber
into the tyres and out of a certain second all of us. We’re all replaceable. I think the winning the race. Rosberg was beaten by
position. Martin Whitmarsh said the rim process will be the same but we’re manned Schumacher once again with the longer
could have been damaged by debris on the with fresh new engineers.” chassis Mercedes appearing not to suit
track or a loose wheel nut. the young German’s style. Hamilton came
Schumacher’s Monaco penalty home in ﬁfth place for McLaren and both
di Resta disappointed at Schumacher received a 20-second penalty Force India cars ﬁnished in the points.
Monaco and Turkey at the Monaco GP for passing Alonso for The Turkish GP should have been a
Force India reserve driver and Mercedes sixth place in the very last metres of the now familiar Red Bull one-two, but in the
DTM racer Paul di Resta was left out of race. A new rule for 2010 sees the addition late stages of the race Vettel had a risky go
his usual practice role at Monaco but was of a ‘safety car line’ as well as a ﬁnishing at Webber, who gave him no room to take
still upbeat about the weekend, attending line, with the former a good distance the next corner and the resulting collision
several PR events for the team. The from the ﬁnish line. Once the safety car handed the one-two to an ever-improving
Monaco circuit is very demanding and the is past this line and turned into the pit- McLaren. The two Mercedes ﬁnished as
team elected to run their regular drivers in lane entrance, the race is technically on well as could be expected in fourth and ﬁfth,
all three practice sessions ahead of the race again. Schumacher took advantage of this with Schumacher again beating Rosberg.
to enable them to gain as much experience following the fourth safety car period. The Sutil once again ﬁnished in the points for
as possible of the tight track. It paid off stewards, including guest steward Damon Force India.
Round one – Hockenheimring, Mercedes-Benz on the other hand remaining cars became ever closer until
April 25 has two new drivers: CongFu (yes, really) in the ﬁnal tussle for pole, only one Audi
Cheng, the ﬁrst Chinese driver ever to take – Tomczyk’s – was still running against
Having won the last three DTM part in the series, and former F1 star David the three AMG Mercedes of Spengler,
championships in a row, Audi no doubt Coultard in a bright yellow AMG C-Class Green and Gary Paffett who, after some
approached the opening of the 2010 series sponsored by Deutsche Post. Mercedes has disappointing practice times, had sprung
without being burdened by any undue its motor sport effort diluted by supporting from nowhere. And he it was who took pole
sense of humility. And with only one new two hugely expensive F1 teams. Although by a mere 0.076 seconds from Tomczyk,
driver in its line-up, Spaniard Miguel to be fair, Audi does put a prodigious, with Spengler third and Green fourth on
Molina replacing Tom Kristensen who and usually very productive, effort into its the second row of the grid.
retired at the end of 2009, the team also annual Le Mans entry. Somewhat further back was David
has the strength of consistency. Anyway, by the end of free practice Coulthard, in 17th for his ﬁrst ever DTM
on Friday, Audi’s conﬁdence seemed race and confessing: “It was a lot more
thoroughly vindicated. All three fastest difﬁcult than I had expected after the
times went to A4s, with Timo Scheider tests.” It is a response common to most
being the quickest, closely followed by drivers who have come to DTM, or any
Martin Tomczyk and Mattias Ekstrom. other saloon car series, from the very
Jamie Green in fourth held the best result different discipline of F1, and to date
for Mercedes, with team-mates Bruno Coulthard’s former F1 team-mate Mika
Spengler sixth and Paul di Resta 10th. So, Hakkinen has been the only open-wheel
only three of the C-Classes in the top 10 – racer to have achieved much success in this
not an auspicious start for Stuttgart. particular speciality.
And Audi’s dominance continued into On the morning before the race, there
the two sessions of Saturday’s free practice, is always a brief warm-up session. The
with Tomczyk and Alexandre Premat ﬁrst results do not necessarily mean much, as
and second fastest. But at least Spengler a quick car and driver may not want to
had closed the performance gap. He was strain themselves by needlessly putting in
third and only 0.187 seconds off the pace. a blistering time at this stage, but it does at
Indeed all the leading drivers were running least give the crowd and the commentators
extremely close to each other – only half a something to speculate about. And this
second separated the top eight. particular warm-up sparked plenty of
Qualifying proper began at 1.45pm speculation. Jamie Green’s 2008 C-Class
and consisted of four eliminating sessions was quickest at 1.33.902, followed by no
with the ﬁnal one being a sort of ﬂying lap fewer than ﬁve Audi A4s – Tomczyk’s,
shoot-out between the fastest four drivers Timo Scheider’s, Mike Rockenfeller’s,
for the best grid positions. As session Oliver Jarvis’s and Ekstrom’s. Pole-sitter
succeeded session, the lap times of the Paffett was only seventh. How that would
ou might remember the
story of Detlef Heyer and his
amazing 630K. The ﬁrst UK
Members saw of him was at
the Brooklands Festival in 2007, when he
brought the car over, driving without a
hood through some of the worst summer
down-pours to get there. After that I went to
Ireland and wrote a story about the car and
Detlef, which was published in the February
2008 Gazette. Writing such an article usually
means that even after the actual interview
there are always other details to check, so I
had to phone Detlef a few times. Probably
because of that he must have decided I was
the one to contact when he had a proposition
to put to the Club. The story I had written
had detailed how he had taken part in the
Classic Mille Miglia and the Classic Safari
rallies plus some others. He called me one
afternoon around the end of February to say
he was taking part in the Flying Scotsman
Rally in March and that he had not got a
navigator. He wondered if anyone in the
Club would be interested and if so, as he had
paid all the upfront costs, would they make a much as possible of the driving is on minor a section for classics. The Classic Safari
decent donation to the Haiti relief charities. roads, and there are a liberal sprinkling seems more like a Safari, there seem to
I spoke to Ian Keers and because there of various sorts of driving tests and timed be few restrictions and it includes trips to
was not enough time to put an appeal in sections. One night is spent in Grantham game parks etc. The Trans-Am is back to
the Gazette, he immediately put a note and the second in Darlington, whilst the earlier models with one class up to 1941
on the Club website forum, asking those ﬁnish is just outside Edinburgh at the and a second up to 1975. These rallies are
interested to call me. I did not get any Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club. All in obviously a popular pastime as several
real response, so I also contacted David all some 732 miles in three days on minor of the above events are already fully
Lawson, whom I knew was well into classic roads – not a really easy jaunt with pre-war booked. Although entering such rallies
rallying. He was interested and has written vehicles. The entry list included another is pretty expensive, it has to be said that
about his experiences below. Mercedes – an SSK no less, from Germany. the organisers put a lot of work into the
In fact, according to Detlef, it was in reality preparation and the route books are really
Endurance rallies an S, not an SSK. Most of the cars were well put together.
However, before getting to that, a bit British vintage models – Bentleys, MGs etc For the story of how this entry in the
of background on what are described with a sprinkling of exotica such as a 1922 Flying Scotsman Rally got off the ground,
as ‘endurance rallies’. The Flying Bugatti Brescia. I will hand over to David Lawson. When
Scotsman and others are organised by a The same organisation is also running they met, Detlef made the comment that,
the Endurance Rally Association. These a Peking-Paris in 2010, London-Capetown whilst David was one of the ‘Bentley boys’,
people specialise in setting up such events in 2011, the Classic Safari in 2011 and the he was now a ‘Mercedes man’!
and specify which age of car can take Trans-Am – New York to Alaska – in 2012.
part. The Flying Scotsman – which I later The type of participant varies – the Peking- Navigating the rally
found out had nothing whatsoever to do Paris includes cars up to 1968 divided into ‘A phone call from Peter Hampson
with the train of the same name – runs various classes. Although there are 100 enquired whether I would be interested
from London (Brooklands) to Edinburgh places most are now taken! The London- in navigating on the rally for Detlef Heyer
and takes three days. It is speciﬁcally for Capetown is also booked up. This allows a German residing in Ireland. I contacted
vintage and pre-war cars, ie up to 1941. As modern cars, including 4x4s, with also Detlef and we agreed to proceed. I advised
expanded into other classes of insurance,
in particular developing a household policy
offering £5,000-worth of cover, free of
charge, for car parts and accessories kept
in the property. It also provides specialist
cover for restorers and club ofﬁcials.
Speaking at the dinner, Peter said: “70
of our ﬁrst 300 customers are still insured
lub insurance panel member most classic policies had severe mileage with us and with the support of underwriters
Peter Best celebrated its 25th restrictions. Through his work with Volvo, such as Ecclesiastical we have been able to
anniversary recently with a Peter had experience of the insurance offer the ﬂexibility to tailor policies to our
gala dinner and a display of industry and was able to put it to good use customers’ needs and a stress-free claims
classic cars at the Pontlands Park Hotel in developing a scheme tailored to MG response when it has been needed.” As well
near Chelmsford in Essex. Several Club Car Club members’ needs. In the early as providing tailored insurance schemes for
Members – and their cars – were invited, days, Peter’s wife Marian ran the business the clubs it is involved with, PBIS has given
including Johanna White with her 300S from their home, but it rapidly expanded support in other ways – by supplying trophies,
cabriolet, Brenda and Maurice Stapleton, and soon moved to its own premises, with taking advertising and through other ﬁnancial
Angela and Michael Chapman with their Peter’s full-time involvement from 1991 input. As well as long-standing customers,
SLs and Tina and David Bellamy. onwards. guests at the dinner included staff members
There can’t be many insurance Peter and Marian’s interest in MGs – some of whom have been with the company
companies which would be able to hold goes back a long way. Peter’s ﬁrst car was for as long as 15 years – and representatives
such an event – with many of the guests a 1937 Morris, but Marian’s was a 1932 from the insurance companies with whom
being customers who have been with them MG J2 – which she still has. Peter now has PBIS works.
since the beginning. The cars on display another Morris – a 1932 Minor – as well At the buffet lunch on the following
included many pre- and post-war MGs, a as three T-type MGs and a Mercedes-Benz day, Club Member Angela Chapman led a
graceful Alvis and several Mercedes. The SLK and a W124 230TE. well-deserved vote of thanks to Peter Best
hotel forecourt was ﬁlled to overﬂowing Peter has been chairman of the for a splendid occasion.
with these gleaming vehicles and guests MG Car Club more than once and his Now, with 35 personnel split between
enjoyed sparkling wine, Pimms and a understanding of how such clubs work ofﬁces in Maldon and Kelvedon, PBIS
three-course dinner hosted by a liveried soon led him to develop insurance schemes strives to maintain the level of customer
toastmaster. for other one-make clubs and specialist service and competitive premiums that
After the dinner, Peter Best himself vehicles such as 4 x 4s. The PBIS specialist enabled it to have a splendid 25th birthday
explained how it all started when he and Mercedes-Benz Club policy was launched party with many of its original customers.
fellow MG Car Club members could not in 1992 and several others have followed, Call 01621 840400 or 01376 573033, or log
ﬁnd the insurance cover they needed – including Morgan, British cars generally, on to www.peterbestinsurance.co.uk to
they used their cars a lot and in those days Volvo, Saab and BMW. The company also ﬁnd out more about Peter Best Insurance.
E220 CDI Sport managed to pack in very large loads and re-fuel, so I turned off the M5 and headed
This new estate from Mercedes-Benz is at times piled more onto the roof rack, but for The Greenway in Shurdington just out
quite a looker, a great improvement on now many city dwellers with holiday homes side of Cheltenham, an Elizabethan manor
years passed. Gone is that square look seem to use these large load-carrying house hotel with a ﬁne restaurant. Then I
and, most of all, gone is that slight, echo- vehicles for their weekends away. They rejoined the M5 and continued my drive to
type drumming we had in the past. I found pack the rear with every thing possible Birmingham and later to Stratford-upon-
this new model quite acceptable and a vast – food, wine plus most of the children’s Avon, my stop for the night.
improvement on previous models, but are needs, so times have changed and sales of
estates now as comfortable and as silent as estates I am told are growing each year. A sunny start
saloon cars? The answer is yes. Like all new cars you can spend several A sunny morning made me think how this
In years gone by, estates always seemed thousand pounds adding accessories, but car could take me to the south of France
to be driven by antique dealers. They do we need them? with enough storage space to carry many
months’ luggage and a large family, but alas
Small engine I was on my way home, although looking
On entering the car you notice the smart forward to the drive. Since the start of my
interior – it is plush, well equipped and trip I had not found any problems – good
the seating cannot be faulted. Now to the positive steering, smooth gear changes and
power unit and how it drives. For a change ample power when wishing to overtake. If
I asked for the smaller engine and settled I had to nit-pick, and this I could say about
for this sporty, nippy four-cylinder and, most new cars, over the past few years door
believe me, it is nippy considering the size pillars and screen pillars have increased in
of the car. At ﬁrst I was concerned this size. I know this improves the strength and
engine would not propel this large estate stability of the car, but it also cuts down
when loaded, well I need not have feared as your vision – sometimes these wide pillars
it has hidden horses somewhere under the block out cyclists, they also give blind
bonnet and drives extremely well. This car spots for baby carriages or tots when you
would take you a long way in a day without are reversing. Maybe the manufacturers
having to stop for fuel. Young drivers, with should pay more attention to this problem.
energy to spare, could drive for long stints I have to mention the silence inside, the
and cover many hundreds of miles. I am no only noise was tyre rumble on different
longer able to do that and have to stop and road services, but that is not the fault of
• • www.mercedes-benz-club.co.uk
n these lean times when we are in a another car was required (desired?). electrically reclining rear seats. Double
‘credit crunch’ it is not a good time to Whilst browsing the Club website forum glazing. Soft-close doors and boot. 17-inch
sell your late model Mercedes as you www.mercedes-menz-club.co.uk I saw Mercedes alloys. Loads of other stuff I’ve no
watch the residual value plummet. a post by a fellow Member, N J Burns, doubt forgotten.
However, it is a great time to buy that pointing out a W140 S600 V12 advertised Not many of these exceptional cars
cheap gas-guzzler you know you really on the Piston heads website. It had a full around in this condition any more. Reason
want. Whilst the latest big diesel engines main dealer service history, three owners for sale is that I no longer need to do the long
are fantastic for the everyday commute to from new and was in obsidian black (my London-Leeds commute for which this car
work or general running around, giving favourite colour) with two-tone grey nappa was purchased. If you have any questions, or
superb miles per gallon with excellent leather. The advertisement read: would like to arrange a viewing then just give
torque and power, most ‘petrol heads’, Mercedes S600 (W140), in obsidian us a ring.
myself included, really hanker after a big black with two-tone leather interior. 117,000 Well I was very tempted, even though
V8 or V12 engine to waft us along in style. miles with comprehensive Mercedes-Benz I think the W140 is not the most attractive
I was in a position whereby my eldest son service history. Absolutely no expense spared model S-Class, but the engine and all the
wanted the 190E automatic project I had and has had everything it’s ever needed ‘toys’ on this massive car really appealed
bought off Ebay needing a little work, the (including a brand new automatic gearbox to me. So a call was made to the advertiser
speciﬁcation including leather interior, ﬁtted in the last couple of years by Mercedes- who explained he had owned the car for
air-conditioning, outside temperature Benz Hughes of Beaconsﬁeld). This car over ﬁve years and bought it with 60,000 on
gauge, electric driver’s seat with memory, comes with a huge spec list, including: the clock. It was originally bought new for
sunroof, four electric windows, ASD etc. Front and rear parking sensors with audio/ the chairman of Rank Hovis McDougall
Once the work was completed he took a visual display. Individually adjustable and was chauffer-driven for the ﬁrst three
shine to it and it was gone. climate control for passenger/driver. Bose years up to 50,000 miles. It was then sold
So with a space to ﬁll in the garage sound system with six-CD changer. Heated, to a Malcolm Clark who owned a BMW
• • www.mercedes-benz-club.co.uk
n the seven months since taking become effective. This is not entirely
delivery of our Smart last year we unexpected as the pipe-run from rear to the
have now covered nearly 3,000 miles, front is quite long and uninsulated. Maybe
most of which is accounted for by my daily this summer I will drop the undertray off
commute to work, a far from optimal and install some pipe insulation. I found
distance of about four miles. that condensation from my breath (even
The transmission behaviour seems with the windows open) froze on the
to be improving, though this could be inside of the windscreen and the mirror.
a combination of the driver learning its My solution to this problem was to put a
foibles and the ECU dynamically adjusting fan heater in the cabin about 10 minutes
the control parameters. The slow shifts before setting off in the morning. This also
can sometimes still be a problem and the warmed the glass up sufﬁciently so that the
automatic downshifts can catch one out, car was de-iced completely prior to hitting
or occur unnecessarily. For example, both the road.
Jane, my wife, and I have experienced a When my greengrocer ﬁrst saw the reversing the direction of rotation of the
double downshift caused by selecting a Smart he scoffed that I wouldn’t be able to washer motor. Very clever, but it meant
lower gear at the precise time the ECU get the weekly shop and a bag of potatoes that there was a leak somewhere as the
had already made the same decision but in the boot. He was soon proved wrong. He front washers were still working. Further
not implemented it. Living in London had to eat his words for a second time at investigation revealed that water was
we are plagued with trafﬁc calming Christmas when I managed to get a six-foot pouring out of the rearmost nearside sill
measures and the Smart doesn’t much Norwegian spruce in the cabin, along with drain when the rear washer was operated.
like these generally, but on a cold start a larger than normal load of vegetables, At this point I gave up and took the car
and heading down our road I frequently and shut the rear door on the lot! back to Tony Purslow, the supplying dealer,
experience a completely unnecessary two The Smart’s deceptive carrying powers who lent me a new Smart diesel whilst
to one downshift when negotiating the were useful when I picked up a set of they looked at the problem and, to give
speed humps, and not because my speed second-hand alloy wheels, complete with them credit, they had sorted the problem
has changed perceptibly. Trafﬁc calming tyres, to be refurbished for my W124. before I had returned to work, shaking
measures aside, the Smart is excellent for By moving the passenger seat forward I after a terrifying journey on the M25 in
general town work, not to mention parking squeezed all four wheels into the Smart’s the underpowered loan car. The rear
(obviously), and I ﬁnd it pretty stable on luggage compartment. washer problem was simply a disconnected
motorways too. The Smart has been back to the dealer coupling in the offside rear quarter (photo
I know the snow in London this winter once under warranty. During the depths of one), which only required reconnecting
was nothing like as severe as in some other the winter freeze the rear window washer (photo two). I’ll know where to look next
parts of the country, but it was certainly jet lost its power and eventually stopped time this happens.
bad enough. The Smart was surprisingly working altogether. I soon discovered that The next minor irritation is that from
good in the slippery conditions. The the Smart has a single reservoir which time-to-time, after locking by means of
Valeo starter-alternator started the engine services either the front or rear outlets by the ‘automatic central locking on driving’
instantly, even at sub-zero temperatures, feature, operation of the passenger door
but I did notice a pronounced squeak of handle refuses to unlock the central
protest from the belt as the engine started locking. The only way to let the passenger
to turn. We will see how this complicated out is to push the console mounted unlock
drive system stands up to the test of button. I have a feeling that this may be a
time. The engine management system feature rather than a fault, but have so far
is brilliantly set-up, drivability is superb been unable to replicate a mechanism that
straight after a cold start, there is no sign leads to this happening.
of hesitation or cutting out. On a particularly wet day whilst
travelling up the M40, with the wipers on
Condensation fast speed, Jane and I became aware of a
When it was particularly cold I did notice rhythmic knocking, which turned out to be
that the heater took quite some time to the offside wiper arm striking the A-pillar!
• • www.mercedes-benz-club.co.uk
ur SLK came with a glitzy
modern Pioneer radio and
boot mounted CD changer – of
which the previous owner was
very proud. It worked very well and could
even play home-burned MP3 CDs via an
inbuilt CD drive in the head unit. We have
now used the SLK for two mini motoring
breaks and each time the presence of the
CD player in the boot became an annoyance
as it signiﬁcantly limited the luggage space
and ﬂexibility in loading.
When I was busy trying to stow our
belongings in the most effective manner,
it dawned on me that the boot ﬂoor lining
had been cut away by the installer of the
CD changer. It had to go and a new lining
ﬁtted before they became unavailable.
Similarly, the radio, although functionally the R170 SLK doesn’t have. The SLK was the only problem was that the LW and
ﬁne, had very small control buttons which ﬁtted with two models of the Audio 10 SW bands were disabled. A little research
could not be read from any distance and its radio/CD, both manufactured by Alpine, revealed that these bands, amongst other
silver fascia did not, to my mind, go with the MF2199 (part number A170 820 00 radio features, can be enabled/disabled
the interior décor of the car, so that had 86) which has a detachable front and the using a Star Diagnostics machine via the
to go too. MF2910 (A170 820 03 86) which doesn’t. SLK’s 38-pin diagnostic socket (pin 33).
When the SLK was ﬁrst released These radios have four audio power- Our SLK, being a relatively early model,
the base radio option was a Sony radio/ output stages so are capable of driving four did not have a connection from the radio
cassette. The base model Mercedes speakers at normal listening levels without to the 38-pin socket so a suitable lead
branded radio was an ‘Audio 10’ and these the need for an additional power ampliﬁer. was made up and discretely added to the
appeared in different guises from different Although the Audio 10 is the base wiring harness. The pin insert required
manufacturers (Alpine and Harman- model it works well and has all the features for this is part number MA003 545 48
Becker), initially as a radio/cassette and we need. It has large, clear controls which 26. When I actually came to ﬁt the radio
then later as a radio/CD. are easy to operate – a plus in today’s heavy it was immediately apparent that it was a
The CD models are ﬁtted with a D2B trafﬁc where maximum concentration on much better ﬁt in the dashboard aperture
optical network interface and can be the road is essential. Another nice feature than the Pioneer unit it replaced and by
coupled to an optional CD-changer via of the Audio 10 is a speed-sensitive volume comparison was almost ﬂush.
ﬁbre-optic data cables. They also feature control which automatically increases the Although there is no line-input
a diagnostic interface and a CAN-bus radio volume with speed. capability on the Audio 10 receivers, there
interface for steering wheel controls, which The only source I could ﬁnd that had a are third party adaptors available (at a
choice of second-hand Audio 10 receivers price) that connect to the D2B network
in stock was in Germany: www.audio-10. and also external devices to mimic the
com I placed an order for an MF2910 and CD changer. Whether an I-Pod or the
it arrived in about a week, complete with impressive MP40, many more titles can
the code card and extraction keys (photo be stored in considerably smaller space
two). Once the radio was purchased, the than with a CD-changer. The MP40 unit
owner’s manual was received as an e-mail is available from Germany and is small
attachment. The proper printed book is enough to ﬁt the cubby hole in the central
also available from Mercedes and I bought console in front of the gear lever, which
one from Brentford (part number MA170 I am told is intended for items such as
584 11 97). The radios from audio-10.com sunglasses. Further information on the
have modiﬁed CD software to enable home MP40 can be found on www.mercedes-
burned CDs to be played. The radio does player.com
not play CDs with audio in MP3 format. The electrical connection block and
The display is clear in both sunlight and at D2B interface socket (left) are shown
night (photo one). in photo three. Radio connections
On receipt, I carefully checked the are detailed in ﬁgure one and the
function of all aspects of the radio and accompanying table.
• • www.mercedes-benz-club.co.uk
Anglia – North
Drive it Day navigation run
The afternoon of Sunday April 25 started quite dull and chilly in
the wilds of Norfolk. The rain in the morning put some off coming
on the navigation run around north Norfolk. However, three cars
met at the visitors centre at Sandringham ready to enjoy the run.
They were Simon Harrison in his silver E320 coupé, Robin Hunter
with his black SLK230 and myself with the red 350SL. All of us had
our top class navigators, namely our wives or partners, to keep us
on the right track. Following a ‘tulip’ style route book, we set off
via Sherborne towards Bircham. There we stopped at Bircham
Windmill for a look around and some refreshment. There has
been a mill here since the 18th century and the present one, built
in 1846, was in use until 1930. Restoration was completed in 1991.
From there we proceeded to Thornham, via Stanhoe, North
Creek and, after passing the back gate of Holkham Hall, we
arrived at Wells. By now the sun had come out and it was a
very pleasant run along the coast road through Holkham, the
Burnhams, Brancaster and into the car park at the Orange
Tree at Thornham for a refreshing drink. Although, due to the Invitation
weather, only a few set out it was an enjoyable afternoon with the On Sunday, July 11 some of the residents of Barnack, near
opportunity to make new friendships and renew old ones. Peterborough, are opening their gardens to raise funds to
refurbish the village cricket pavilion. I have been invited to ask
Norfolk venues if some Members would like to bring their classic cars along to
We are aware that, due to the large area of the Anglia – North add extra interest. Please consider this and if you fancy a wander
Region, many in the east are not able to attend our pub meetings around other people’s gardens, as well as a cup of tea and sticky
and miss out on meeting with fellow Members. I would like to bun, why not come along? Let me know if you are interested.
arrange for some weekend meetings at suitable pubs in Norfolk
and would be grateful if any of you could suggest possible venues. Pub meetings
Please let me have your ideas. Can we urge you to support the monthly pub meeting as attendance
has dwindled lately. It is held on the second Tuesday of the month
Headline: Future events at The Plough, Main Street, Great Casterton, Stamford PE9 4AA
We have two events planned for the summer – Maxey Car Show at 7.30pm.
near Peterborough on August 14 and the Skylark Country Show
at March on September 4-5. 2009 was the ﬁrst time we attended And ﬁnally…
Maxey as a Club and we generated a lot of interest as well as two I am updating my contact list of the Anglia – North Members
new Members. The Skylark Country Show is new to us but promises and would be grateful if you would e-mail me so I have an up to
to be a good day out. As well as classic and vintage vehicles, it date e-mail address or, alternatively, a phone call to conﬁrm your
features steam engines, a fairground, trade stands and a car boot number. This will enable me to contact you with event and other
sale, as well as entertainment in the main ring. Why not make this a regional matters. My contact details are dave.king@mercedes-
family day out? Both these shows are free to enter so please let me benz-club.co.uk or 01733 753922.
have your names so I can arrange the size of stand needed. Dave King
Anglia – South
Colne Valley Railway’s Vintage Vehicle Rally
– Sunday April 25
This was our ﬁrst time at Colne Valley Railway’s Vintage Vehicle
Rally, held over the weekend of 24 and 25 April. We were there on
the Sunday only, which coincided with the FBHVC’s ‘Drive it Day’.
15 cars were lined up at the White Hart, Great Yeldham,
where some of us had breakfast, and it was from this point we who won some wine, and Janet Levy, who took home a calla lily.
set off for the short drive to the Colne Valley Railway at nearby Many thanks to all those who came along to support this event.
In addition to classic cars, trains, commercial vehicles, buses, Ipswich-Felixstowe Historic Vehicle Run – May 2
engines, tractors, organs and a small vintage funfair were also on The Ipswich Transport Museum has been running this event for
display. Alas the weather was not kind during the morning which almost 40 years. In 1971 they had fewer than 60 cars. Today there
kept the spectators away, a pity as this small railway did much to are nearer 600 – and all strength to the museum for this wonderful
make us welcome, what with free rides on the steam trains as well day out, not only for entrants but spectators too.
as a free sandwich lunch for the drivers, a dedicated parking space Vehicles start to arrive in Christchurch Park Ipswich from
for Club Members and a special mention in the programme. 9.00am and the mayor starts them off at 11.30am. From 12.30pm
We organised a rafﬂe for Help for Heroes, the Club’s adopted the ﬁrst of the vehicles arrive and are parked along the whole
charity. and raised £28. The two winners were Raymond Lowes, length of the promenade at Felixstowe.
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