The Star-March/April 2022

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Mercedes-Benz Club of America

F1 Finale THE STAR 1-2 • 2020





1980 MERCEDES-BENZ 450 SL Less than 6,000 Miles from New I Without Reserve

1988 MERCEDES-BENZ 560 SL Less than 12,000 Miles from New I Without Reserve

2018 MERCEDES-BENZ AMG G65 I Less than 12,500 Miles from New I Without Reserve




THE STAR 3–4 • 2022


WHEELS ENGINEERED FOR MERCEDES-BENZ VEHICLES Mandrus Klass Gloss Gunmetal with Machined Tinted Face Available in 17”, 18”, 19”, 20” and 22” sizes. Also available in Gloss Black.


THE STAR 3–4 • 2022

THE STAR 3–4 • 2022


Features 30 38 44 54 64


Red Hot Grey Market 280SL The chance discovery of a rare R107 kindles passion for Mercedes-Benz

Salty C-Class Mercedes-Benz C280 F/Production land speed record contender

R107 Road Trip Celebrating an icon’s fiftieth anniversary

Excellence at Sea In 1886, Gottlieb Daimler installed an engine in a boat. The rest is history

Double Your Fun At the wheel of the Mercedes-AMG SL55/SL63 & AMG EQS

THE STAR 3–4 • 2022


The Star® (ISSN 0744-155X) is published bimonthly by the Mercedes-Benz Club of America, Inc. Mike Regennitter Executive Director and Publisher 1907 Lelaray Street Colorado Springs CO 80909-2872 Periodical postage paid at Colorado Springs, CO 80909 and additional entry offices. Copyright © 2022 by Mercedes-Benz Club of America, Inc. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. Printed in the U.S.A.

Old & New 70

Rising Star: Up & coming modern classics: 1968–1972 W108 280SE/SEL


Auction Spotlight: Market results for notable Mercedes-Benz vehicles


Generation Shift: Redefining ‘Classic Mercedes’


Curb Appeal: Professional photographs will help sell your car


Classic Tech: V-Belt Primer

Among the Stars 87

Reader Rides: Rides: Members share their car stories


National News: Minutes of the fall board meeting


Feature Events: Upcoming track days


Section Events: Driving & social events

Columns & Departments Departments 6 8 10 10 12 14 14 16 17

Artifact: European truck racing 18 At the Wheel: Stay Safe Out There 26 Top Dead Center: Digging into 2022 103 103 Contributors Contributors 104 Star Report: Vision EQXX 106 First Look: 2022 EQB 107 Star Talk: Your letters 111 Noted: Sculptor celebrates Mercedes 112

Inside Line: Formula 1 report 2021 F1 Team Champions Directory: National Board Directory: Regions & Sections Trading Post: Classified ads How to submit Trading Post ads Index of Advertisers StarryEyed: Vision EQXX

On the cover: Lewis Hamilton & Max Verstappen • Saudi Arabia • Image Mercedes-AMG F1 Table of contents: Daimler/Silver Arrows Marine 460-GT • Image Daimler Global Media

The Star® is a registered trademark of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America, Inc. All rights reserved. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Mercedes-Benz Club of America 1907 Lelaray Street Colorado Springs, CO 80909-2872 MEMBERSHIP: To join call 800.637.2360 or visit Dues are $55 for one year, $107 for two years, or $157 for three years. Foreign dues please add $10 per year. Membership includes a subscription to The Star®. ADDRESS CHANGES: Send all changes to Mercedes-Benz Club of America 1907 Lelaray Street Colorado Springs CO 80909-2872 or visit Opinions, ideas, and suggestions in The Star® are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of MBCA. MBCA neither accepts nor bears any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of any such opinions, ideas, or suggestions, or the applications thereof. Any representations or warranties (express or implied) with respect thereto are hereby disclaimed by MBCA. No inference should be made that the products or services advertised herein have the approval of MBCA, Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz USA, or any other entity. The trade names & trademarks “Mercedes-Benz,” “Mercedes,” and the three-pointed star in a circle are owned by Daimler AG and authorized for use by its licensees – which include MBCA – exclusively. THE STAR 3–4 • 2022





Smoking tires squealing in protest, a trio of immense tractor trucks thunders past the Brands Hatch grandstands and drifts through Paddock Hill Bend. Perched high at the wheel of Mercedes-Benz 1834S Super Race Truck No. 1, British ace Steve Parrish leads Slim Borgudd of Sweden in similar 1834S No. 9. The pair of Mercedes-Benz drivers soon outpaced the competition in the 1994 European Truck Racing Championship (ETRC) round at the English track.

The awe-inspiring circus of the ETRC – first launched on an unsuspecting public in 1985 – quickly grabbed the attention of racing fans everywhere. This unique spectacle pitted brightly-painted, highly-tuned examples of major truck manufacturers’ most powerful tractor trucks against one another at some of Europe’s most renowned motorsports circuits. A single race weekend might attract up to 200,000 diehard spectators eager to feel the ground tremble as bellowing packs of colossal 5-ton load-luggers battled wheel-to-wheel at speeds up to 100 miles per hour.

Mercedes-Benz loomed large in the early years of the ETRC, sweeping 13 championship categories between 1990-1999. Steve Parrish (born 1953) played a key role in the firm’s glittering parade of victories. After a successful career racing motorcycles, Parrish first climbed into the cab of a racing truck in 1986, winning the British Open Truck Championship only a year later. Driving a heavily-modified 18.5-liter, 1,600 horsepower version of the Mercedes-Benz 1450S production tractor, by 1993 Parrish had claimed three Class C European truck championship titles for the Stuttgart company. A rules change in 1994 prompted Mercedes-Benz to develop the second generation 1834S Super Race Truck – the model pictured here. With only a loose resemblance to road-going tractor trucks, these purpose-built vehicles were designed from the wheels up as true racing machines, propelled by a 11,946 cc V-6 producing 1,o00 horsepower. For safety, series rules limited the new Super Trucks to a top speed of 100 miles per hour. Between 1994 and 1996, Mercedes-Benz took three consecutive European Truck Championships with the mighty 1834S, once with former Formula 1 driver Borgudd and twice in the hands of the gifted Parrish. To this day, Steve Parrish’s five championship wins make him one of the most successful truck racers of all time. Stephan McKeown

A STAMPEDE OF GIANTS: At Brands Hatch in 1994, Steve Parrish (No. 1) leads Slim Borgudd (No. 9), in a matching Mercedes-Benz 1834S Super Race Truck. INSET: Parrish would go on to win both that day’s race and the 1994 European Truck Racing Championship, his fourth of five titles for Mercedes-Benz. 6

THE STAR 3–4 • 2022

THE STAR 3–4 • 2022




Julie Bruggner


Stay Safe Out There

The Star® is the official magazine of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America, Inc.


y many standards, this holiday season was very different from last year in several ways. Parties took place and people traveled to see family and friends and came together for year-end festivities. After a year of forgoing so many of our events, club members ventured out this past year and did what they felt safe doing. The many section holiday parties you held were a testament to the desire of our members to celebrate again. I attended five MBCA celebrations. While some holiday gatherings were much smaller than usual, the Niagara Section reported theirs was the largest ever. But many of the things we had hoped would change have not. We all understand that Covid has not disappeared. Each new variant comes with new challenges. I think we are realizing that we must find a way to navigate through this new world. So, we’ve made changes in the way we do things as a club to keep ourselves as safe as we can. Many sections have navigated these changes seamlessly and are thriving and holding more events than ever. Peachtree is a prime example, not only holding online events, but continuing to have live events and letting the members decide how safe they feel. (Maybe that’s why they won the Section of the Year award for 2020?) Others have struggled, resisting scheduling live events out of fear, either for themselves or for members. I urge you to find a way. We need each other and we need to find a way to continue in spite of the changes happening to our world. Schedule the events and let everyone decide for themselves if they feel safe enough to attend. Take drives or find restaurants or venues outside where people can participate, but still maintain the distance that helps them feel comfortable. Read other section newsletters or contact your Regional Director for suggestions or advice, but don’t give up. We need you. Our community needs all of you.

While some holiday gatherings were much smaller than usual, the Niagara Section reported theirs was the largest ever.

1907 Lelaray Street Colorado Springs, CO 80909-2872 800.637.2360, 719.633.6427, President Julie Bruggner, Executive Director and Publisher Mike Regennitter, BUSINESS STAFF Administrative Services Manager Cindy Tumbleson, Assistant Business Administrative Manager Ryanne Dias, Membership Specialist Nicole Noll, EDITORIAL STAFF Editor in Chief Jeff Zurschmeide, Creative Director & Senior Editor Stephan McKeown Associate Editors Gary Anderson, Rubin Howard European Editors Karl Ludvigsen, Simon Strang Copy Editors Laura Simonds, Richard Simonds Technical Editor Daniel Stahl, Pierre Hedary CONTRIBUTORS Russ Campbell, Dean Coclin, Andi Hedrick, Ryan Hemphill, Jeff Hirst, Jim Hudson, Jim McCraw, Vinny Milo, Andrzej Mrozek, Bob Mulford, Perry Stern, Morgan Sullivan, Dave Tobin, Norm Witte, Gary Witzenburg SUBMITTING EDITORIAL MATERIAL Jeff Zurschmeide 1506 5th Street Tillamook, OR 97141 503-330-3010 Please query The Star first regarding possible editorial interest. We regret that we cannot always acknowledge or return materials submitted for consideration. DISPLAY ADVERTISING Kaló Media Charlton Calhoun, Weston Kalogeridis,



THE STAR 3–4 2022 •

THE STAR 3–4 • 2022




Jeff Zurschmeide



Digging into 2022


hen we start work on a new issue of The Star, it’s hard to envision what the finished product will look like. For me, it starts with finalizing the cover art. After all, your reaction to that first image you see when the magazine arrives in your mailbox sets an expectation for what you’ll find inside. Once the cover is in place, we dive in to write, edit and design the visual framework for the stories that both make each issue unique and help to bring your club to life six times a year.

What lies ahead This time around, we’ll head to Europe for a guided R107 anniversary tour of five-star automotive attractions, and hop back across the ocean to the Bonneville Salt Flats to check in with MBCA member

Bob Sirna on his latest efforts to push the envelope of speed. We’ll take an in-depth look at a gorgeous gray-market R107 280SL, and learn a bit about the long history of Mercedes-Benz excellence on the water, too. Speaking of the cover, our European Editor Simon Strang will dig deep into the most controversial finish to any Formula 1 season in memory.

Reader Rides Most importantly, we’ve got a new installment of Reader Rides, our showcase for you to share your passion for your personal Mercedes-Benz. This helps keep the focus on you, the members of MBCA. Please continue sending us your photos and your personal stories. So, 2022 is just getting started. I can’t wait to find out where we’re going to go this year.


Perry Stern started his automotive career 30 years ago as an advisor at a vehicle consulting firm. In 1995, he joined the editorial team at CarPoint, Microsoft’s automotive Web site. After 20 years, Perry left Microsoft and launched He drives almost every new car on the market and attends major auto shows around the world. And Perry’s still crazy about cars.


THE STAR 3–4 • 2022

Simon Strang is in his fourth decade writing about motorsport and has covered everything from Formula Ford to the Indianapolis 500 for titles such as Autosport, F1 Racing, Racer and Motorsport Magazine. Now the owner of his own Motorsport PR agency for two leading race manufacturers, he covers the progress of the most successful team of all time – Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1.

Dave Tobin operates Tobin Motor Works, a specialty car dealership located in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York offering sales and consignment for enthusiast and collector cars of all types with a focus on vintage Mercedes-Benz. On the weekends Dave maintains the website – Your guide to Buying, Selling and Collecting Modern and Classic Mercedes.

THE STAR 3–4 • 2022




he latest exploration of Mercedes-Benz batteryelectric vehicles was revealed in early January. The Vision EQXX resembles some of the great streamlined Mercedes racing cars of the 20th century, as its goal is to lift energy efficiency to new heights. The concept vehicle features a cutting-edge electric drivetrain as well as the use of lightweight engineering and sustainable materials. "The Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX is how we imagine the future of electric cars. Just one-and-a-half years ago, we started this project leading to the most efficient Mercedes-Benz ever built – with an outstanding energy consumption of less than 10 kWh per 100 kilometers. It has a range of more than 620 miles on a single charge using a battery that would fit into a compact vehicle. The Vision EQXX underlines where our entire company is headed: We will build the world's most desirable electric cars," stated Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG.

EQXX at a glance • Efficiency means achieving more from less. The Vision EQXX is packed with efficiency improvements that push the

The Bes t From Mercedes-Benz: NEWS • REVIEWS • PEOPLE • EVENTS

envelope with a mixture of advanced technology and talented teamwork: • Across the board, efficiency engineering achievements delivered an astounding energy consumption of less than 10 kWh per 100 km (efficiency of more than 6 miles per kWh) • The radical new drivetrain – designed and built in-house – achieves benchmark efficiency of 95 percent from battery to wheels • Over 620 miles of range on a single charge on public roads puts an end to range anxiety • The battery pack holds almost 100 kWh of energy, yet has 50 percent less volume and is 30 percent lighter than the battery pack in EQS • Exterior designers and aerodynamicists delivered a benchmark drag coefficient of 0.17 • Innovative recycled and plant-based materials remove waste from landfills and reduce carbon footprint Vision EQXX demonstrates Mercedes-Benz' transformation into an all-electric and software-driven company and accelerates the firm's trajectory to lead in electrification and set new benchmarks in sustainable mobility.

RAISING THE BAR Vision EQXX concept sets a new level of automotive efficiency ARTICLE STAR STAFF IMAGES MBUSA MEDIA


THE STAR 3–4 •• 2022

Over 620 miles of range on a single charge on public roads puts an end to range anxiety THE STAR 3–4 •• 2022




All-New 2022 EQB M

ercedes-Benz has revealed the all-new EQB 300 and 350 SUVs. Similar to the threerow Mercedes-Benz GLB, the EQB offers space for both family and cargo. The new EQB will launch in Europe and in China at the end of 2021, followed by the American market launch in 2022. After the EQA, the EQB represents the second all-electric compact car from the Mercedes-EQ division. For the United States, the all-electric compact SUV will be launched in two American market versions: as the EQB 300 4Matic with 225 horsepower and the EQB 350 4Matic with 288 horsepower. Both EQB launch models provide approximately 260 miles of range on a full battery charge. Further EQB variants to meet specific customer requirements will follow, including a long-range version.

The EQB offers generous cargo space. With all rear seats folded down, the EQB will carry up to 60 cubic feet of cargo. The standard navigation with Electric Intelligence contributes to the EQB‘s effortless everyday approach to life. It calculates the fastest route to a destination, taking into account maximum charging power and the duration of potential charging stops.

Room for seven and cargo

TYPE: four-door, seven-passenger crossover SUV MOTOR: Three electric motors (one front, two rear) TRANSMISSION: single-speed direct drive POWER: 225 hp at 0 rpm (SAE gross) • TORQUE: 288 lb-ft (SAE gross) at 0 rpm LENGTH: 184.4 in • CURB WEIGHT: TBD • RANGE: 260 miles PERFORMANCE: ZERO-62 mph 8 sec • TOP SPEED: 99 mph

The family-friendly EQB offers five full-sized seats as standard and can be optionally equipped as a seven-seater. The two optional seats in the third row can be used by passengers up to 5 feet 4 inches tall and can also be fitted with child seats.


1–2 •• 2022 THE STAR 3–4

Green charging Using the Mercedes me Charge plan, EQB customers can access nearly 60,000 public charging places in the United States, where Mercedes-Benz can ensure carbon compensation through green electricity. One year of Mercedes me Charge is included with every EQB that Mercedes-Benz sells.

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 4MATIC

THE STAR 3–4 • 2022




evolve the new

this power unit. DB600 out of that fuel r, one must note

howeve At this stage, adopted. not yet been the going to historians, injection had This is not hard-boiled this the of a ou can relax. For many Not only was -blow account 0 Series signifcant. power be a blow-by Instead, mighty DB60 –1945 timing iswhich Adolf Hitler came into soon ruinous war. of the The lengthy and year in es 1934 as this engine ion of one began Aero Engin ever projects such it is a celebrat Daimler-Benz engine series spending on . d year in which cent aircraft (and military Grand Prix formula– most magnif it was also the family that powere the 1930s and 1940s. but 750kg V12 d), the for DB600 in increase the race cars machines Arrow engines HISTORY produced – because it single-seat of the Silver German military pages? Mainly lly, the two was to develop nt to note that the frst so many famous writing about it in these time. Physica I cars we all admire is importa philosophy ed at the same And why am another It company whose – was develop in engineering the engines in quite again, that the common, but the the M25A s supporting proves, yet of magnifcent nothing in , roller bearing just how versatile came engines had develop a series per cylinder Merlin/Grifn – they clearly also able to It also proves was, for there use of four valves of light-alloy castings – aerospace. 0 & Rolls Royce Stuttgar t actually on the Silver – the DB60 market sector liberal use and ring team at by Packard aft, worked enginee cranksh “stretch” – ans who Rolls-Royce also built Daimler-Benz design ofce. the technici of the DB600 to build in some Daimler-Benz series . Don’t that many of from the same to the design and the need ny: is no doubt Merlin and Grifon contributed of its purpose DB600 was massive ed Compa 1930s the – the 80 of Because series DB600 even power increase was develop Arrow race cars . onally and in Engine: fact – because V12 powerful engine n of design team that followed a century, in ed aero dimensi this brutally large and aero engines Inverted V12 ambitio way back – that types, marvel at the to 36.7 liters separately develop Layout: nd forget This story begins simply must liters 27 liters did the original and Benz had only 5 to Count Ferdina ago, so one ns. Not 33.9 liters to 44.5 War I, Daimler but they –194 g petrol engines s supplied many years rs and their basic intentio before World to 2,340bhp horsepower, Capacity: 0 Series 1934 Daimler supplyin membe produce 1,000 to 2,000bhp 890bhp long. Every Both concern The DB60 through engines, with his airships. RR/Bendix carburetor to fghter aircraft, and were at least 80 inches thereforPower ratings: 1,000bhp e, ons enacted n to power RR/SU carburetor ng as ftted r hub, Me 109. but after restricti von Zeppeli 1,650 pounds propelle from produci the hmitt Bosch fuel injection Messersc the war itself, : ng and in theand weighed at least cockpit were banned d 1937, n the Fuel system engines during 1,385lb to 1,980lb introduce glorious-soundi followed, they : Firstbetwee that was later. of space h, complex, DB600, with DB600 inch s Treaty that 1,650 to 2,000lb of years. But – a high-tec the Versaille t: derivative of original engine duction P51 Mustang . kind for a number sterium (Germany’s Ministry Weigh full of Spitfre, that any of 1,050bhp was engine : Mass-pro unit. rging and Do217 liquidehrmini DB601attractiv aero engines e power superchamost powerful aero the Reichsw to aircraft: Me109, , improvednot work on a new, the visuallyfuel injection with , was told Sample Earlier in 1929, Daimler-Benz to begin direct way, meant for instance the DB601, dly, this was the of BMW, by ent Admitte d,” time. directed two-row developm at the altered ed, cylinder of Defense), engine. “Inverte 35.7-liter ing and air-cool A develop timing,ly had y :was V-12 piston and the two DB605 German which original , camshaft horsepower. the engine units, . breathing cooled, inverted m of 1,600 cylinder block/ at 1,475bhp changed at the top of rate on radial vee maximu rated a ee was much d space, concent aft Originally 60-degr elegant on.produce and the cranksh problem, installati , below the layouts rging was the most larged challenging superchader DB600 14-cylin at the bottom thatethe going to be a DB605 with much-en heads were of thethat us country. doubted ODD ITIES war ended in 1945. ion was always ambitio derivativ no one But in 44.5-liter of 1,750bhp.for, to Germany’s d by the time the rating yet seentake-of DB60: power crankcase. Lubricat rs soon solved that. unitan partly develope e from Ministry aero engine of in the late initial y enginee 600 Series only was a directiv stroke andcourse, the frst V-12 to efcient by side & coupled. versions but compan UK. Even bore and Derivatives of DB entalthe n, incidentally, top profle – mounted side the It was not, of developm ition from compet two DB601 enginesd 2,700bhp. The use of inversiothis engine to have a narrow outlets to be , and anide with wastc:stifFurther es worldw D/E/F/e fuel injection , there : Composed of the DB605 wanted l/waterheadlin the exhaust dimensions, es that won DB606 heavy-lif t purposes, it develope methanomany – and chagrin withmade ofcials who vision – and a 2,000bhp butyce in the seaplan for Rolls-Ro achieved with similar cylinder It also meant was the DB605A, as used pilot’s forward versions V-12s Some be facetious. ry Merlin V-12 Designed R-type iameter 1920s, ance improve the version of the DB603, of itsrger. the legenda Mufers? Don’t same time, a larger-d enlarged supercha : An inverted V-16 what became of perform that in due version of that DB609 at a lower level. 60bhp. with 2,950bhp. family Trophy.. And ns, er2,800rpm a moment – axis was higher at liters/2,6 for the its smaller dimensio 61.8 a was rating this Schneid at rated on the DB605 mid-1930s asinto producti on think about be used because ly ed in the DB606, but based conceivably d, but never put develop engine (efective propeller could DB610: Like the Also develope prototypes g 3,800bhp. V-12. 24-cylinder X-type , including F4. By 1931, rging, but DB610 but producin to R-type became the the ground. Series were produced DB604: A massive ) with two-stage supercha DB613: Like the approval came project design with a s of the DB600 valves, and even a completely together , and in 1933, The original dozen of-shoot two V-12s stuck rotary in a 46.5-liter engine another rging, the F4B followed PM resulting least ! At and 2:46 supercha stroke, 4/12/13 were running with two-stage g a massive 3,900bhp rpm. reduced bore and



The Star ®


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Praise for Graham Robson’s years of writing for The Star.

Honoring Graham Robson

For me the sign of a good writer is that the subject remains in the reader’s consciousness long after the article. Just two of Graham Robson’s articles that come to mind were his wonderful pieces covering the Bosch fuel injection system (The Star, March–April 2012) and his survey on Daimler-Benz aviation engines (The Star, May–June 2013). Where else could you learn that the mighty Mercedes-Benz 300SL was not the first road-going vehicle to use the futuristic Bosch mechanical fuel injection system, but a “forgettable little car called the Gutbrot”? I think my favorite article of his was on the aviation engines (see above). When you finished one of his articles, you knew it came from an authoritative source. We’ve been so fortunate to have historians of the caliber of Graham Robson and Karl Ludvigsen writing for The Star. Thanks, Graham. Bill Brandt Sacramento Section

Your Letters

We want to hear from you. Email, or write to Star Editor, 1506 5th Street, Tillamook, OR 97141. All letters received are assumed to be intended for publication and may be edited.

and received the maximum current rebate of $1,000. Please be sure to take advantage of the rebate program if you are purchasing a new Mercedes-Benz. Both these new cars came with runflat tires. These are our first Mercedes without a spare tire, which is fine, but we all know that occasionally bad things can happen. So, I purchased a spare tire kit that includes, inflated spare tire, jack, tools and lug bolts all installed in a black carrying bag. I bought the kit from Modern Spare, Inc. ( This kit was not cheap to buy, but very good for peace of mind when traveling. I have been driving Mercedes vehicles since 1979, and have owned 19 MercedesBenzes over the years. I have been a member of MBCA since 1989. Bob Horbatt, Dealer Liaison Central Ohio Section

Join the parade

Use that discount!

In November, 2020 I purchased a new E-Class sedan. I made my best deal and presented the control number I received from MBCA and received a $1,000 rebate. This Mercedes is much improved from the 2013 E350 I traded in. The mild-hybrid engine has wonderful performance and better gas mileage. Then, in December, 2021 I purchased an all-wheel-drive wagon. I traded in my 2011 wagon. Again, I made my best deal and then presented the control number 16

THE STAR 3–4 • 2022

Steuben Day Parade Princesses ride on Vinny Milo’s 560SL.

Ed Rose spotted something a little unusual on the menu.

Winning by a nose

I came across these in the Omelette Express coffee shop in Santa Rosa, CA. I thought they might be of interest. My caption for them is "Old Mercedes never die, they just hang around." Ed Rose San Francisco Bay Area Section

The first post-pandemic parade to return to New York City was the Steuben Day Parade. One of the highlights was the parade princesses riding atop my 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SL. Every year in September, German-American clubs from all parts of the United States, including groups from Texas, California, Florida and Wisconsin and up to 50 groups from Germany, Austria and Switzerland march in the German-American Steuben Parade up New York’s Fifth Avenue. The German-American Steuben Parade of New York was founded in 1957 by German-American clubs. These clubs are still the backbone of this annual tradition, celebrating their 65th anniversary in 2022. The parade is an annual celebration of the great achievements of German immigrants in the United States. It is named in honor of General Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, who was sent to the U.S. in 1777 to assist the newly formed Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War. The parade is filled with German groups wearing their traditional costumes, spectacular floats, Mercedes-Benz cars, marching bands, dancers, clubs, and organizations. To this day, the Steuben Parade is still considered one of the most colorful parades in New York, thanks to our dynamic floats, representation, and colorful cultural displays. This year the parade will be held on Saturday, September 17. Vinny Milo Northern New Jersey Section


Sculptor Celebrates Mercedes Renowned sculptor Stanley Wanlass has produced large outdoor installations for historic markers in the Pacific Northwest, as well as a long list of automotive masterpieces. We caught up with him at his home in Utah to ask about two sculptures of The Mercedes-Benz Patent Motorwagen automobiles that he recently created featuring Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz. The two sculptures are very similar, except for a few distinct elements. We asked Wanlass about that. “That was really a fun project," Wanlass said. "I did one for MercedesBenz of North America and the other for the German museum. They’re very much the same, but the American one has the Spirit of Mercedes on it, representing the birth of the automobile industry. I had her gold-plated and she sits out in front of the automobile with a torch, leading the way. Karl Benz is driving the car.” We asked him to explain how he uses artistic license in his sculptures. "For example," he explained, "the 500K Mercedes is one of the most beautiful things ever. It’s great at a human height, but if you get up on a ladder and look down on it, they look like a fat toad. They’re just about as wide as they are long. There are a lot of cars that are meant to be seen at one angle. My sculptures cannot only be seen from human height because they’re smaller. So, I’m responsible for every angle and direction. I know everything about the car’s dimensions mathematically, but I have to change what’s there in order to give the spirit of what it is to the viewer.” On his website,, you can see both sculptures in greater detail, along with “Quicksilver” depicting Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1954 W196 Mercedes-Benz race car. Jeff Zurschmeide

FROM THE TOP: Patent Motorwagen sculpted in bronze by Stanley Wanlass for Mercedes-Benz of North America, with gold-plated Spirit of Mercedes riding in front. The polychrome version created for the Mercedes-Benz Museum, Stuttgart. Rich details include painted inscription and portrait figures of Gottlieb Daimler (left) and Karl Benz riding together. THE STAR 3–4 •• 2022




Simon Strang



In the most controversial end to any F1 season in history, MercedesAMG secures a record-breaking eighth Constructors’ title, while a contentious FIA call denies Lewis Hamilton the Drivers’ Championship


ou may be among the millions of new fans who witnessed their first Formula 1 World Championship showdown under the Yas Marina lights in Abu Dhabi. If you were, you might wonder why you left it so long to get hooked into such a gripping, dynamic, and exhilarating spectacle. Almost certainly you would have felt polarized, intrigued, confused, excited, angered and exhausted at some point through the climax of the most extraordinary season in the history of the 71-year-old contest. But, in the end, whether by accident or design, sadly what you witnessed was the need for entertainment smudging the great purity of sport.

The champions The 2021 Formula 1 world champion is Max Verstappen, and he deserves to be. He and his Red Bull Racing team defeated the might of seven-time world champion Sir Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes-AMG F1 with a Honda-powered RB16B car that led the way (marginally) from the beginning and remained a competitive force throughout. No matter what your take on the Dutchman’s uncompromising on-track approach during the longest-ever F1 campaign (22 races), or his openly provocative off-track style as the tension ramped up, Verstappen’s speed and tenacity are undeniable, and his talent is worthy of one who calls himself champion. But, the manner in which he clinched his first world champion’s title will be forever in question, and that is neither 18

THE STAR 3–4 • 2022

his fault nor that of Hamilton, who was knighted by Prince Charles at Windsor Castle in the same week that Mercedes-AMG Petronas was officially crowned Manufacturers’ world champion for a record eighth time. Instead, the FIA – the sport’s governing body – and its appointed Race Director Michael Masi, created an air of lasting confusion and frustration by choosing to override precedent and instigate a scenario not seen before, to ensure that the season didn’t end behind the Safety Car. The result was a one-lap sprint that allowed a fresh-tired Verstappen to pass a hitherto comfortably leading Hamilton (who was essentially rendered a sitting duck by the decision), and thus claim the title along with his tenth victory of the season. The final phase of Hamilton’s campaign was one of emphatic all-round superiority, personal growth, and in the end, sheer class. Hamilton won three out of the last four grands prix, and was on course to complete the set until the last lap in Abu Dhabi, a race he’d controlled until the aforementioned incident. Watching him compose himself in the moments afterwards was a lesson in humility. The heartbreak and sense of unfairness must have been acute inside his rainbow-colored helmet.

The controversy In a championship that provoked more-or-less open warfare between Mercedes and Red Bull on and off the track, this climax was unpalatable. Through the build-up to the finale, F1 had become dinner table conversation around

The 2021 season was brilliant. The championship lead changed hands five times between the two best drivers in the world. Lewis Hamilton leads Max Verstappen • Abu Dhabi

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INSIDE LINE the world. It was no longer a requirement for anyone to be an aficionado to have an opinion, millions of which were projected across social media this year (for good and for bad). And this, unquestionably, is a fantastic thing for F1. In the United Kingdom alone, more than seven million people tuned in to watch the finale live. It was critical therefore that we had a clean race, that the winner was incontrovertible, and that F1 was able to celebrate its most glorious moment in front of a new, hard-earned and undeniably Netflix-influenced audience. Instead, we got the opposite. As this correspondent writes, the result remains open to an appeal by Mercedes, which launched two official protests in the immediate aftermath of the race. One to point out that Verstappen had momentarily passed the leader Hamilton behind the Safety Car, and the other to contest Race Direction did not follow its own sporting code by implementing a new protocol. Both were thrown out by the stewards of the meeting, but Mercedes persisted with the latter, issuing notice of its intention to apply to the FIA Court of Appeal. It was widely considered that it had a strong case to answer, though it was difficult to see how Verstappen and Red Bull should be punished when they did nothing wrong.

Shifting sands Inconsistent and surprising stewarding decisions were a hallmark of 2021. In the final four races of the campaign, they became a critical psychological factor for both contenders and by the time the teams pitched up in Brazil for Round 19, the atmosphere was caustic, every opportunity weaponized to heap on the pressure. Hamilton, trailing Verstappen by 19 points and his back against the wall, thrives in such siege conditions. The frequent attacks by Red Bull on and off the track, combined with a seemingly endless stream of penalty decisions and admonishments going against him, was met with perhaps his greatest drive. Hamilton’s performance at Interlagos, where he overtook every driver in the field (and some more than once) over the Sprint race and grand prix proper, was in the style of Juan Manuel Fangio. He rose above his contemporaries and was simply imperious. Brazil marked the last of the so-called “Sprint” qualifying rounds, comprising a standard qualifying session on Friday afternoon, followed by a 24-lap Sprint race on Saturday with points for the first three finishers that also decided the grid order for Sunday’s start.. Hamilton qualified on pole for the Sprint by 0.4s over Verstappen, having taken a fresh power unit and a grid penalty of five places, but he was ultimately thrown to the back after his rear-wing was found to be faulty and exceeded the allowed 85mm slot gap Drag Reduction System opening. Verstappen, bizarrely, made a point of manually investigating the system in Parc Ferme and was also fined $50,000 for his trouble. The incident occurred against a backdrop of insinuations from Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner who had suspicions about Mercedes’ rear wing, such was Hamilton’s speed advantage down the straight. This was never proven, and the wing passed more stringent FIA tests in subsequent races. Hamilton’s charge from the back of the grid in the Sprint was ruthless. Having reduced the field to little more than video 20

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Hamilton’s performance at Interlagos, where he overtook every driver in the field (and some more than once) ... was in the style of Juan Manuel Fangio.

game drones, he dove down the inside of Lando Norris to nail fifth on the last lap. It was simply breathtaking. An embattled Mercedes Team Principal Toto Woolf declared down the radio: “Lewis great job, damage limitation. <Expletive> them all.” “Copy. It’s not over yet,” was the reply. The final pole position of Valtteri Bottas' Mercedes career almost went unnoticed. The Finn got the jump on Verstappen at the start of the Sprint and maintained his lead thereafter. In the race proper, the pair reversed this scenario with Verstappen edging Bottas on to the grass and costing the Finn enough momentum and grip that he then ran wide and let Sergio Perez through in the sister Red Bull at Turn 4. Hamilton once again made light work of the field to make his way up to third by Lap 5. It took a while to pass Perez, who executed his role of tailgunner with verve, before finally Hamilton set about hunting down Verstappen. On Lap 48 Hamilton made his move, feinting left and then going right, down the outside of the Dutchman on the long run down to Turn 4. But Verstappen’s Red Bull didn’t slow into the braking zone and forged back ahead, its wide turning arc running both cars off track. Red Bull immediately got on the radio to Masi to claim the incident as an example of the Race Director’s policy of "let them race." Indeed, the stewards concluded no investigation was required, but Hamilton had been forced to back out, once again, to avoid a collision with Verstappen and both had ended up off the track. Some defensive weaving followed over the next 10 laps before Hamilton nailed the Red Bull properly at the same place, forcing Verstappen to go defensive into the Esses and costing him vital momentum on the exit. Wolff’s jubilant reaction into the camera will fuel memes for years to come. Mercedes called for a review into Verstappen’s tactics at Turn 4, when onboard video from the Red Bull became available the following day. By the end of the bruising weekend, Wolff was moved to comment that "diplomacy was over." Hamilton, meanwhile, had reduced the points deficit to 14. He was on target.

Whose line is it anyway? Lewis Hamilton wins in Brazil

The controversies rolled on to Qatar a week later as F1 and its drivers delighted in Losail’s fast, high-grip, sweeping layout. Horner arrived at the circuit equipped with photographic evidence of what he believed were score marks from the main plane of the Mercedes rear wing in Brazil. This culminated in a tense stand-off in an official press conference between the Red Bull team boss and Wolff, who suggested he was looking at ghosts. Elsewhere in the paddock, the behind-closed-doors drivers’ briefing with Masi centered on driving standards and clarity on what constitutes a fair pass. This ended in confusion, with most drivers reporting they were no clearer after Mercedes’ request for a re-evaluation of Verstappen’s Brazil maneuver was dismissed. “At the end of the day, we all want to race hard,” Grand Prix Drivers’ Association Director and 2022 Mercedes driver George Russell said, “but [Verstappen] was hard and unfair.” Hamilton added, “It’s still not clear what the limits of the track are, it’s clearly not the white line anymore.” THE STAR 3–4 • 2022



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INSIDE LINE Masi said, “We’ve given them some overall guidance, but also been very clear on the fact that each and every case will be judged on its merits.” In the end though, none of it would matter at Losail where Hamilton dominated from start to finish. He was aided by the fact that Verstappen picked up a five-place grid penalty for ignoring double-waved yellow flags in Q3. The championship leader went on to recover to second, some 25 seconds behind Hamilton, the duo another 30 seconds clear of third place Fernando Alonso. Verstappen doesn’t believe in momentum, but it seemed undeniable that the natural inertia of the title fight was shifting towards Hamilton. The fact that the Briton won so emphatically while also switching back to an older engine for this race, was an ominous message to his rivals, “They have awoken the lion,” intimated Wolff.

Arabian knights If that was indeed the case, then the second new F1 venue in as many weeks proved to be the lion’s den. Indeed, Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah circuit is a scintillatingly fast and "unnecessarily dangerous" street track, and it played host to perhaps one of the most bad-tempered grands prix spectacles in living memory. Hamilton headed up a Mercedes one-two on the grid with his 103rd career pole. But it could easily have gone to Verstappen, whose final flyer would have been the lap of the season had he not clouted the wall on the exit of the last corner. So Hamilton led the way until Mick Schumacher crashed at the super-fast Turn 22 and triggered a safety car on Lap 9. Both Mercedes pitted for new Pirellis, and Bottas cheekily slowed up to allow a double-stack in the pits, justifiably infuriating the delayed Verstappen. The Dutchman chose not to pit, and this paid off when the race was then red-flagged, handing him a free switch to fresh hard tires, while maintaining his new lead. At the restart, Lewis took his sweet time coming to the line, there being no rule defining the time of grid formation for a restart. Verstappen lost tire temperature and the lead away from the lights. But not one to hand out a free pass, he clung to the outside on the entry of the first corner chicane, running over the kerb on the inside and forcing Hamilton wide. This allowed Esteban Ocon’s fast-starting Alpine to slip by into second, past Lewis. Moments later Perez and Charles Leclerc collided, causing a larger four-car shunt and prompting another red flag. F1’s audience was then given an insight into the kind of discussion that goes on between team management and F1’s race direction. “I’m going to give you the opportunity, based on what happened at Turn 1, 2. We will drop you back behind Hamilton [to third on the grid]. That is my offer.” Masi told Red Bull; an attempt to prevent the stewards investigating Verstappen once the race restarted. One must wonder if using terminology such as "offer" is sensible? In sport, competitors should not be given authority to adjudicate their own penalty.

LEFT, FROM THE TOP: On Saturday in Abu Dhabi, Valterri Bottas (left) and Lewis Hamilton at their final pre-race press conference together. Bottas heads to Alfa Romeo next year.

Red Bull took the deal and Verstappen grabbed his chance at the restart, sensationally slamming down the inside at Turn 1, forcing Hamilton to the center of the corner entry and into Ocon, who inadvertently broke the Briton’s front right wing. Nonplussed, Lewis passed Ocon on the next lap and set off after Verstappen. By Lap 37, Hamilton had lined up Verstappen and went for the outside of the Red Bull into Turn 1. The Dutchman employed his now familiar tactic of running off the track on the exit of the apex, forcing Lewis out of road. Having got away with it in Brazil, he was understandably perplexed to be asked to hand the place back "tactically" by his race engineer on this occasion. “In Brazil it was fine and now suddenly I get a penalty for it.” “The guy is crazy,” claimed Hamilton. It was all becoming a little desperate. What happened next was flabbergasting as the pair collided in confusion when Verstappen lifted and then braked hard on the back straight to allow the Mercedes past. Hamilton, late to be informed of the switch, was initially confused by Verstappen’s driving. When he realised, he tried to avoid the switch taking place ahead of the DRS activation line. It was clumsy, ridiculous, and could have been avoided by clearer instruction from race control. Verstappen would receive a post-race 10-second penalty for the 2.4g sudden deceleration. Five laps later, Verstappen slowed to allow Hamilton to pass. Hamilton now had a significantly damaged front wing. Then Verstappen used the DRS to retake the lead, just prior to being given a 5-second penalty for his earlier Turn 1 maneuver. His race run, and his tires shot, Verstappen finally let Lewis by into the final corner, and this time it was Hamilton who was cautioned for running the Red Bull wide on the exit. Afterwards, with the points levelled at 369.5 each and now on a run of three victories, Hamilton was quick to point to a state of motivation within the Mercedes F1 squad that he had never seen before, emphatically underlined as Bottas snatched third from Ocon just over the finish line to all but secure the constructors’ crown for the Brackley team. “I think today I saw a passion and excitement in my team that in 10 years I don’t think I’ve seen,” he said. “It’s amazing.” His words for Verstappen were less charitable: “From my understanding, I know that I can’t overtake someone and go off the track and then keep the position. I think that’s well known between us drivers, but it doesn’t apply to one of us, I guess.” Verstappen, for his part, remained defiant. “Lately we’re talking more about penalties than actually proper F1 racing, and that’s a bit of shame.” Certainly everyone shared his view, but perhaps not from the same perspective.

Shocking showdown The 2021 Formula 1 racing season was absolutely brilliant. The lead in the drivers’ championship changed hands five times between the two best drivers in the world. It culminated

The preceding day, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolf (left) and Christian Horner, his Red Bull counterpart, shake hands. Relations have become rocky between the two this season. THE STAR 3–4 • 2022


INSIDE LINE in the 30th title-deciding race in the history of the sport and Abu Dhabi has hosted four of them. And for the first time since 1974 when Emerson Fittipaldi beat Clay Regazzoni, both contenders started the finale with equal points. Lewis took the lead at the start, his medium tires giving him less wheelspin than poleman Verstappen’s softs. And while he momentarily lost it to a brilliant move by Max at Turn 5, he regained it by running wide over the runoff between Turns 5 and 6. Surprisingly, he was allowed to keep the place. After that he was in control. Red Bull snatched their chances where they could, triggering the first round of stops with Verstappen switching to hard tires, while Perez stayed out to play interference ahead of Hamilton, bringing the Dutchman back within two seconds of the Mercedes after dropping nearly 10 seconds behind. Hamilton passed Perez and rebuilt his initiative but a Virtual Safety Car period on Lap 35 allowed Verstappen a cheap stop to take on fresh hard tires, while Hamilton had to stay out on his old set to protect his track position. Initially he questioned this logic, with engineer Pete Bonnington telling him Verstappen would need to be 0.8 seconds per lap quicker to the end of the race to catch him. Hamilton countered that with his usual blend of supernatural pace on old tires and wily traffic management. Things were under control. “I wouldn’t have caught him,” admitted Verstappen afterwards. And then Nicolas Latifi crashed his Williams at Turn 14 on Lap 53, with five to go, triggering a Safety Car. Red Bull immediately pitted Verstappen for softs, leaving Mercedes with little choice but to stay out, safe in the knowledge that the race was A) unlikely to return to green before the end and B) that they would lose the lead to Verstappen even if they did pit. Moreover, race control confirmed that lapped traffic would not be able to pass the leader before a restart, so if there was time for another racing lap, there would be a buffer between Hamilton and Verstappen. Horner then lobbied Masi over the radio, "can we get this traffic out of the way, we only need one racing lap.” And suddenly it all changed. Against precedent, race control called for only the five cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to pass the Safety Car, but not the other three that lay between the Red Bull and third-placed Carlos Sainz. Almost instantly the dynamic changed as teams were informed on Lap 57 that the race would go green for Lap 58. And just like that, Hamilton’s advantage had not only gone, he’d been rendered defenseless through no fault of his own. A championship that had run neck and neck for more than 44 hours of racing across six continents through 22 weekends had been decided by a steward’s call. Article 48.12 of the sporting regulations states that "once the last lapped car has passed the leader, the Safety Car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap." This didn’t happen. Instead with only the cars between Hamilton and Verstappen cleared, we had a new protocol. Masi was under pressure to get the race back under way, time was short, and inevitably there were multiple channels of dialogue in play during the clear-up of an accident. Safety is 24

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Masi's primary function in situations like this. Not to mention the importance of this moment, of all moments. He made a difficult call, in an extremely tough job. Another call might have been to red flag the race when Latifi crashed, then both Hamilton and Verstappen would have access to fresh tires in a fight to the flag. That might have been harsh on Lewis, but either of the two options not chosen would have been fairer than the one we got. The stewards argued that Masi had the power to override the Safety Car protocol. "Although article 48.12 may not have been applied fully, in relation to the safety car returning to the pits at the end of the following lap, article 48.13 overrides that and once the message "safety car in this lap" has been displayed, it is mandatory to withdraw the safety car at the end of that lap.” Mercedes-AMG plainly disagreed with that interpretation. "No Michael, no! This is absolutely not right,” cried Wolff in the heat of the moment. Hamilton said over the radio "this has been manipulated, man." But by then it was all too late.

Still We Rise As Verstappen and Red Bull celebrated around him, Hamilton sat motionless in the cockpit of his W12 in Parc Ferme. His humility was uplifting, and he and his father Anthony were among the first to congratulate Verstappen and his own father Jos. His dignity in the immediate aftermath was one of the few sporting positives to draw from it all. “A big congratulations to Max and to his team,” he said. “I think we did an amazing job this year. My team, everyone back at the factory, all the men and women we have, and here, have worked so hard this whole year. I’m so proud of them, so grateful to be part of the journey with them.” In the days after Mercedes maintained a resolute silence beyond its declaration of intent to appeal, having taken barrister Paul Harris QC to see the stewards to make its case post-race, which was dismissed. Even the FIA itself on the Wednesday after the race admitted that the events had "tarnished the sport’s image" and that it would conduct a detailed analysis and clarification exercise. A tacit admission, if one was needed, that things had gone awry. All sides added that Masi was not wholly to blame, under phenomenal pressure and that procedures needed amending. Much has to be done to clarify and simplify F1’s sporting regulations and their implementation moving forwards if manufacturers and multinationals are to continue to commit massive budgets to the sport. Moreover, the faith and trust of the millions of new fans must be recovered rapidly so as not to allow this controversy to fester – it must start with strong and robust stewarding on a fair and consistent basis. Anything less will only damage the sport further, but more importantly, is simply unfair on the competitors. Hamilton’s crash helmet went through many variations of color through 2021. It came within a single lap of protecting its owner to a historic eighth world drivers’ title. But through it all, inscribed within the champion’s livery were the words, "Still We Rise."

But through it all, inscribed within the champion’s livery were the words, "Still We Rise."

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Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One


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2021 Formula One Constructors’ Champion

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280SL The chance discovery of a rare Mercedes-Benz R107 sparks enthusiasm for cars from the three-pointed star



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ansing, Michigan attorney Norm Witte found this unique 280SL – his first MercedesBenz – completely by accident. He and wife Joy were vacationing in a rental home on Topsail Island, North Carolina. The house had an elevator that was malfunctioning, so they called a maintenance man to fix it. The maintenance guy told them there was a car in the garage that might be for sale, and he unlocked it for them to have a look. There it was; a 1985 R107 280SL. Witte was at first unimpressed. “But then I walked around it and noticed some things,” he says. This 280SL “had Euro bumpers! A manual transmission! Air conditioning and power windows! And it was in reasonably good, rust-free condition. Within a day or two, I was in love with it and negotiated a deal.” This R107 has an interesting history. “It was purchased new by Jim Trum, who was controller at the American embassy in El Salvador at the time,” Witte relates.

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R107 280SL

This 280SL ... 'had Euro bumpers! A manual transmission! Air conditioning and power windows! Within a day or two, I was in love with it and negotiated a deal.'

“When he was transferred back to the United States in early 1986, he put diplomatic plates on it and drove it from El Salvador to Alexandria, Virginia, running at 100 miles per hour through most of Central America due to political unrest along the way. He sold it to a developer in Baltimore, who started building houses on Topsail Island. After he died, the developer’s widow decided to put the house up for vacation rentals. "I have a lot of documentation for this car, including paperwork related to its importation to El Salvador. I am still in contact with Jim, who is an interesting and entertaining guy.”

Rare in America

ABOVE: Norm Witte’s world-market 1985 280SL – with rare manual transmission – near his home in Michigan. A study in sporting elegance, proportion and precise detail, the R107 is today rightly considered a modern automotive classic. 32

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What makes this car unique? For starters, Mercedes-Benz did not offer the R107 to Americans with the 2,746cc M110 DOHC inline six-cylinder engine, or with a 5-speed manual transmission. This 12-valve, Bosch K-Jetronic fuel-injected, Euro-spec six-cylinder delivers 182 horsepower at 5,800 RPM and 177 lb-ft. of torque at 4,500 RPM. In the hands of an experienced driver, the car will acceleratefrom zero to 60 MPH in just 8.7 seconds. By comparison, the contemporary American market 380SL carried a 16-valve fuel-injected V-8 producing 155 horsepower at 4,750 RPM and 196 lb-ft. of torque at 2,750 RPM. With its automatic transmission, the 380SL can manage a 10.7-second dash to 60 MPH.

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R107 280SL

'It has become a family favorite. It’s a driver, not a carefully restored garage queen.' Second, Witte’s car is not Americanspec, but rather a left-hand-drive ROTW (Rest of the World) version without the federally mandated 5-MPH bumpers. “It did have American-style quad round headlights that were added when the car was federalized,” he explains. “But I converted it back to Euro headlights. I also ditched the ‘electrical box’ turn signals that came on American models in favor of 'banana light' units from the 1971 and 1972 R107s, so the front of the car is unique to those who know these models.” This 280SL also sports a 450SL rubber rear spoiler, which original owner Trum had his dealer install. “While these changes are not original stock,” Witte chuckles, “they are elements of the story of the car, and I think they look good.” He adds that it was notably also “part of the tsunami of gray market Mercedes that came into the United States in the early 1980s that led to the virtual ban on gray market cars. That wave peaked in 1985, the year this car was built.” Why does Witte love this car? He says, “Driving it was a whole new revelation. I know that some people would want more power, but this straight six loves to rev and the car is a hoot to drive. I drove it to court in Stanton this morning and came back on two-lane roads with the top down. It was blissful. At 70 mph, it is relatively quiet, comfortable and just cruises along.”

Out for a ride We seized the moment and drove Witte's car top-down on a crisp, bright fall day and enjoyed the same sensations that he describes. The DOHC six is short on low-end torque at launch but likes to rev and gets ever more eager at higher rpms. It also makes lovely noises through its non-stock exhaust. The fivespeed shifter was a bit loose and floppy,

LEFT: Refined simplicity is a hallmark of the R107's hewn-from-billet interior. ABOVE: The car is responsive and lively, with its 2,746cc M110 DOHC inline six-cylinder engine. Original tools, emergency kit remain with Norm Witte's 280SL. THE STAR 3–4 • 2022


R107 280SL

'This is the first Mercedes I’ve owned, and I’d love to pick up another one when we have room.'

not surprising for its age, yet surprisingly precise. It never failed to select the gear we wanted when we wanted it. Overall, the car felt solid, handled well and stopped straight and sure, though we didn’t push it hard. We also judged it lovely to look at inside and out, set off by its Euro lamps and 450SL spoiler. “It has become a family favorite,” Witte continues. It’s a driver, not a carefully restored garage queen. There are future projects for this car, but it gets regularly driven and shown. It is often overlooked because Mercedes-Benz made so many R107s, but when people who know look more closely at it, they realize it’s unique.” Witte describes himself as a “gearhead” who likes unique vehicles. “We have two 42 x 30-ft. pole barns known as ‘Barntopia,’” he says, “and my son Seth and I are constantly working on car projects. Of my four kids, my two oldest are also attorneys, but Seth – who went to the College for Creative Studies and majored in Transportation Design – is now a product designer for American

Expedition Vehicles. My oldest son, Jake, likes to say that he followed in my footsteps, but Seth followed my dreams. With Seth’s design skills, we are able to create 3D-printed parts, vinyl cuts, laser cut sheet metal and graphic designs. One of the barns is heated and air conditioned, and we have a two-post lift. In the last couple of years, we set up our own powder-coating system, and this allows us to do increasingly professional work.” Among Witte's current automotive stable are a 1963 Oldsmobile 98 Holiday Sports Sedan, a 1965 Chevrolet Corvair Corsa 140-hp coupe, a 1965 Chevrolet Corvair Corsa 180-hp turbo convertible, a 1968 Imperial Crown four-door hardtop, a 1968 Pontiac Le Mans, a 1971 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser and this 1985 280SL. “We don’t go for cars that are just traffic,” he says. “This is the first Mercedes I’ve owned, and I’d love to pick up another one when we have room. I probably will someday.” We see that revelation as evidence of a happy conversion to the magic of the three-pointed star.

ABOVE: MBCA International Stars Section member Norm Witte enjoys his 1985 280SL with the top down on twisty roads. 36

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'This is the first Mercedes I’ve owned, and I’d love to pick up another one...'

1985 Mercedes-Benz 280SL (R107) TYPE: two-door, two-passenger sedan ENGINE: M110 2,746cc, K-Jetronic fuel injection, overhead camshaft I-6 TRANSMISSION: 5-speed manual POWER: 182 hp (DIN) at 5,800 rpm • TORQUE: 177 lb-ft at 4,500 rpm LENGTH: 172.8 in • CURB WEIGHT: 3,395 lbs • FUEL EFFICIENCY: 20.7 mpg (EU est.) PERFORMANCE ZERO-60 mph: mph: 8.7 sec • TOP SPEED: 119 mph

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he longtime MBCA member, Gull Wing Group member, and Bonneville Salt Flats racer Bob Sirna has been a car nut since birth, and a GM Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild prize winner for models he designed in his teens. Born into a GM family, he graduated from Notre Dame with an engineering degree and worked as a designer at Ford Styling before heading off into computing as an IBM salesman, then forming his own

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company in IT professional staffing services and real estate. After showing his navy blue Gullwing and 300SL roadster twins and vintage-racing his silver Gullwing for years, he got his first taste of Bonneville 20 years ago in the company of MBCA members, Gullwing owners and racers Lynn and Roberta Yakel. Sirna got his first Bonneville record, 190.759 mph, with his 1955 3.0-liter Gullwing, in 2016. (See the May-June 2021 issue of The Star).

In 2021, he ran two different Bonneville programs, one with his Mercedes-Benz-powered ’29 Ford roadster, and the other with a 1996 Mercedes-Benz C280 sedan purchased from a California charity that was the donor car for the roadster’s engine.

Building the perfect beast The C280 was stripped and gutted at RM Motorsports, in Wixom, Michigan, then slowly built up over two years while


After setting records with his 1955 Gullwing and Mercedespowered ’29 Ford roadster, the MBCA'S Bob Sirna goes after the F/Production land speed record with his C280 sedan

the M104 engine development program continued at Roush Competition Engines in Livonia, Michigan. The Roush facility is the home of 300 NASCAR wins, a boatload of IMSA and SCCA sedan championships, Indy engines, Pike's Peak engines, and so forth. The body of Sirna’s 1996 C280 is essentially stock, with an excellent drag coefficient of 0.31. It sits low to the ground, but has no aero improvements front or rear. Not allowed. Simple QA1

coilover suspension at all four corners sit atop relatively light and simple steel wheels with flat covers, Goodyear 25 x 4.5 x 15 salt tires, and disc brakes by The Brake Man. The car carries a mandatory drag chute, and has miles to slow down before turning off the course. The driver’s window is still powered, for convenience. The interior of this race car is all business, built by master fabricator Dan Kenny of RM Motorsports. The driver’s cage and seat, oil tank, driver helmet

cooling system, 20-pound fire system, chute trigger, MoTec data panel and ECU, and the blank dashboard are minimalist, modern, and beautiful. The big black shifter controls a Tremec 6-speed transmission with Liberty Gears ratios tailored to the engine’s high rpm, while the rear axle ratio is a very short 4.86:1. The yellow handle on the transmission tunnel is for the parachute, and the red handle is for the onboard fire suppression system. THE STAR STAR 3–4 3–4 •• 2022 2022 THE


Mercedes-Benz-powered ’29 Ford

1955 Mercedes-Benz Gullwing

1996 Mercedes-Benz C280 sedan

The body of Sirna’s 1996 C280 is basically stock, with an excellent drag coefficient of 0.31.

10,000 RPM engine The engine in the Sirna C280 is a masterpiece of three-liter engineering, crafted by Roush Competition Engines. An adaptation of the Roush Chevrolet Indy V-8, the engine is designed to run at wide-open throttle at up to 10,000 rpm for up to five miles. Although the cylinder head and the engine block are stock Mercedes parts, everything in them and on them is custom-made by Roush for this application, including the gorgeous billet cam cover. Roush also designed a dry sump oil pan that acts to strengthen the engine block. The engine contains a Sonny Bryant forged crankshaft, Carrillo connecting rods, and Diamond Racing pistons. The camshafts were ground to Roush specs by Comp Cams.

The engine breathes through a hoodmounted air scoop tightly sealed to the engine air box that leads to six 52 mm intake throttle bodies. Fuel arrives by port injection. Ignition is performed by six Accel Supercoils controlled by the MoTec engine management system. The system is capable of switching tuning parameters and fuel maps with a few keystrokes on a laptop. The exhaust headers, designed by Roush’s Dennis Corn, use dual three-into-one downtubes and two collectors exiting through the right front fender. Precision Racing Services did all of the electrical and electronic hookups. On a good day at sea level, this engine produces about 430 horsepower at 9600 rpm on race gas, or 143 horsepower per liter, naturally aspirated. The power drops off a bit at Bonneville, because

THE BEST OR NOTHING: Bob Cerna has a long history of taking Mercedes-Benz power to the salt and setting new records. His latest effort is the C280 sedan seen here. The nearly stock C-Class body shell is crammed with state-of-the-art speed equipment, from the cockpit to the engine bay, with its highly modified three-liter block now making 430 horsepower. 40

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the salt is up around 4,400 feet and the engine has to deal with the August heat.

Driveline design details The ancillary systems in this very specialized car are quite different from production. There is a radiator mounted in front of the engine to meet regulations, but it doesn’t hold any fluid and it doesn’t cool the engine. Engine cooling is accomplished by a belt-driven Meziere water pump and a liquid-to-liquid intercooler system that uses 50-100 pounds of ice slurry in the trunk-mounted tank for each run down the Bonneville Salt Flats course. The engine lubrication system is likewise unique, a 10-quart Barnes Systems dry-sump oiling rig pumping Mobil 1 Racing 0W50, with an internal and external oil heating system that runs off a small generator while the car is in the pits but gets picked up and carried on the push truck while the car waits in line. A very hot oil temperature, 180-200 degrees Fahrenheit at startup, is required to keep fast-moving parts lubricated during 9500-rpm runs through the six gears.

The nut behind the wheel Team driver Matt Price, of Monkeywrench Racing, in Commerce, Michigan, a company that specializes in race cars with small engines, took the car on its maiden voyage in the spring of 2021 to the East Coast Timing Association meet in Blytheville, Arkansas, and the car ran flawlessly to 175 mph in two kilometers or 1.2 miles. At Bonneville, the hefty 3,979-pound Mercedes-Benz C280 ran 172 mph into a stiff headwind on the short course. With that run in the books, Sirna knows the car is easily capable of smashing the F/ Production record of 167.158 mph on an official run next year. After it gets the F/Production record, this beautiful race car may get even more records in the Modified class with some streamlining and nitro/alcohol fuel. An even smaller engine, a Synergy S2000RR 2.0-liter V-8 using a custom block, a pair of high-performance motorcycle four-cylinder cylinder heads, and a 14,000-rpm redline may fill the engine bay someday. The future may also hold a 2.0-liter, 300-mph G/Fuel Streamliner. Sirna’s working on it.

THE MAGIC OF THE SALT: The C280 pushed into position for practice runs at Bonneville. Visible are the brake parachute mounted above the rear bumper, the massive hood-mounted air scoop sealed to the engine air box, and big twin side exhausts. LEFT: The big grin on Bob Sirna's face lets us know that he is looking forward to a new speed record with the C280. 42

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At Bonneville, the hefty 3,979-pound Mercedes-Benz C280 ran 172 mph into a stiff headwind on the short course.

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50th Anniversary Road Trip



he year marking the 50th Anniversary of the R107 has come to an end. The anniversary was commemorated loud and broad, around the globe. All despite the pandemic and the limitations that came with it! On the one hand, conditions made “live” celebrations difficult, and unfortunately in some cases even impossible. On the other hand, the pandemic will make the R107 anniversary even more remarkable – as one celebrated in very tough times. It’s unlikely that anyone taking part in the April 1971 R107 introduction at the Hockenheimring would have envisaged such a scenario for 2021, even in their most daring fantasies.

brake pads a bit more frequently than I do. As with the tires, I will spare you the details. With these two upgrades the R107 was ready to rock 'n' roll on the way to her party. But where should we take her finally? The Alps? The Mediterranean? All fine, but somehow not very related to the R107 history and the golden anniversary. The solution came by accident. I heard that the German R107 SL Club had put together a 50th Anniversary meet & ride at the Hockenheimring. It was not on April 13th – because of COVID – but it was as much "back to the roots" as one can wish for.

Getting ready to go

Once we were approved to participate in the Hockenheimring event, the hectic preparations started. As usually, everything was happening five minutes before the event date. The tires and brake pads were installed on Monday and Tuesday with our start from Geneva scheduled for early Thursday morning. The pandemic did not make planning easier. What do we need to cross the border? What documents will we require? Shall we take the COVID self-test kits with us? What kind of masks? Will we have enough space in the trunk for all the extra stuff? The situation in Germany was changing every day and so, accordingly, did the messages from the hotels we had booked. We wanted to drive “oben-ohne” with the top down. This would be the dream coming fully true. However, the weather forecast was changing even faster than COVID developments and rules, forecasting lots of rain and thunderstorms. Another factor one must consider is the endless distance in the Swiss tunnels where the noise becomes rather deafening, even with the soft top up. Speaking of that, when was the last time we had the soft top out of its storage compartment behind the seats? We made the

Obviously, everybody has their own way to celebrate a birthday. In our case, when it is not an anniversary of a person, but of a material object, the situation becomes a bit more complicated. I decided to celebrate by taking a road trip with my beloved son. Starting from our home in Geneva, the options seem limitless. Should we take the endless curves of Alpine roads on a grand tour of Switzerland? Should we head down to the Mediterranean via famous “Route des Grandes Alpes” as many of the German R107 SL-Club members already did? Or, to the official birthday announcement location at the Hockenheimring? But gifts were also in order: first and foremost a set of brandnew tires. Our 560SL (American market California edition) was very happy with the new shoes, paying us back with a much softer, smoother and quieter ride, plus better grip and handling – offering much more “Vergnügen” than ever before. The second gift was also very much driven by the necessity of the moment. With a not-very-light 5.6-liter engine in the front and an automatic gearbox attached to it, you should check the

Final preparations

This article is an updated version of the original first published in the German R/C107 SL-Club “107 Klassik” magazine in April, 2021 and the Mercedes-Benz Club of Victoria, Australia “Around the Benz” November, 2021 edition 44

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Classic Car Museum

decision to dust off the long-forgotten and for many years unused hardtop and drive under cover in the middle of the summer.

Planning the route The trip itself couldn’t be just another drive from Geneva to Hockenheimring. With my interests skewed towards Mercedes and my son’s towards Formula 1, we decided to kill two birds with one stone. With some extra days carved out from my work schedule, the route plan crystalized: two car museums on the Swiss part of the trip and another five car-related locations in Germany. Paradoxically, due to COVID, the trip became much richer than expected. And no, I do not mean the mask on, mask off part of the experience. Nor do I mean having to load the extra apps on our mobile phones in order to enter hotels and restaurants, nor making sure you have your vaccination certificate on you at all times and the self-tests ready to be used just in case. What I mean is that early July fit not only the beginning of my son's school holidays perfectly, but also coincided with the reopening of most museums after the COVID lockdowns. The distance we had to cover was not especially long, about 840 miles. However, the places to sleep and the driving hours had to be planned carefully to maximize the time available for museum visits and matched to their opening hours.

Pit Stop 1: Classic Car Museum The first stop was the Classic Car Museum in Safenwil. This facility is part of the Classic Center Schweiz and belongs to Emil Frey Classics AG. The center has been open since 2015 when the company purchased and rebuilt a former textile factory. The focus of the exhibition in Safenwil is on collector cars from the post-war period to the 1980s, mainly of English and

We got to travel back in time and set a mood for the trip by enjoying more than 60 great cars.

Japanese origin. Also, some fine examples of racing cars can be seen there, including Formula 1 cars. The Classic Car Museum was a great choice for our first pit stop. We got to travel back in time and set a mood for the trip by enjoying more than 60 great cars. Design icons such as the Jaguar E-Type, the Toyota 2000 GT and the Aston Martin DB4 can be admired there, all displayed in the great ambiance of the old, but fully renovated textile factory building. THE STAR 3–4 • 2022




The journey back in time goes upwards, starting in 1886 with the Benz Patent Motorwagen ...


Oldtimer Museum

Pit Stop 2: Oldtimer Museum Next, we visited the “Pantheon Basel – Schweizer Forum fur Oldtimer - Museum zur Geschichte der Mobilitat” (Swiss Forum for Oldtimers – History of Mobility Museum). The building itself cannot be more different from the vast, flat, and square factory space in Safenwil. With its roundness, it resembles very much the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Guggenheim Museum in New York, following the same principle as the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart with its spiral “walk around the round walls” principle and an empty middle within the building. In the “Pantheon,” unlike in the Mercedes-Benz Museum, we did not find an elevator, so the trip was a bit more challenging 46

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– from the bottom to the top and then back. However, the effort was nicely rewarded – you walk up past dozens of classic cars and motorbikes of various brands, then at a certain height the special Mercedes-Benz exhibition begins. The journey back in time goes upwards, starting in 1886 with the Benz Patent Motorwagen, continuing with the Type 10/30 from 1924, through the 630K from 1927, a beautiful 500K roadster with Graber body from 1934, followed by the 290 A-Cabrio from 1935, the 320, and the 170H from 1938 with the engine in the back. For postwar cars, there's the Adenauer, a Gullwing from 1956, followed by a 190SL from 1959 and Pagoda 230SL from 1966. All with huge poster pictures on the back walls, truly reflecting the historic ambience of the cars on display.

The highlight was the stay in one of the amazing automotive themed guest rooms at the “V-8 Hotel”. Our round and round climb paid off handsomely once we reached the very top of the building, where the special MercedesBenz exhibition finishes with a 1978 450SLC and a 1983 280SL. This was the first COVID-driven bonus on our trip. The exhibition was originally planned to run between October, 2020 and April, 2021, but was extended until October, 2021 to make up for the closures.

Pit Stop 3: Motorworld & V-8 Hotel Motorworld Region Stuttgart is located in Böblingen, in yet another very interesting building: the historical halls of the former state airport of Württemberg. It has a well-balanced mixture of private classic cars stored in rented glass boxes, as




Motorworld & V-8 Hotel

well as a broad variety of classic cars for sale, and several repair and tuning shops. The highlight was the stay in one of the amazing automotive themed guest rooms at the “V-8 Hotel.” Our room choice was a no-brainer: the “Made in Germany” room is devoted entirely to Mercedes-Benz with the bed front consisting of a metallic blue and chrome front of a '70s S-Klasse W116, including lit indicator lamps. The breakfast and bar area of the hotel is decorated with huge wall paintings featuring “Silberpfeils” and Hans Hermann among others. To complete the picture, you can access (directly from the hotel lobby) a classic Mercedes-Benz car dealership on one side and a Pagani & McLaren dealership on the other. What more one could expect from a hotel? THE STAR 3–4 • 2022




Mercedes Museum

We were delighted to see the special exhibition of MercedesBenz Formula 1 car that had been originally planned for 2020.


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Pit Stop 4: Mercedes-Benz Museum We were lucky that the Mercedes-Benz Museum was open – it re-opened its doors after the pandemic restrictions only a month before our trip. We were delighted to see the special exhibition of Mercedes Formula 1 cars that had been originally planned for 2020. Our timing could have not been better! On top of all the impressive history we were able to enjoy all seven MercedesAMG Petronas Formula 1 Team cars from 2014 to 2020, the era of seven consecutive manufacturer and driver championship wins. At the end of this day we wandered, more by chance than plan, into the Mercedes-Benz Dealership Stuttgart, next to the museum. What we found there was a surprising refresher in the form of Bernd Luz’s art exhibition "Stern Legenden” (Star Legends) with lots of colorful and dynamic pictures on Mercedes’ racing history – “Rennsportlegenden.” This exhibition was first on display in the enlarged Classic Center in Munich and only since November 2020 is to be seen in Stuttgart. It would be difficult to find a major racing victory of Mercedes cars which has not yet been painted by Bernd Luz. This series includes, among others, a quite dramatic picture showing the two winners of the 11th Rallye Bandama Côte d'Ivoire 1979 – the 450SLC 5.0s of Mikkola / Hertz and Waldegard / Thorszelius. But Bernd Luz’s pictures are not only about the MercedesBenz cars racing history. They include also almost all the SL line, starting with the 300SL and all the way to the R231. For us, the cherry on the cake was a picture from the Pop Art Series – Movies & Motors featuring Richard Gere and his black 450SL with the license plate “California 963ORE” from the 1980 movie American Gigolo. The QR-Code at each of the PopArts can be scanned with your smartphone for background information about the picture’s subject – in this case the movie trailer.


R107 Anniversary Honors Although there was no R107 SL 50th Anniversary celebration at the Mercedes-Benz Museum, the mystery was partially solved later on. After our trip, Mercedes-Benz opened a special exhibition called “The Fascination of the SL – a Dream Car for 70 Years.” This special show tells the story of all the SL generations, starting with the fabulous 300SL. The exhibition is both a preparation for the upcoming 70th overall SL Anniversary as well as heritage support for the new 2022 AMG SL, rather than a direct tribute to the R107 SL. Obviously, an R107 500SL from 1982 is featured as part of the exhibit.

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The Sinsheim Museum is famous for having both the French-British Concorde and the Russian Tupolev Tu-144 supersonic passenger jets parked together.


Pit Stop 5: Technik-Museum Sinsheim


The Technik-Museum Sinsheim requires no introduction or detailed description. The Sinsheim Museum is famous for having both the French-British Concorde and the Russian Tupolev Tu-144 supersonic passenger jets parked together. The museum has a vast collection of planes, military vehicles, and cars, including a very interesting selection of Maybach and Mercedes-Benz with lots of amazing pre-World War II vehicles. Aside from the permanent collection, we were lucky to find yet another special short-term exhibition: the Red Bull World of Racing, which opened only on May 19, 2021 and was planned to last until January 10, 2022. Covering 3,000 square meters, the exhibition featured vehicles from various racing categories which competed under the Red Bull banner and have been driven by stars like Nasser Al-Attiyah or Sebastian Vettel. That could mean only one thing: lots of Formula 1 cars and a big smile on my son’s face. THE STAR 3–4 • 2022



Sinsheim Museum

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To be able to drive on the famous F1 circuit ... was an unforgettable experience.


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Pit Stop 6: Hockenheimring After a great visit to Sinsheim, we finally reached our ultimate goal: the famous and historic Hockenheimring, site of the 50th Anniversary meet & ride organized by the German R107 SL Club. The club had managed to arrange exclusive entry for event participants to the rather small but still very interesting F1 Motorsport Museum. Obviously, the highlight of this stop was to meet the other 106 of the invited R107s and their drivers. It was lots of fun and a pleasure to be able to participate both in the event and in the dinner where, at our table, we had the luck to learn about the R129 development work. We were not only the only car in the event with non-German license plates, but also the only R107 sporting a hardtop. It was amazing to see the oldest pre-series R107 (the 107 043 10 000 002) looking as beautiful and fit as new. It was great to enjoy the astonishing versatility of our cars, with no two identical vehicles among the 107 machines taking part. To be able to drive on the famous racing circuit and see it from a driver's perspective – although a bit slower than at racing speed – was an unforgettable experience.





Hajo & Home





Pit Stop 7: Hajo's house & the way home Our last day was reserved for a visit to my friend Hajo and the drive home. As usual with Hajo, we disappeared for a couple of hours into his man cave for a deep dive into R107 die-cast scale models and print materials, and an exchange of news and collectibles, followed by a great lunch made by his lovely wife Ute. It always hurts when I am not able to use the car’s top-down capacity to bring “Freiheit & Vergnügen” to its fullest, but after several days of suffering under the hardtop in warm and sunny weather this decision finally paid off. The heavens opened, with strong thunderstorms over most of the 310 miles back home.

What more do you need? This was a great way to celebrate the 50th R107 Anniversary. We visited seven classic car sites and museums and, thanks to the pandemic, three special short-term exhibitions as well. All our objectives were more than achieved. We enjoyed the “Freiheit & Vergnügen” the R107 offers even with the hardtop “coupe-roof” on. We were able to participate in a great event and managed to visit our friend Hajo and his wife Ute. What more do you need in a trip just a bit longer than a weekend? THE STAR 3–4 • 2022



at Sea

Determined to bring motorization 'on water, on land and in the air,' in 1886 Gottlieb Daimler installed his first single-cylinder boat engine, a step that would eventually lead to massive engines powering vessels in war and peace



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here was no sail. No one was rowing it along. Yet the sharpnosed launch was moving, cruising quietly along the Neckar River near Cannstatt in August of 1886. Maybe an electric motor was hidden under the hutch in front of the helmsman? Porcelain insulators and copper wires along the sides suggested that it was. Gottlieb Daimler was certainly up to something, he and Maybach in that little lean-to they called a workshop. But it couldn’t be one of the noisy, smelly, smoky and dangerous gasoline engines the pair had made last year – or could it?

2 3 Daimler/Maybach • 1.1 HP

The secret boats Powering the launch was the identical 226 cc single-cylinder engine that Daimler and Maybach used in their 1885 carriage and two-wheeled “riding wagon.” The first portable four-stroke, it gave 1.1 horsepower at 650 rpm. Strollers along the bank of the Neckar saw its test runs with Daimler’s co-workers on board. The real show came at 3 o'clock in the afternoon of October 13th when dignitaries from Baden-Baden were invited to a jaunt on the little Waldsee Lake south of that resort town. “We hear that the inventor has had three boats built according to his system so far,” reported the Schwäbischen Chronik, “the larger of which can accommodate ten people and the smallest two people. Daimler himself demonstrated the middle one, named Rems, operating the engine and controlling the steering. The former is located in the middle of the boat and takes up little space, as the mechanism is functionally mounted in the rear, simply constructed. The engine works regularly and without any noticeable noise, whereby the consumption of petroleum is minimal. The boat darted around the Waldsee with swift agility and beauty. Mr. Daimler received the fullest appreciation for his beautiful invention.” Daimler’s son Paul related, “This first boat was fitted with electrical insulators and wires during the day in order to keep the fact that it was powered with petrol a secret. My father’s explanation was: ‘It runs on oiltricity.’ The engine was removed and reinstalled on a daily basis.” His suggestion of electricity was Gottlieb Daimler’s strategy to deal with a wary public, who were aware of gasoline's high flammability and propensity



1. Displayed at the Mercedes-Benz Museum, the motor yacht Marie was built in 1888 for the family of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. 2. Gottlieb Daimler was at the peak of his powers at age 52 when he and Wilhelm Maybach built the first Otto-engine-powered marine craft. 3. Bolted in the 1886 Daimler boats was the single-cylinder engine that was the first prime mover for Daimler and Maybach. 4. 1886 patent drawing shows details of the ingenious drive system and controls of the craft. 5. The clinker-built hull used to test the new power boat shown with the Cannstatt workshop team on board.

means of a gas or petroleum engine.” Its to explode. He countered this by calling its fuel “petrol,” the English term for gas- American patent was filed on November oline, which Daimler knew from his stay 9, 1886, rather spoiling the effort to divert attention from its fuel by its title: in Britain. “Petrol engine” sounded less problematic because people were used to “Explosive-Gas Marine Engine.” In fact, his patent included cylindrical containers petroleum as fuel for lamps. for gas fuels at atmospheric pressure and Explosive gas marine engine more. His other patents discussed storage On October 26, 1886 in France, Daimler for “petrol.” Its drawings detailed the way first registered a patent for his “Device water was scooped up to circulate through for operating a screw-shaft of a boat by the engine’s cooling jacket and then THE STAR 3–4 • 2022


7 Maybach Marine • 12.3 HP


released at the rear. A crank at the front of the engine dealt with starting. While the engine’s massive flywheel was internal, it drove a simple external clutch. Effecting its engagement was the propeller shaft, which was free to move fore and aft in its bearings. To get the boat under way, the shaft with its integral clutch-driven element was moved forward into contact with the engine-driven element, which initiated drive. Thereafter the propeller’s forward thrust sufficed to keep the clutch engaged. "Without altering the speed of the engine," said Daimler, "the speed of the propeller, and consequently the motion of the vessel, can be increased or decreased at will or entirely stopped by simply causing the frictional coupling to be brought into contact with greater or lesser force." For reversing the drive – one of the features that flaunted the boat’s maneuverability – Daimler and Maybach fixed a disc to the propeller shaft in a position where it could be contacted by two discs at the sides that could also press against the clutch’s driving element. Two coordinated bell cranks pushed the disc pair into contact with those fore and aft to provide reverse gear. Controls for this function and others of the drive were linked to the internal passage of a vertical shaft. The latter carried handlebars the pilot operated to steer the craft through a chain to the rudder that was twisted so the boat turned where the levers were aimed. 56

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8 6. This photograph of a benign journey in a Daimler craft was intended to overcome concerns about the safety of the “explosive” gasoline fuel, now called “petrol” instead. 7. Maybach combined two twin-cylinder engines to create his four-cylinder 6.0-liter marine engine of 1890, which produced 12.3 horsepower at 390 rpm. 8. In 1896, DMG celebrated 10 years in business with this magnificent display of its products. Seven motor boats were shown with two at the center.

These features figured in the three boats commissioned by Daimler-MotorenGesellschaft (DMG) in 1886. With room for ten, the Neckar was the largest. The Rems was in the middle and the two-passenger Schwaben the smallest. After the patent was issued the inventors stepped up promotion of their new creation. An appearance by Wilhelm Maybach with a Daimler motorboat in Frankfurt am Main in the spring of 1887 was a crowd-pleaser. There the “King of Designers” drew attention at a rowing regatta with his boat by cruising rapidly up and down the Main

River. Even the police took an interest in what the novel craft was up to.

Boat manufacturing Series production of motorboats by DMG began in 1888. The young company even built its own shipyard at the bend of the river in Bad Cannstatt for this purpose. There the hulls provided by boat builders were fitted out with the company’s machinery. On October 15, 1888 Hamburg on the Elbe was the site of an impressive demonstration: The 23-foot Die sieben Schwaben, powered by a 2-horsepower

engine at 740 rpm, swam silently in the wake of the tugs that accompanied Kaiser Wilhelm II on his journey through the new port of Hamburg. A notable creation that year was the motorboat Marie, built for the family of German Reich Chancellor Otto von Bismarck and named for his daughter. With a hull like that of the Neckar made by Anderssen at Neckarsulm, the craft was richly decorated by Stuttgart experts Paul Stotz & Co. Today it is on permanent display at the Mercedes-Benz Museum. Motorboats quickly became a sales hit for Daimler. After further demonstrations on Lake Constance and in Sicily, customers were convinced. Daimlerpowered boats were delivered to remote lands, as for the Sultan of Morocco. His magnificently equipped craft, delivered in 1892, was disassembled into six pieces and transported on camels to this early Daimler VIP customer. Wilhelm Maybach’s first four-cylinder engine was shipped to New York on August 21, 1890. Intended for marine use, it displaced 6 liters and produced 12.3 horsepower at 390 rpm. Another seagoing engine was available days later, a 2.4-liter giving 5.9 horsepower at 620 rpm. Daimler was on a roll. In fact, motorboats and their power units were the principal product of the early DMG, playing a crucial role in the signing of export contracts to Britain, the United States and other nations. Not to be outdone, Mannheim's Benz & Cie. also produced marine engines. The first Benz-powered motorboat could be spotted on the river Spree in 1887, followed by the lodging of a Benz patent on August 9, 1888, for a reversing device using bevel gears – a concept mooted in Daimler’s patent. Limited production of motorboats began in Benz's Mannheim factory.

A legacy of marine engines Gottlieb Daimler was often quoted to the effect that the motorboat in particular contributed a great deal to eliminating the considerable prejudice that was then held against “explosive” gasoline as a fuel. The lively interest shown in motorized boats thereafter meant that marine engines had the largest share of Daimler production for many years. When the DMG celebrated its first decade in 1896 with a poster featuring all its products, marine applications were front and center.



Motorboats quickly became a sales hit for Daimler.

11 9. To exploit the demand for its petrol-powered watercraft, DMG built its own boat house and workshop on the Neckar River at Bad Cannstatt. 10. Daimler advertised its marine offerings – “in all versions”– with this 1893 placard picturing an elegant launch with an enclosed cabin; the firm also invited interest from dealers. 11. Benz of Mannheim joined the rush to provide Otto-engined water craft, in 1888 patenting this reverse gear for its horizontal single-cylinder engine.

Into the twentieth century, the first powerful racing machines were boats, not cars. Although they didn’t figure among the winners, craft with Mercedes engines were among those entered for the big April 1904 races at Monaco. Soon the German Navy took a keen interest in this newfangled method of marine propulsion. In 1909, DMG delivered a 100 horsepower diesel to the Navy for use in a ship tender. This led to a series of marine diesels giving up to 150 horsepower. Alongside this, DMG built gasoline marine engines with upwards of 60 horsepower.

September of 1911 saw Benz deliver its first Hesselman-patent two-stroke marine diesel engine. Benz was the sole German licensee of the Hesselman process, which was used by the engine that powered the ship used for polar exploration by Norway’s Roald Amundsen. From Hobart he cabled: “DIESEL MOTOR SPLENDID.” Benz and Daimler built engines for the navies of both Germany and AustriaHungary in World War 1. By this time, the works in the Berlin suburb of Marienfelde, acquired in 1902 to expand car production, was DMG's principal production plant for THE STAR 3–4 • 2022


Soon the German Navy took a keen interest in this newfangled method of marine propulsion.




heavy engines. Its first engine designed for submarine use was the 109-liter MU 256, which gave 300 horsepower at 450 rpm and was ultimately developed into a 500-horsepower version. The Benz counterpart was its six-cylinder S6Ln, making 450 horsepower at 400 rpm. Like its successors, it used the Hesselman propeller-reversing system which exchanged inlet- and exhaust-valve functions and tweaked other parameters. During the war, Benz supplied 72 heavy diesels for submarines; Daimler built 64 lighter-duty diesels for underwater craft.

Porsche on deck

15 Daimler MU 256 • 300–500 HP 16 Benz BF2 S6Ln • 450 HP

12. By 1894, Daimler could claim that “several hundred" motorboats "are already in service.” 13. A 1912 Benz ad of explorer Amundsen’s cable praising a marine diesel using the Hesselman system licensed by Benz. 14. “For all the purposes of cargo shipping”; by 1913 Daimler offered four-and six-cylinder diesels of 60-500 horsepower. 15. Blueprint of 109 liter MU 256 six: the first DMG diesel for submarines; its output of 300 horsepower at 450 rpm later rose to 500 horsepower. 16. The 1915 205 liter Benz S6Ln diesel: 450 horsepower at 400 rpm. It powered five UE twin-screw minelayers, 1915-1916. 58

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With peace in 1918, orders for advanced marine engines were thin on the ground. At DMG, a new board member for engineering from 1923 was Ferdinand Porsche. He was encouraged by news that the Navy was visiting the works at Untertürkheim. Leading the Navy’s delegation on the morning of November 24, 1926 was Ministerialrat Wilhelm Laudahn. Scant weeks younger than Porsche, Laudahn was an engineer who had introduced diesel power and directed other advanced technical projects for Germany’s Navy. Accompanied by two colleagues, Laudahn met with Wilhelm Kissel and Richard Lang as well as Porsche. As soon as possible, said the visitors, they would like to see a supercharged aero engine making 800 horsepower in air- and water-cooled versions. This led to a lively and detailed discussion between the two technicians about the implications of this request. Kissel asked whether this was likely to develop into a regular business for Daimler-Benz and also whether the Navy was prepared to provide financial support for the engines’ creation. This was great news for the company, although it was for use in the air rather than on water.

For Ferdinand Porsche, here was a happy reminder of the way the AustroHungarian Navy had commissioned a V-12 engine from Austro Daimler. As in that undertaking, the aim was to have a suitable power unit for the Navy’s future large flying boats. How big did an 800-horsepower engine have to be? Any risk of failure was skirted by settling on a capacity of 53.9 liters for the base engine with supercharging as a bonus. Each of its cylinders displaced 4.5 liters, as much as a luxury car of the era. This would be the largest engine that Porsche had yet built. The F2, as it was dubbed, was a 60-degree V-12 with each bank having a single overhead camshaft. An array of shafts and bevels at the engine’s anti-drive end turned the camshafts, twin water pumps along the flanks, ignition apparatus, dry-sump lubrication pumps and, indirectly, two Junkers fuel pumps. Four

vertical valves per cylinder were opened by individual roller fingers for exhausts and a single forked finger for the inlets. A supercharger at its tail could be engaged from the cockpit. Developed through 1929 and into 1930, the F2 made 800 horsepower at 1,580 rpm at sea level and 880 horsepower at 1,600 rpm takeoff power. Maximum supercharged output was 1,030 horsepower at 1,700 rpm. It weighed 2,160 pounds with all accessories including the reduction gear. Its output figures ranked the F2 among the most powerful aero engines of its era, such as the Fiat A25 of 950 horsepower and Sunbeam’s massive Sikh III airship V-12, with 1,000 horsepower. Only two prototypes of the F2 marine engine were ever produced. While neither ultimately reached installation in a naval vessel, the engines were the subject of testing through 1932. Porsche’s departure


18 Daimler-Benz BF2 • 800 HP 19 Daimler-Benz OF2 • 800 HP

20 17. Although Benz mentioned both automobile and aero engines in this 1918 advertisement, the illustration focused entirely on activities at sea. 18. Based on Ferdinand Porsche’s 1929 F2 aero engine, Daimler-Benz created this BF2 V-12 for the Kriegsmarine. Induction was in the center and exhausts delivered upward. Carrying an air compressor at its nose, the 53.9-liter BF2 had a supercharger that could be remotely driven or not as

needed. Its continuous output was rated at 800 horsepower at 1,600 rpm. 19. Showing the way to the future of marine propulsion was the Daimler-Benz OF2 of 1930, a diesel version of the BF2. Naturally aspirated, it served as a test engine for the later range of V-12 marine diesels. 20. A side view of the 1931 S-1 Schnellboot illustrates its forward-placed single BF2 V-12 and one of the two siblings flanking it. The Allies would call them E-Boats. THE STAR 3–4 • 2022


at the end of 1928 seemed to deflate the company’s interest in this aeronautical project with its obvious military implications. It did however, lead to a marine adaptation version that the Navy also commissioned.


Naval applications The marine version of the 53.9-liter V-12 was the BF2. In all respects its features echoed those of the F2, with its reduction gear inverted so that it suited a low-placed drive to a propeller. Its cooling system still preferring fresh water, preferably distilled; it required a heat exchanger to interface with seawater. Fuel was to be either leaded gasoline or a half-and-half blend of gasoline and benzol to produce a supercharged output of a steady 800 horsepower at 1,600 rpm or 950 horsepower at 1,700, sustainable for half an hour at a stretch. In the post-Porsche era three of the BF2 versions of his design powered Germany’s first modern Schnellboot, a fast attack craft. Commissioned from Bremen’s Lürssen in August of 1930, this displaced 51.6 tons and was mahogany-planked on an aluminum frame. Ultimately known as S-1, first of the Schnellboot line, it was powered by three BF2 V-12s. While the center and port engines had conventional rotation, the starboard BF2 had reverse rotation to minimize torque effects. Three of these boats were launched, fitted with two torpedo tubes, a 20 mm anti-aircraft weapon and machine gun. All had BF2 power with 34 knots of sustained speed. This was an important foot in the door for Daimler-Benz, which competed with Mannheim for the supply of engines for subsequent S-boats. With petrol engines rejected on the grounds of their flammability, diesels were preferred. Daimler-Benz eventually prevailed with its marine diesels.

Airship applications Daimler-Benz's seagoing diesels traced their origins to yet another version of Ferdinand Porsche’s F2 V-12. First run on November 14, 1930, this was the OF2, the ‘O’ indicating Ölmotor or oil engine. It had new valve gear with twin overhead camshafts on each bank, still shaft-driven. At the center of its vee were two six-cylinder Bosch injection pumps in line, pushing fuel oil to the prechamber at the center of four valves atop each cylinder. 60

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22 Daimler-Benz MB 501 • 1,500 HP

23 Daimler-Benz MB 502 • 900 HP 21. Daimler-Benz's new diesels were well suited for civilian craft, as seen here. They would soon be needed in wartime, however. 22. The firm's MB 501 marine duty engine of 1937 was a 134.4-liter V-20 with a 40-degree bank angle. Proving unsuited to submarines, it majored in Schnellboot duty. 23. Derived from an airship diesel, this MB 502 was a 50-degree V-16, three of which powered the 1939 Schnellboote. The MB 502 made 900 horsepower from 88.5 liters at 1,500 rpm.

With a compression ratio of 16.0:1, no supercharger was fitted to the OF2, which carried reduction gears in its initial version. Called from Benz to Stuttgart after Porsche’s departure, new engineering chief Hans Nibel’s right-hand man Fritz Nallinger took charge of testing, including high-speed diesels. Test results with this prototype led directly to the design of the 1933 Daimler-Benz LOF 6, soon renamed the DB 602, an 88.5-liter diesel designed for airship propulsion. Developing a maximum 1,320 horsepower and weighting 4,360 pounds, the

DB 602 powered two Zeppelins, the LZ 129 Hindenburg and its sister, LZ 130 Graf Zeppelin. This was a high-profile coup for Daimler-Benz, for Zeppelin airships had long been solely Maybach-powered. Fittingly for such a starring role, the V-16s were handsomely designed and finished.

V-20 engine & World War II Under its MB 502 designation for the Kriegsmarine, the same diesel V-16 powered four of the 1933 series S-boats, each of which had three engines. The MB 502 also served as the starting point for

24 Daimler-Benz MG 511 • 1,875 HP


Daimler-Benz's marine engine and Schnellboot contracts continued after the outbreak of World War II. 26 Daimler-Benz MB 518 • 2,000–3,000 HP 24. The 1939 Daimler-Benz MG 511 was a supercharged marine version of the MB 501 V-20. Its blower was at the left, above the reduction gear. The MG 511's continuous output was rated at an impressive 1,875 horsepower at 1,480 rpm. 25. Shown here in a cutaway drawing, these cylinder units were typical of those used in the 40-degree MB

the magnificent V-20 MB 501 diesel, whose 1,500 horsepower at 1,480 rpm output gave it a range of military applications, including later and faster S-boats with three such engines. Remarkably, two Type IX D1 fast cruisers were powered by six such engines apiece, a total of 120 cylinders per craft. Daimler-Benz's marine engine and Schnellboot contracts continued after the outbreak of World War II. In 1939, arch-rival Auto Union was nibbling for a share of the Kriegsmarine’s business. The Daimler-Benz board voted to ward this off by laying down a second production line

501, 511 and 518 Schnellboot series. Diesel injection was routed into a pre-chamber and valve operation was by pushrods. 26. Enjoying a prominent intercooler, the advanced MB 518 V-20 could produce 2,000 continuously available horsepower and 3,000 emergency horsepower for short bursts. This magnificent engine continued on into post-war service.

at Marienfelde, “allowing the retention of Daimler-Benz’s monopoly in an area that it saw as remaining highly profitable even after the war,” wrote historian Neil Gregor. Daimler-Benz AG was less successful in getting permission to build marine engines at its Genshagen plant near Berlin. To compensate, additional acreage at Untertürkheim was devoted to naval-engine production. However, the still-new second line at Marienfelde was soon uprooted to make room for tank production and moved to Untertürkheim to create a concentration of large-scale naval

engine production. The workforce there was solely German, no prisoners of war being engaged for security reasons.

Postwar marine Management's idea of expansion to plan for a post-war world worked well. In peacetime, Daimler-Benz enjoyed strong demand for its marine engines. More recently, since 2010 the company has been working with select partners to design watercraft to a high standard under the label “Mercedes-Benz Style.” In 2016, Silver Arrows Marine collaborated with the THE STAR 3–4 • 2022



Stuttgart company to build an impressive 14-meter luxury cruiser, the Arrow 460-GT. Perhaps the most striking postwar use of a Mercedes-Benz engine on water was the 300SL’s slant-six – the M198 – installed in racing speedboats. At the end of the 1950s, the fuel-injected six powered two record-breaking boats owned by early company shareholder Herbert Quandt. A less-privileged personage also took advantage of the 300SL engine for boat racing – the Austrian Peter Haas, who emigrated to South Africa in the 1930s. His contacts in pre-war motor racing paid

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off when his friend Maurice E. “Bobby” Bothner, who had raced a Maserati and Bugatti, arranged for him to be released for the duration of the war. Among his activities, Haas took up speedboat racing. He competed with a hydroplane named Blue Peter. For power, Haas turned to his brother, who had worked at Steyr Puch in Austria and was now in the United States designing tanks. The fraternal tie led to Daimler-Benz, which had built special 300SL engines for the 300SLS raced by Paul O’Shea to an SCCA class championship in 1957. These had aluminum blocks and

27. In 1954, Daimler-Benz promoted its continuity and its OM 636 diesel, marine version of the engine used in its diesel passenger cars. 28. A dramatic 1959 ad of an Italian hydrofoil with Daimler-Benz marine diesel power. 29. In 1966, the firm touted the versatility of its 240 to 350 horsepower six-cylinder MB 846. 30. In 1959, a trio of Mercedes-Benz OM 820 diesels turned the diesel-electric drive of the 6,400-ton freighter Tinnum. 31. The de62


fabricated inlet manifolds reducing their weight by 135 pounds. Top-end tweaks brought power to 235 horsepower. His brother worked his Stuttgart contacts to wangle a 300SL engine for Blue Peter. Installed with a reduction gear, the thoroughbred six stood up to the high-revving demands of boat racing through several seasons in the late 1950s. After winning several championships, Haas had to give way to progress, selling his special 300SL six to fund the purchase of an American V-8. The rare engine’s whereabouts are unknown today.

scendants of the MB 518 still powered the German Navy's Schnellboote in 1988; four gave a total of 12,000 horsepower and a 43 knot top speed. 32-33. In 1958–1959, Peter Haas enjoyed success with his hydroplane and its unique 235-horsepower 300SL racing engine, identified by its fabricated-sheet-metal ram pipes and plenum chamber. 34. In 2016, the 14-meter Arrow 460-GT cruiser was built by Silver Arrows Marine under Daimler’s auspices.



In peacetime, Daimler-Benz enjoyed strong demand for its marine engines.


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DOUBLE YOUR FUN Mercedes-AMG SL & AMG EQS offer two different takes on AMG performance


ercedes-AMG has added two new models to its portfolio for the 2022 model year – the AMG SL roadster and the AMG EQS luxury electric sedan. We had the opportunity to spend time behind the wheel of both of these fun-to-drive cars. While the SL is a superb traditional machine from Affalterbach, the EQS is the first fully electric AMG. Mercedes did not share pricing information with us, but it is fair to guess that both vehicles will carry premium price tags.

The AMG SL 55/63 One of the sexiest cars in the Mercedes lineup, the SL is all-new and available only as an AMG. Two variants are offered – SL55 and SL63 – both powered by the handcrafted AMG 4.0-liter Biturbo V-8. The SL55 gets 469 horsepower; the SL63 bumps up to 577 horses. Both are incredibly quick – the SL63 will sprint to 60 miles per hour in just 3.5 seconds; the SL55 takes just 3 tenths longer. Inside is a fresh, clean look with a new 11.9-inch touchscreen center display that

eliminates almost all hard buttons. The display angle can be adjusted to avoid glare when the soft top is down. Multicontour front seats are comfortable and supportive with heating, ventilation and massage. For the first time in more than 30 years, the SL also has a rear seat – but it’s small – it will be best used as extra storage. With unexpectedly cold, wet weather during our Southern California drive in the new SL, the roadster proved its worth as a four-season car. The three-layer fabric

2022 Mercedes-AMG SL55/SL63 TYPE: Two-seat convertible • CONFIGURATION: Front engine, 4Matic All-Wheel-Drive ENGINE: 3,982cc biturbo V-8 POWER: 469/577 horsepower at 5,500 rpm • TORQUE: 516/590 lb-ft at 2,500 rpm TRANSMISSION: AMG Speedshift MCT 9G OVERALL LENGTH: 185.2 in. • HEIGHT: 53.5 in. • CURB WEIGHT: TBD EPA ESTIMATED MILEAGE: TBD • ACCELERATION 0-60 mph: 3.8/3.5 sec. (est.) • TOP SPEED: TBD


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One of the sexiest cars in the Mercedes lineup, the SL is all-new and available only as an AMG.

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This full-size luxury sedan possesses all the expected attributes of a true AMG.


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soft top kept the cabin comfortable and quiet. The top can be raised or lowered in just 15 seconds at speeds up to 37 mph, allowing us to take advantage of the occasional sun breaks. For the first time, the AMG SL gets allwheel drive, making it possible to take advantage of that powerful AMG V-8 on the wet, slick roads. When the sun finally returned, we were able to drop the top – the cabin remains calm with no turbulence allowing full enjoyment of the throaty V-8 exhaust as we pushed the SL to its limits on the winding roads. With excellent handling, strong acceleration and a pleasing V-8 soundtrack, the new SL is everything expected from a proper AMG sports car.

The Mercedes-AMG EQS It’s been just a few months since Mercedes-Benz revealed the fully electric EQS and now the Mercedes-AMG EQS has arrived. This full-size luxury sedan possesses all the expected attributes of a true AMG. But – unlike other AMG iterations – no one will hear this one coming. Two electric motors power the AMG EQS, producing 649 horsepower and 700 lb-ft of torque. And if that’s not enough, with the available AMG Dynamic Plus package, the driver can briefly harness up to 751 horsepower and 752 lb-ft of torque using the Race Start function, driving this big sedan to 60 mph in a mere 3.4 seconds. The big Mercedes is solid and quiet while cruising at highway speeds. With

seat massagers in action and music playing on the Burmester 3D sound system, the AMG EQS is a dream on the road. While it may be wonderful cruising open highways, the AMG EQS shows its true colors when heading into the mountains. Steering is spot on and thanks to the 4-wheel steering and all-wheel drive, the EQS can be tossed through bends like a true AMG performance machine. For many driving enthusiasts the hardest part of going electric is giving up the aural sensation that remains such a big part of the AMG experience. However, with the AMG EQS's excellent performance coupled with a responsive ride and strong, smooth power delivery, perhaps it’s a sacrifice worth making.

2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS TYPE: Full-size sedan CONFIGURATION: Dual electric motors, front and rear MOTORS: Permanently Agitated Synchronous • BATTERY PACK: 107.8 kWh Lithium-Ion POWER: 649 horsepower (up to 751 hp with Boost function) TORQUE: 700 lb-ft (up to 752 lb-ft with Boost function) TRANSMISSION: None • OVERALL LENGTH: 205.3 in. • HEIGHT: 59.5 in. CURB WEIGHT: 5,853 lbs • EPA ESTIMATED RANGE: TBD ACCELERATION 0-60 mph: 3.4 sec. (est.) • TOP SPEED: 155 mph (est.)

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Rising Star


Up & Coming Modern Classics

The Sweet Spot T he 280SE and 280SEL models represented a sweet spot in the Mercedes-Benz sedan lineup of the late 1960s and early 1970s. They were a little more powerful than the 250SE model they replaced, yet not as mechanically complex as the W109 300SEL and later V-8-powered brethren. Today these cars still represent a sweet spot in the MercedesBenz collector car market. Designed by Paul Bracq, these sedans incorporate many of the styling elements we've come to equate with a "Classic Mercedes." That unmistakable upright Mercedes-Benz grille topped with the three-pointed star, stacked headlamps, and distinctive body colored and chrome hub caps. Safety features included Mercedes' unibody construction incorporating the “safety zones” pioneered on the earlier fintail models. Inside there was a collapsible steering column, padded dash and headrests among other safety features. Underneath and inside, these cars were ahead of their time, boasting standard features that included fuel injection and four-wheel disc brakes. Power steering was standard on long wheelbase SEL models. Both the 280SE and SEL models are spacious and can carry five adults in comfort, and thanks to the 21.5 cubic foot trunk capacity, you can take their luggage along too.

Available options Almost all 280SE and SEL models sold in the United States were equipped with the four-speed automatic transmission, although a four-speed manual transmission was available. The automatic transmission was a no-cost standard option for 1971 and later models. Automatic transmissions could be ordered as column shift or floor shift. A ZF five-speed transmission was available on the six-cylinder cars for 1969–1972 model years, though few buyers checked the box on the order form. A long list of optional equipment was available. According to the Mercedes-Benz Suggested Advertised-Delivered Prices – Optional Equipment – 1970 Registration Year Vehicles, available options and the prices of each included: Automatic Transmission $352 Power Steering $205* Radio – Becker Europa AM/FM $162 Automatic Antenna $77 Rear Speaker $35 Air Conditioning $489 Tinted Glass $63 Electrically Operated Windows $141 Electric Sunroof $247 White Wall Tires $42 Upholstery: M-B Tex (Vinyl) $78 Leather $312 *280SEL not available without power steering 70

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1968-1972 W108 280SE/SEL Sedans

No-Extra-Cost-Options noted by Mercedes-Benz included Power Brakes (4-Wheel Disc), Heater and Defroster, Bucket-Type Full Reclining Seats, Electric Clock, Electric Windshield Wipers and Washers, Steering-Wheel Lock, Non-Glare Rearview Mirror.

Base Price, New, 1970 Model Year: 280SE 280SEL East & Gulf Coast Ports: $6,561 $6,992 West Coast Ports: $6,695 $7,133

The market Today, you can get into a condition 2–3 280SE or 280SEL for between $10,000 and $25,000. You can probably find the same condition of either car between those two numbers, depending upon how and where you look. I will say, however, beware of the specialty collector car dealer who is constantly trying to push the market of everything in their inventory. Beware of a $35,000 280SE from California that “needs nothing.” I don't believe there is a 280SE anywhere that “needs nothing,” because they all need something. So, try to find a well-advertised public auction. This is one that everyone knows about, to see the prices some real cars have brought lately. Two cars from Bring a Trailer are featured below. Interestingly, most W108 cars on Bring a Trailer are 4.5-liter V-8s. There have been about 20 six-cylinder 280SEs offered on BaT in the past three years and only one 280SEL in that time period. One car listed is from Gooding and Company's May 2021 “Geared Online” Sale. These are real cars and real sales (or no-sales, in one case), not “asking prices” someone dreamed up. BaT, June 2021 - 1972 280SE: Brown w/ Parchment MB-Tex. Column shift, auto. trans., A/C, original Becker, power windows. $12,500 Not Sold (reserve not met). This looks to be a first time, inexperienced BaT seller. Just about 70 photos of the car (I include 300+ in any BaT listing). There is no photo of the data tag under the hood that includes option and color information, so we can only assume that it's probably Tobacco Brown (423), which would be correct for a 1972 model. A/C described as “probably needs to be re-charged” which may very well mean “needs everything.” A couple of service records, little history of any kind. $12,500 (plus 5 percent) doesn't seem unreasonable for this car. BaT January 2021 – 1969 280SE: Papyrus White (717) w/ Midnight Blue (904) Upper (roof) w/ Blue MB-Tex. Correct two tone exterior colors per data tag. Floor shift Auto. trans., power windows, power steering, A/C, period Blaupunkt radio (non O.E.M.). Much reconditioning in 2016 described, including exterior strip and repaint to correct colors. Chrome trim and weather seals said to have been replaced, lots of other work noted. Sold No Reserve for $10,250. The seller couldn't have painted this car and done the listed work for the selling price, the dangers of offering a 4-door sedan with no reserve on BaT. I'd want to see it in person, but for the money, seems like a good deal, even if it needs another $3,000 - $5,000 in sorting when you get it home.

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1970 W108 280SE





1970 W108 280SEL

1. This handsome 1970 Light Blue 280SE sold on Gooding in May, 2021. 2. The spartan interior of this 1970 280SE has the rare manual transmission. This car does not have air conditioning, a radio or power windows. 3. This 1970 280 SEL's interior has its original Cognac

leather interior. Options include front center arm rests, power windows, air conditioning and column mounted automatic transmission. 4. The SEL models were 4 inches longer behind the B pillar, giving rear seat passengers more leg room and a longer back door.

Gooding & Co. - May 2021 – 1970 280SE: Light Blue (maybe 903), Blue interior. Very little information available from online catalog, but said to be a one-owner California car from its European delivery when new until 2019. Many records and photographic history, “factory finish,” a well preserved original. Auction Estimate: $30,000 - $40,000. Sold No Reserve for $23,100. Very little information left online after the Gooding & Co. auction months ago, but a great looking car. Seems a good price on an essentially one-owner car with history and records in an attractive exterior color.

don't need to re-write the book on where to look for rust, how to inspect the chassis and engine, etc. (See Richard Simonds' excellent guide in the November–December 2019 issue of The Star). These cars are still reasonably priced, so the old adage, “Buy the best example you can afford” holds true, but I might also suggest passing altogether if the top of your budget is below the $10,000 - $12,000 range. I've got my own saying: “There is nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes-Benz.” Ask me how I know! These cars are as expensive to maintain as a 280SL, yet they're worth about 10 percent as much. They've got the same Bosch fuel injection system that's expensive to rebuild when needed. They've got, essentially, the same engine and suspension. A set of correct stainless steel wiper arms and blades cost a few hundred dollars if you happen to buy a car that has had cheap, black replacements installed at some point. Interior and exterior

Finding your own example Color combination and options are the most visible differentiators, but condition and history are the most important factors in a purchase. There are enough “Buyer's Guides” that we

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U.S. Market W108 280SE/SEL Specifications • 1968–1972 MODEL



(U.S. Model Years)




(World Totals)

1968-1972 108.018 2.8L I-6 OHC 130.980



4-A, 4-M






280SEL 1968-1971 108.019 2.8L I-6 OHC 130.980



4-A, 4-M







(SAE Gross hp) (SAE Gross lb-ft)

(MPH/Seconds) (MPH)

Total 280SE/SEL Production 99,301

1970 W108 280SE

trim pieces and hardware are expensive. Be sure you take into account what you might need to do to the car once you get it. Looking at the collector car market today, I ask you, where can you find something as cool for this kind of money? Nowhere, I think. I love these cars because they're a real deal, Paul Bracqdesigned, classic Mercedes-Benz for about $20,000. From the driver's seat, they feel much more “modern” than they actually are. In other words, they don't feel like 50-year-old cars as you're cruising the back roads or merging onto the highway in modern 72

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traffic. If you're lucky enough to find a car with a manual transmission, they actually become rather sporty when you throw them into the turns. Sporty, that is, for a Mercedes S-Class. The feeling you get as you cruise along, looking out over that long hood, through the three pointed star on the hood is hard to describe, but it's sure to bring a smile to your face. At this point, it's cost-prohibitive to restore a car with too many needs. Find a good one now, because these prices won't last as more people discover the style and charm of these underrated sedans.

O LD & N E W

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AUCTION Spotlight

Auction results for notable Mercedes-Benz vehicles

2014 G500 Cabriolet Final Edition

300SL Replica



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2014 Mercedes-Benz G500 Cabriolet Final Edition, RM Sotheby’s: This W463 has a 5.5-liter V-8 engine, producing 388 horsepower and a noteworthy 540 Newton-metres of torque. This G-wagen runs 0-100 kmh in under 6.2 seconds. Wellequipped, featuring electric door mirrors, Xenon headlights, electronic stability control program, Parktronic parking assistance, electric windows, satellite navigation, climate-controlled air conditioning and an AMG performance steering wheel. The odometer shows 5,452 km. Lot 103 sold by RM Sotheby’s at the St. Moritz auction for $364,748 on Sept 17, 2021. Ryan’s Take: These SWB cabriolets are incredibly rare in the US; often coming in only as “special use” or 25+ year exceptions. Values are high given the stateside rarity. Prices on these odd, convertible SUVs are strong the world over. Seen frequently on the streets of Monaco and in lanes of Nantucket, prices on these Cabrios are inflated far beyond their inherent value, but that’s not the point. They are a pure status symbol that provides a wink and a chuckle to buyers who can afford them. LS1-Powered Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Replica, Bringa-Trailer: This car was built by House of Hotrods in Mansfield, Texas, and was acquired by its current owner in 2014. Tube-frame chassis, and a 5.7-liter LS1 V-8 engine with a T56 six-speed manual transmission. C4 Corvette running gear, rack and pinion steering, red interior with AC and a custom audio system, chrome 17-inch wheels, and coilovers. Fewer than 700 miles have been driven since completion of the build. Lot 61483 sold for $285,000 in an online auction on December 13, 2021. Ryan’s take: $300,000 (with the buyer’s premium) is an absurdly big number for a kit car with the wrong wheelbase, interior and sub-replica looks. The Ostermeier replicas (which pre-date the Mercedes-Benz “trademark” on the 300SL design) have regularly commanded approximately 30 percent of the value of a genuine 300SL. An Ostermeier is a much higher quality, accurate replica with aluminum body panels molded from the original, correct wheelbase length and, most importantly, no legal jeopardy. Because this example was built after Mercedes-Benz trademarked the 300SL design, the buyer could be in for a big surprise. We'll see how this one pans out in the end. Benz Buyers Beware! 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 Race Car, Bring-a-Trailer: One of approximately 100 track-only examples produced between 2011 and 2014. Campaigned for part of the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge season. 6.2-liter V-8 paired with a six-speed sequential transaxle and a limited-slip differential. Carbon-fiber front splitter, gullwing doors, an adjustable rear wing, a rear diffuser, carbon fiber racing seat, roll bar, fire-suppression, 31.7gallon carbon-fiber-reinforced fuel tank, and an onboard air jack system. Lot 60871 failed to meet reserve in an online auction for $401,000 on Dec 8, 2021. Ryan’s take: Street legality matters much more in the United States than it does in the EU. Similar SLS GT3 race cars have sold in the neighborhood of 800k Euros. This example failed to bid even half that price and most comments were regarding the inability to street the car and the insane cost of converting it. That’s not the point of a car like this. This auction shows that the American market is not the place to list a track car for sale (unless it's only designed to turn left).

RYAN G. HEMPHILL, ESQ. Co-founder, The MB Market – The world’s first online auction platform exclusively for Mercedes-Benz vehicles

1995 Mercedes-Benz SL500 w/45k Miles, Cars & Bids: This particular SL has a lot of nice benefits, including a dry-climate ownership history, a classic color combination, relatively low miles, plus the big V-8. Appears to be well kept – clean Carfax report. This listing bid to $11,000 on Cars & Bids on Nov 2, 2021. Ryan’s take: I was very surprised that this classic and beautiful R129 didn’t meet reserve. The Imperial Red over Beige color combination, updated styling for the 1995 model year and strong service history should have accelerated bidding on this low-mile roadster sufficient to find a new owner. Considering how hot the rest of the market is – particularly with R129s and everything “90s Mercedes”– this result seems to be due to poor presentation and a lack of enthusiasm for the brand on the auction platform. I have to imagine the reserve was close to the $11k that was bid, and what an incredible bargain this would be at any figure under $15k. Hopefully this example finds a new home soon. 41k-Mile 2014 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG w/5-Year Warranty, The MB Market: Finished in Black (040) over Black/Anthracite (531) Exclusive Leather, this Coupe is one of a handful of examples produced for the 2014 model year. Features on this rare vehicle include Distronic Plus, Parktronic, Driver Assistance, Multi-Contour front seats, Night View Assist Plus, Split View COMAND, and Bi-xenon headlamps. This example is being offered by the seller complete with a CarMax MaxCare warranty... and a clean Kentucky title. Lot 1165 sold by The MB Market in an online auction for $75,000 on November 4, 2021. Ryan’s Take: Acting on cue from the previous, record-breaking sale of a warrantied 2010 S65 AMG on The MB Market back in July, this seller exploited the now-closed “Carmax loophole” uncovered by none other than yours truly this past summer. When underpriced AMG’s abounded at Carmax in early 2021, savvy buyers such as myself (and the CL65 seller here) realized the value in a bumperto-bumper warranty on an aging AMG far surpassed the $4k that Carmax was charging. This rare and powerful super coupe performed powerfully on the auction block as well – commanding a near-record result for a C216.

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1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC w/77k miles, The MB Market: This car is finished in Pine Green Metallic (254) over Palomino (264) leather and powered by a fuel-injected 5.5-liter V-8 paired with a four-speed automatic transmission. Equipment includes fog lights, a sunroof, Becker Grand Prix sound system, cruise control, automatic climate control, power-adjustable heated front seats w/memory, and more. Lot 1180 was sold by The MB Market in an online auction for $46,500 on Nov 23, 2021. Ryan’s take: Regular readers of this feature will know that I’ve been harping on the “color premium” for some time; especially in this ever-bullish collector car market frenzy. This gorgeous Sacco-era C126 exemplifies that trend like no other. An otherwise pedestrian 1990 560SEC with higher mileage, disjointed history and no significant service records to speak of commands close to $50k (w/buyer’s premium) due solely to the gorgeous color combination. By way of comparison, a black, grey or white example of this identical car would struggle to bring half this price, but “green means go” to bidders in the auction world and gorgeous coupe brought all the green(backs) for this lucky seller.

1990 560SEC

1995 SL500


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Generation Shift: Redefining ‘Classic Mercedes' A

couple of weeks ago, I received an email from MBCA Finger Lakes Section President Don Klug asking my thoughts on how our local club might appeal to younger members, specifically, MB owners in their 30s and 40s. People just like me, in other words. It’s a question that I’ve been trying to answer for the past 10 years. The conclusion that I’ve come to is that there is no simple answer. Attracting younger Mercedes enthusiasts to the MBCA is a process and, I believe, it can be done. In my brief response to him I mentioned a trend in my own business of buying and selling vintage Mercedes at Tobin Motor Works that I’ve seen developing over the past few years. He suggested I write an article about the subject based on the points in my email, so here we are.

Who's buying older cars? I’ve been observing a serious ownership shift of used Mercedes, mostly cars from the 1980s and 1990s, from older enthusiasts to much younger ones. As each car was shipped off to its new owner, I strongly encouraged them to join the MBCA with a link to the website and a paragraph about what the Club has meant to me. I didn’t write about parts or new car discounts or The Star magazine. I wrote about personal connections, experiences and real friendships forged with other club members. I know at least four of them joined. Here are some examples of this trend, all cars sold by Tobin Motor Works, very publicly, on bringatrailer. com, so there is no issue in talking about the prices.

1992 500E

Sale Date: February 2021 Sale Price: $50,000 Odometer: ~ 62,000 Buyer's Age: 29 Previous Owner's Age: 78 Buyer Location: Illinois The 500E is, perhaps, the ultimate collectible Mercedes from the last quarter of the 20th century. Limited production, production involvement from Porsche, a factory performance sedan 76

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that flies under the radar. Part of the appeal is the fact that it’s so understated, not unlike the 6.3 from the late 1960s. My company purchased this car from the estate of a longtime MBCA member in Minneapolis in November, 2020. It was a one owner example, purchased new at Feldmann Imports in Bloomington, Minnsota. The car was inspected and necessary maintenance, about $3,000 worth, was carried out by Huber’s Imported Autos of Golden Valley. All fluids were changed and the rear SLS suspension system was replaced. The $50,000 winning bid is a strong price for this car, but not outrageous. Another $4,000–$8,000 wouldn’t have been a surprise. Because this car was acquired from an estate, unfortunately, there were no service records. That probably held the price back a bit. Shortly after buying the car, I contacted the service manager at Feldmann Imports, a guy I used to work with. He politely explained that he couldn’t provide me with any service records. I later learned, from the new owner, that he contacted Feldmann Imports for the car’s service history. He must have spoken with a sympathetic service advisor, because he was supplied with a printout of all the individual service records they had on the car.

1993 500E 6.0 RENNtech

Sale Date: August 2020 Sale Price: $59,500 Odometer: ~71,000 Buyer's Age: 38 Previous Owner's Age: 78 Buyer Location: Tennessee While a stock 500E is a capable performer, there are always those owners who want that little something extra. Various firms offered Mercedes tuning in the early 1990s, one of the best known is RENNtech. This particular 500E had receipts totaling over $58,000 in performance modifications that were performed at RENNtech in Florida in the mid-1990s. Today, there is a segment of the enthusiast community, many of them younger, who seek these cars out specifically. This car was consigned by its St. Paul-based owner to my company in the summer of 2020. The car was shipped to us in


I’ve been observing a serious ownership shift of used Mercedes, mostly cars from the 1980s and 1990s, from older enthusiasts to much younger ones.

1992 500E: Buyer's Age 29

New York, and the car was prepped for sale. The owner acquired the car directly from RENNtech, who acted as sales agent for the previous owner in 2015. Between 2015 and 2020 my client spent almost $20,000 on various maintenance items and upgrades. The $59,500 high bid on was a couple of thousand dollars less than the sale price of the last 500E 6.0 RENNtech-modified car that appeared on BaT about nine months earlier, with twice the mileage. The owner was pleased with the price, we both agreed that it was market-correct on that particular day, but it wasn’t an exceptional result. The pool of buyers for modified cars such as this is small, so small in fact, that the under-bidder who missed out on the other car about 9 months earlier, was the high bidder on this car.

1997 CL500

1993 500E 6.0 RENNtech: Buyer's Age 38

1997 CL500: Buyer's Age 38

Sale Date: December 2019 Sale Price: $14,500 Odometer: ~67,000 Buyer's Age: 38 Previous Owner's Age: 88 Buyer Location: Indiana The W140/C140 body style seems to have been out of favor for a long time. I often hear older club members talking about how they don’t care for this style. Well, there is a whole new generation that’s glad older folks aren’t interested, because they are! Good examples can still be found for not a lot of money. To kids who grew up in the 1990s, the W140 was the big Mercedes sedan and the C140 coupes were even rarer and more expensive. These people lusted after those cars when young, and now they’re in a position to buy. This was a consignment from one of my very favorite customers. This was the last Mercedes he ever bought before he passed away. He was in very poor health when he bought it, but I think buying another car and sorting it out was what kept him going. He couldn’t do much other than talk on the phone, so he was ordering parts, directing the tech he had working on the car to do this and that. He was the kind of guy who even bought wiper blades by calling Tom Hanson at the Classic Center in Irvine, California. He paid close to $18,000 for the car and spent another $6,000 or so on various maintenance items. Nobody said a C140 is a good investment, although it may very well prove a good investment for the new owner. The high bid of $14,500 was market-correct, or maybe a touch light. The values of newer cars is heavily dependent upon the odometer, although people ought to pay more attention to the service and maintenance history than to the odometer in my THE STAR 3–4 • 2022



GENERATION SHIFT opinion. The price my consignment client paid for it, at a specialty dealer in South Florida, was outrageous but they had what he wanted and he was happy to pay that price. W140 and C140 prices are still very reasonable in today’s market.

1971 300SEL 6.3 AMG

Sale Date: December 2019 Sale Price: $70,000 Odometer: ~25,000 (TMU) Buyer's Age: 46 Previous Owner's Age: 85 Buyer Location: Minnesota This is the oldest car on the list, and the most unique. This car was purchased in Germany in the early 1980s by an Indianapolisbased German expat master technician who worked at World Wide Motors in Indianapolis for 35 years. This was no ordinary 6.3, and it had 4 or 5 pages of receipts in German from the early 1980s from AMG in Affalterbach, detailing extensive mechanical and cosmetic modifications – all done on the orders of a man my client described as a "German Playboy." A bored and stroked engine, transmission modifications, velour Recaro interior, vents cut into the fenders, all chrome trim removed and painted black – the list goes on. This is a polarizing car. BaT would accept it only as a no-reserve offering, period. Half the people who look at this 6.3 throw up and believe it’s an abomination, the other half drop their jaw and drool. Either way, it leaves everyone with their mouth open. There is an entire group of enthusiasts, many of them younger folks, interested in ‘pre-merger’ AMG cars. This is perhaps the ultimate pre-merger AMG car. It has long-term ownership, full documentation, and it’s not something from the 1980s, but rather a true classic Mercedes that harkens back to AMG’s roots and the ‘Red Pig’ that ran at the 1969 24 hours of Spa with very similar modifications. At a high bid of $70,000, for many months, this car held the record for the most expensive 300SEL 6.3 ever sold on This outcome is frankly strange because there are plenty of 6.3 examples out there that cost more than $70,000; they just don’t wind up on BaT. As a general rule, I don’t think BaT is a good place to sell a 6.3 for a variety of reasons, but it was the place for this one. The sale was not without some serious nerves: the high bid was only $26,500 with about 10 minutes left to go in the auction. What’s most interesting about this one is that BaT was a last resort, because they would take it only as a no-reserve sale. They didn’t believe it would reach the $35,000 reserve I requested. The car had been on the market for months with little interest from anyone. I had advertised the car on over the summer for $69,900, it appeared in the November/December 2019 issue of The Star for the discounted price of $66,900, but nobody called. The new owner explained to me on the phone, right after the BaT auction ended, that he buys pre-merger AMG cars from all over the world and he never imagined something like this, a 6.3, a real, classic Mercedes, modified by AMG, even existed. He went on to say that he wouldn’t have lost the auction. He was going to win, whatever it took, he wasn’t going to stop bidding. This was the 45th car in his collection at that point. 78

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1971 300SEL 6.3 AMG: Buyer's Age 46

1993 300E: Buyer's Age 40

1984 300TD: Buyer's Age 39


1993 300E

Sale Date: August 2019 Sale Price: $15,650 Odometer: ~59,000 Buyer's Age: 40 Previous Owner's Age: 87 Buyer Location: Texas I like to say “A remarkable example of an unremarkable car is still remarkable.” To many, a W124 E-Class is just a 4-door sedan, and it is. This chassis was the workhorse of the Mercedes line up from the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s, fashioned into a wagon, sleek coupe and high-class convertible. True survivor W124 sedans aren’t easy to find anymore, and that’s why this car was remarkable. This was another consignment from my interesting and eccentric client in Pennsylvania. He had purchased this car from Pierre Hedary a few years earlier, after Pierre sorted the car out. It was as fine a W124 sedan as I’d ever seen or driven. As mentioned earlier, odometers have a lot to do with the value of cars of this vintage. In the modern world, 59,000 miles wouldn’t be considered low for an E320 convertible, but it is considered low for a sedan. The high bid of $15,650 surprised the owner as much as it surprised me. I figured this was probably a $12,000 - $13,000 car, but the bidders on BaT thought differently and they’re really all that matters. I remember the phone call with the new owner minutes after the auction ended, “This is my first classic Mercedes ever, heck, it’s my first Mercedes!” I’m not sure I ever thought of a W124 E-Class as a classic Mercedes until that moment. What’s important though, is that somebody else did.

1984 300TD

Sale Date: October 2018 Sale Price: $18,750 Odometer: 192,000 Buyer's Age: 39 Previous Owner's Age: 87 Buyer Location: Rhode Island This was the first consignment I ever received from my customer in Pennsylvania. I had initially visited him to see this very automobile before I moved to New York. He had purchased the car a couple of years earlier from a Mercedes tech who runs his own shop in Southern California. Typical of this engineer and pilot, every system of this car had been thoroughly sorted and it was cosmetically clean. This was not an original paint car, as it had been represented when he purchased it. Nevertheless, diesel

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The key to this successful sales transaction was a transparent representation of the vehicle, backed up with hundreds of photographs, good videos demonstrating the incredible engine and exhaust sound of this one-of-a-kind 300SEL 6.3, and the clear integration of the long time owner’s story into the car's overall sales presentation. To reiterate the point that I always try to make to people about the importance of documentation, without the 4 or 5 pages of receipts from AMG Affalterbach, this car probably would have struggled to reach that $35,000 mark.

As you can see from the ages included with each anecdote, younger enthusiasts are interested in older MercedesBenz vehicles, especially those they can identify with from their formative years. wagons were really hot in the market during the summer months of 2018 and have continued to be strong since. Again, the high bid of $18,750 surprised us both. At that time, it was a huge number. However, Black with Palomino interior proved to be a sought-after color combination and our usual transparent representation, hundreds of photos, and several videos put potential buyers at ease. My client would have been happy with $14,000. When the bid reached $15,000 he called me and was ecstatic; text messages came in every few minutes thereafter demonstrating his delight with the sale until bidding finally ended just under $19,000. This was the buyer’s first Mercedes-Benz purchase ever. He explained to me on the phone that he had always admired "classic" Mercedes wagons and he was finally in a position to buy one.

What does it all mean? As you can see from the buyer's and seller's ages included with each anecdote, younger enthusiasts are interested in older Mercedes-Benz vehicles, especially those they can identify with from their formative years. All of these purchases were really meaningful to the buyers, some of them, first-time "classic" or first-time Mercedes buyers, or both. And remember, they all paid BaT’s five percent buyer’s premium on top of the high bid prices listed above, and all of these cars were shipped to their new owners, adding to the final cost. I expect to see continued interest in cars of the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s from younger enthusiasts. I also expect to see these same enthusiasts begin to look toward older cars, eventually. As they learn more about the Mercedes-Benz brand and its history, it’s only natural that they will show interest and probably start buying choice, older models like the Pagoda SL, W108/109 sedans and, surely, for those who have more discretionary income, 190SL and 300SL models. That these younger enthusiasts are interested in MercedesBenz automobiles is clear. I managed to convince at least four of the buyers featured in this article to join the MBCA, but retaining them is the real trick. A $55 magazine subscription or a new car discount isn’t enough to keep this generation (or probably any other generation) around. Once they join, it’s the club’s job, our job, your job, to provide a relevant and engaging club experience that enhances their enjoyment and ownership of their Mercedes-Benz. If the next generation is to take up the reins and carry the MBCA forward, the club must kindle the same passion in them as the cars they’re buying. THE STAR 3–4 • 2022



CURB APPEAL Selling your car? Investing in professional photographs is a proven way to increase interest and get a better price




ince the beginning of the automobile, photography has played an important role in showcasing this marvelous invention. A great car can look even better through the artistic talent of the photographer. By the same token, with the right lighting, lens and shutter speed, the ugliest auto can be presented as well as a ‘57 Thunderbird.

Finding a photographer

2 1. This is one of my favorite shots by Russ Campbell; it shows how critical lighting is to the photographer’s artistic talent. Using a 70-200mm@105mm lens, Campbell coupled the natural light of the background with the car’s headlights to make this picture really pop! 2. A daylight shot with a 300mm lens, with Russ standing quite far away from the vehicle. 80

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Recently, I decided to put my 1973 450SL on the market after 10 years of ownership. This coincided with my upcoming high school reunion. Using the power of Facebook, I started connecting with classmates from decades ago. One guy who I hadn’t spoken to since graduation was Russ Campbell. Russ was a photo hobbyist in high school, and I was glad to learn that he decided to take his passion and make a career out of it. As luck would have it, he lives only 20 miles away. As we got to talking, we spoke about his love of photography and the various specialties he has pursued. I mentioned that I was thinking of selling my car and would like to have some nice photos taken of it; something better than what I could do with my amateur digital

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camera. He became very excited as he has been interested in what he could do with his lens and a classic automobile to expand his portfolio.

Work with what you have Now admittedly, my 450SL is not a number-one show car. I asked Russ how he wanted to photograph the car and he suggested I drive out to Maynard, Massachusetts, one evening before sunset for some dramatic shots in the parking lot of the former Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Russ selected this location because of the wide-open space and the line of sight to the sunset. After a three-hour photo shoot where I was told to place the car in several locations, turn the wheel a certain number of degrees, illuminate the various lights and open and close the top, trunk and hood, the results were nothing less than stunning. I could not believe these photos were of my car! While I will never understand all the techniques used to generate these results, I now look at magazine car photos in a whole new light. Ingredients for this photo session included tripods, umbrellas, strobe lights, mammoth lenses, bug spray and stamina. I patiently obeyed Russ’ instructions as we waited for the sun to be in the right position. I watched as Russ was lying on his stomach for some shots with his big honking lens, dancing around the car flashing a strobe light and yelling at me from 500 feet away. The end result? The car sold in a little more than a week after I advertised it with these photos. This was after months of advertising with very little interest using my own photos. More importantly, Russ has created a memento that I will cherish long after this car has departed. I will never just glance at a car photograph again. After spending close to four hours with a professional photographer, I have a new appreciation for what goes into taking these fabulous images. The positioning, lighting, proximity, and location are elements of the photographer’s toolbox that go into the final result. It was great to reconnect with Russ and his business, RussCam (see www. for some of his work and contact info). Hiring a professional photographer is not inexpensive, but it’s well worth it for the results it brings.



5 3. Russ positioned himself in front of the car with the sunset in the background, using a 16-35 zoom lens @29mm. 4. As darkness fell, he pulled out remote strobes, stands, and bug spray. Leaving the lens open, he bathed the car in flashes. This shot was a double exposure (0-200mm lens at 114mm): one with headlights on but no other lighting and a second with no headlights and flash pops around the car. He edited out the flash pops and combined both images in Photoshop. 5. Russ was then able to use the fading light on the horizon while illuminating the foreground (16-35mm@16mm). THE STAR 3–4 • 2022



Classic TECH


V-Belt Primer

What you need to know about replacing the belts on your older Mercedes-Benz


ercedes-Benz cars are not known for throwing off their V-belts. At least, that was true back when Mercedes-Benz used V-belts. However, as belts age, they become susceptible to jumping and even snapping. My theory used to be that all European-made V-belts are okay, and that seems to have been true for a long time. All the way through the 1990s, companies like Optibelt, Rolunds, Semperit, Flennor and Continental (Conti-tech) supplied high-quality belts for Mercedes. One by one, these brands have disappeared. Optibelt still makes belts for Mercedes. So does Continental, but their non-Mercedes V-belts now say "engineered in Germany, made in China."

What makes Mercedes belts better? Other than their branding as genuine Mercedes-Benz parts, Mercedes V-belts are uniquely designed to fit the pulley profile of the accessories they are driving. While most belts we buy today are internally ribbed, Mercedes did not necessarily think this was better. That's why the company supplies both internally ribbed belts and smooth belts. Different belts are designed for specific applications. For example, all the belts on the 1983 300D are smooth and are designed for that model. The belts on a 560SL are a hybrid belt system, where the water pump and emissions air pump are driven by smooth belts and the AC and alternator are driven by ribbed belts. With some accessories it doesn’t matter as much. Case in point, on a 1981 240D the same AC compressor is driven by a ribbed belt. One thing is evident: real Mercedes belts fit their accessory pulleys extremely well.

When to replace your belts The first question is how to evaluate belts for replacement. Looking at the part of the belt that contacts the pulley, flex the belt and look for cracks. If cracks in the rubber appear, it is time to exchange the belt. If one belt is showing signs of cracking, it’s best to replace all of them. The procedure for most engine belt replacements is well-documented in the blue Mercedes-Benz service manuals, but if you want exact belt sizes, you must look in the technical data manual. Technical data books were diminutive supplements with everything from torque values to suspension heights, including belt sizes for every engine and accessories like air conditioning. These books are readily available on Ebay and updated versions were issued every two years.

What about “domestic” belts? While I have spoken about some of the German brands, a more relevant question would be whether belts supplied by Gates, Goodyear, Dayco or other domestic manufacturers are available. This is a complicated question, as some Gates and Dayco belts are 82

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supplied by Mercedes as original equipment! However, these are also manufactured at factories in Europe. In this case, let’s stick with auto parts store over-the-counter belts. The first obstacle seems to be belt size. Many of these V-belts are supplied in SAE sizes with the metric sizes being stamped in tiny print on the back of the cardboard belt holder or encrypted into the printed material on the belt. True metric belts have their sizes stamped into them. For example, the AC belt for the 300D turbo will say “12.5x925” meaning it is 12.5mm wide and 925mm long. Aftermarket metric belts may say “13x925”, so the difference is insubstantial in width, but you can see how tight the tolerances are. Cost is, surprisingly, the number one factor working against the domestic belts. The average high quality Gates belt costs about $25, where the average Mercedes belt or matched set of belts costs around $15–$18. Duralast belts from AutoZone are priced on par with the Chinese Conti-tech belts, but they are best for emergency use only. While the expensive American belts are durable and long-lasting, they are not as quiet and don’t fit well, often being too long or too short, and requiring pushing the tensioners to their limits. I do prefer a domestic belt in one scenario. On 1971 and earlier W113 models with AC, the Mercedes belts are not up to the task of driving the York compressor. On these models, I use NAPA heavy duty “green” belts, since they don’t stretch out like spaghetti.

Are Conti-tech belts any good? The easy answer is “only if they are new-old-stock and stored correctly.” The beginning of the end for Conti belts began a few years ago when Conti switched the lettering on the belts from trademark yellow to white. At this point, the ribbing on the belts changed, the rubber became softer and more prone to premature stretching and cracking, and the belts started to wear out faster. At this time, they were still made in Germany, but a few years later, the infamous “engineered in Germany” statement began. The new Conti belts wear out quickly, and are made as thin and cheap as possible, so they require constant adjustment. The few dollars you save over genuine Mercedes belts are just not worth it. Some shops install these without knowing the difference. If your shop installed these and you were charged Mercedes-Benz list prices for parts, demand replacement with the genuine article. Mercedes still supplies belts from Continental, but these are German-made for Mercedes-Benz only. A genuine Mercedes belt must have the star and a Mercedes part number on it. Opposite, I have included the belts and part numbers for the 123 Turbodiesels and the M116/117 3.8/5.0/4.2/5.6 engines. My hope is after reading this article that you will install nothing but the finest Mercedes belts on your car.




1. The space between the ribs on most belts is where cracks occur. The belts in this 300SEL 6.3 still look fine.


2. The smooth belts on this 300SD fit the pulleys perfectly. Mercedes-Benz supplies these as a matched set.

Mercedes-Benz V-Belts

3. A genuine Mercedes-Benz belt must display the Mercedes-Benz star, part number and belt size.

Part Number


Air pump belt: 9.5x750 – all U.S. models



AC belt: 12.5x960 420 & 560



AC belt: 12.5x930 380 & 500



Power steering belt: 9.5x1100 500 & 560

059979592 matched set


Power steering belt: 9.5x1100 380 & 420

0069976092 matched set


Alternator belt: 9.5x1005 500 & 560



Alternator belt: 9.5x990 380 & 420 9.5x990



123 300D Turbo V-Belts

Part Number


Alternator belt: matched set 9.5x1035



Power Steering belt: 12.5x1145



AC belt: 12.5x925



123 240D • 1980-81 300D/TSD/CD non-Turbo V-Belts

Part Number


Alternator belt: manual 12.5x1030



Alternator belt: automatic 240D only 12.5x1000



Power steering belt: 12.5x1145



AC belt: 12.5x875



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OLD & NEW 84

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NEW CONTACT THE EXPERTS! Call or live chat with one of our Mercedes parts expert today!

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K&K Manufacturing 190 SL-230SL-280SL-450SL

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MBCA members share their car stories

THE STAR STAR 3–4 3–4 •• 2022 2022 THE

87 87


A SUCCESSFUL QUEST After selling my previous CLK (I have owned six), seller’s remorse soon began to nag and I started my hunt for another pristine, low mileage CLK coupe. After a 2 1/2 year search, I finally found what I was looking for in Denver, Colorado last June: a one-owner, near-new, black on black, 2009 CLK350 coupe with only 18,379 original miles on it. The CLK was immediately inspected and serviced and the 14-year-old tires replaced. This 83-year-old then went to work on the like-new paint: clay, polish and ceramic coating. The solid and connected feel of driving this small GT coupe provides a great diversion as does the need to keep the paint looking top-notch. Even though I know the amount of work required to keep this black paint glowing, this is my third black CLK. I’m a terrible car nut: buying and selling near perfect cars (several C and E Mercedes sedans, CLK coupes and CLK convertibles) at the rate of about one a year or worse. Now trying to decide whether to service the transmission fluid – even though my shop says it tests and looks OK. This car looks and drives like new and is definitely a rare keeper. So, I may go ahead and flush the old fluid. Jim Hudson North Texas Section

This car looks and drives like new and is definitely a rare keeper.

2009 CLK350 88

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A VERY SPECIAL SL When I was 16, I remember having an opportunity to buy two 1975 220Ds for $450. Those two got away but sparked my interest in Mercedes-Benz, especially the cars designed by Bruno Sacco, Head of Design from 1975-1999. My favorite Sacco designs are the 124, 129, and 170 series. My 1993 300CE Cabriolet (see March-April 2018 Star) provides opportunities for my family to ride together in the elegance and style of this four-passenger convertible. However, when my wife, Susan, and I take a drive, we enjoy our 1997 SL320 40th Anniversary Edition (seen here). We have owned the car since 2017. Usually, we take the SL out on sunny Sunday drives and to car shows. Not many know what the car is, other than from the star on the grille (Mercedes-Benz limited the badging on the Anniversary models), but they are always attracted to the color – Quartz Blue Metallic. Sometimes it looks blue, lavender, or bluish gray – depending on the light. The 40th Anniversary Edition SL320 was limited to 250 cars. The six-cylinder 228-horsepower model was available with a navy blue soft top. The interior is gray leather that was described as “Exquisite” in marketing materials at the time and features royal maple wood trim. A leather owner’s manual pouch and 40th Anniversary Roadster Edition floor mats round out the distinguishing features of this special car. When driving the Anniversary Edition SL, you can appreciate and celebrate the four decades of MercedesBenz roadsters that came before, and its timeless design (Mr. Sacco called the R129 “the perfect profile”) set a high standard for the roadsters that followed. Jeff Hirst Pittsburgh Section

The 40th Anniversary Edition SL320 was limited to 250 cars. THE STAR 3–4 • 2022



1971 280SL

THE KEEPER Back in 1978, our first Mercedes-Benz was a pretty French Blue-with-white 1970 280SE. This was the beginning of a love affair with Mercedes-Benz and the beginning of a wonderful parade of enjoyable rides over the years. It continued with a 1971 280SL; 1980 450SLC; 1973 300SEL; 1985 500SEL (that was stolen); 1986 560SEL; 1998 E430 (new); 2000 E320 wagon; 2006 S500, and lastly, a 2014 S550 (new European delivery). These were all beautiful, low mileage, one owner, fully documented machines. The one that caught, and still keeps my heart, is my 1971 280SL Pagoda. I bought it in 1980 and have been lovingly preserving it ever since. It is an MBCA Silver Star Preservation car, a recipient of a 2008 Mercedes-Benz USA Concours d’Elegance award and numerous car show awards. It is #449 from the end of the VIN 23,870 Pagoda production line. The best part is the enormous joy it continues to provide my wife and me, top up, or down, or hard top on, as we have covered over 100 thousand miles together. Bob Mulford Orange County Section

The one that caught, and still keeps my heart, is my 1971 280SL Pagoda.


THE STAR 3–4 • 2022

1979 450SEL 6.9

... I began a twoyear odyssey to purchase the 6.9.


ABANDONED BEAUTY On August 1, 2016 my twin brother and I were visiting friends in the Northern Neck of Virginia. The Northern Neck is a rural area, where time seems to have frozen. There are many beautiful historic houses, charming communities, and rolling farmland. There are also plentiful abandoned properties. During our visit, we saw a vacant historic home from the road and spontaneously pulled in to admire the crumbling property. Poking our heads into the detached garage, we were startled to see a perfectly-preserved 450SEL 6.9! Thrilled by the pursuit of this abandoned beauty, I began a two-year odyssey to purchase the 6.9. Over the course of the next twelve months, I learned that the 6.9 was a one-owner vehicle from a deceased country doctor. After countless hours of research, three visits to her home in Richmond, Virginia, and dozens of phone messages, I finally connected with the doctor’s widow. Once we spoke on the phone, she told me “I have too many cars, too many properties, and too many dogs. I’m paring down the properties and cars, God will take care of the dogs.” I spent the next twelve months convincing her that I would love and care for the 6.9, that my interest was not in selling it. On July 29, 2018 we purchased “Blackie” (the name given the 6.9 by my five-year-old daughter) and our beauty came home to Rockville, Maryland. The 6.9 has approximately 63,000 miles, and is completely original save for a repaint of the hood. Our family cherishes her, and enjoys taking her to rides in the country and local vintage car shows. She has become a member of our family. Perhaps most importantly, we remain friends with the previous owner. Morgan Sullivan Greater Washington Section




NationalNews Minutes of the

MBCA 2021 FALL BOARD MEETING Conducted via video and audio conference on November 13, 2021


ational President, Julie Bruggner, called the meeting to order and took a roll call to verify those board members in attendance. The board meeting then began with an opening session initially led by Andi Stevenson of the consulting firm that the club had utilized to facilitate the strategic planning process, StevensonWallace. Andi took time to explain that a board exists to help set the direction of the organization; partner with the leadership of the organization to ensure financial integrity; and acquire, develop, and build resources so the organization can fulfill its mission. Laura Simonds, Governance Committee Chairperson and past national vice-president, made a presentation and led discussion on specific board roles and functions. Tom James, MBCA Legal Counsel reminded board members that MBCA is incorporated in Colorado and therefore is governed by the Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act. He discussed the board’s legal and fiduciary responsibilities and standards of conduct as board members. Finally, National President Julie Bruggner conducted a refresher for the board of the strategic plan. She then discussed the goals contained in each of the four goal pillars: membership, organizational infrastructure, leadership and culture, and financial sustainability. In her opening remarks after the training session, National President Julie Bruggner acknowledged that Covid restrictions had again caused numerous MBCA section events to be canceled; however, she was excited and encouraged by the events that have taken place and are in the planning stages as we move toward the end of the year. Mercedes Freude, a tremendous success, was completed the previous week in Hilton Head Island. One of the highlights of that event was the presentation of the MercedesBenz Silver Star Award to past national president, Jim O’Sullivan. When the meeting moved to the next agenda item, Director at Large, Jim Roberts made a point of order noting that official notice sent by the National Office was received 16 days before the meeting instead of the 20 days as stated in the organization’s by-laws. It was then confirmed that the call for reports from board members and committee chairpersons, that did give the time and date of the board meeting, was sent out on September 14th. It was also confirmed that the official notice of the board meeting with the agenda went out on October 28th. At that point, MBCA legal counsel, Tom James, brought to the attention of the board the provision in the Colorado Nonprofit Corporation Act, Section 7.128.304 entitled “Waiver of Notice” that states that Director’s attendance at or participation in a meeting waives any required notice to that Director of the meeting unless at the beginning of the meeting or promptly upon the Director’s late arrival the Director objects to holding the meeting or transacting business at the meeting because of lack of notice or defective notice. Tom James then advised the board that while Jim Roberts raised an objection that he did not do so at the beginning of the meeting and so he, by his participation in the meeting and by not raising the objection at the beginning of the meeting, the notice had been waived. Jim Roberts objected to the interpretation of when the meeting “officially began” feeling it


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did not begin until it reached this point in the agenda. There was considerable discussion over whether the board should continue with the meeting; continue with the agenda items but not vote on any items until a later called meeting; or, follow the provisions as spelled out by legal counsel in the Colorado Nonprofit Corporation Act. A motion was made to accept legal counsel’s opinion to move forward with the meeting as scheduled. A roll call vote was taken and the motion passed to proceed with the meeting, with 9 yes votes, 3 no votes, and 2 abstaining. National Treasurer and Secretary, Charles Woods, submitted approval of the Spring 2021 Board meeting which were approved unanimously. National Awards chairperson, Ginny Pitzen, congratulated the Peachtree Section for winning Section of the Year. The Ozarks Section was awarded second place. The awards committee recommended that there be a change in the by-laws that would permit the committee to award a section of the year to sections with over 200 members and an award to sections under 200 members. The desire is to have a recommendation prepared for the board’s spring 2022 meeting so that it could then be submitted to the general membership for approval. Executive Director Mike Regennitter shared with the board that MBCA and XPEL have entered into a two year agreement for XPEL to be the exclusive paint protection, ceramic coating, and window tint sponsor of MBCA. Charles Woods gave a review of the proposed 2022 budget submitted by the Budget Committee. In response to feedback from the strategic planning process, a new marketing director position has been budgeted along with continuing improvements and investments in the organization’s technology, website, and database. Because of the need for these investments to move the organization forward, there will be a projected deficit of $140,000. The budget committee did not propose section rebates for 2022 because they did not feel it was wise to go deeper into reserves to fund the budget. Charles Woods reported that 30% of sections reported account balances over $10,000 and 60% of sections had balances over $4,000. Sections with balances under $4000 will have the opportunity to petition the National Business Office for assistance, if needed. There was extensive discussion concerning the budget, especially around the issue of section rebates. A motion was made to approve the budget. The motion was approved with 13 members voting yes, and 3 voting no. After the vote, Regional Director Brett Jurick introduced Houston Section President Erroll Hines who made a brief presentation explaining the importance of the rebate to sections and encouraging the board to make efforts to restore the rebate in the future. Regional Director and National Events Chair, Rick Siefert, reported over 300 club members attended Mercedes Freude, making it one of the club’s most attended national events. He expressed his appreciation to the committee members and shared that they were working on a template for future committees to utilize in preparing for this event.

election of board members. Extensive discussion was held around the specific function and accountability of the committee. A motion was made to approve an amendment to the organization’s standard operating procedures to insert the existence of a Governance Committee and its responsibilities. The motion passed with 12 yes and 4 no votes. Two additional corresponding amendments to the standard operating procedures and a proposed by-laws change was then presented that spells out the role of the Governance Committee in the recruitment, vetting, and recommendation of prospective candidates who run for the organization’s board. There was again extensive discussion concerning the amendments, along with acknowledgement that these will not go into practice until the proposed by-laws change is voted on and approved by the membership, later in 2022. The motion for approval of the changes as presented was approved with 12 yes and 4 no votes. Director at Large, Doug Geganto, made motions to table three agenda items he had on the agenda. The board voted unanimously in favor. The Spring 2022 MBCA Board Meeting is scheduled for May 21, 2022. The meeting was adjourned. Respectfully submitted, Cliff Reyle National Secretary Mercedes-Benz Club of America

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Director at Large and Election Committee Chair, Gene Jurick, reported that the national election was completed and that everything ran smoothly and had been certified. Regional Director and Technology Committee Chair, Jason Burton, reviewed for the board the extensive technology improvements and upgrades that are underway or to be launched in the coming year. The improvements will provide for an improved member experience and efficiencies for the organization. Julie Bruggner thanked outgoing Directors Gene Jurick, Steve Ross, and Rick Siefert for their service on the board. A motion was made to nominate Cliff Reyle to fill an open Director at Large position. Motions were made to nominate Ronald Harshman to fill the vacant Great Lakes Regional Director position, Diana Quinn to the Eastern Regional Director position and Steve Ross to the Southwest Regional Director positions. All four motions passed unanimously. The board then went into executive session and elected Julie Bruggner, President; Doug Geganto, Vice-President; Charles Woods, Treasurer; Cliff Reyle, Secretary. Laura Simonds, Governance Committee Chairperson, reviewed the creation of a Governance Committee that reports to the board in the previously approved strategic plan. She then highlighted the proposed roles and responsibilities of the committee including providing board governance training and implementing a best practice nominating process for the nomination and





Summer Track Days


embers of The Mercedes-Benz Club of America from the Northeast and Mid-south of the United States will have two exciting opportunities for high performance driving this spring, with classroom education and in-car coaching provided. The events will take place in New York and Alabama.

Northeast Regional Event – Mercedes & Friends

The MBCA is staging a Performance Driving event at Watkins Glen on June 1, 2022, to be held in conjunction with our good friends from Lotus, Ltd. We will augment the on-track experience with drives in the nearby mountains, as well as excursions to some of the great wineries to be found in the Finger Lakes. Of course, we will also drive the original 1948 track. It is all now paved, but it still crosses a railroad track. We will also have visits to a nearby Mercedes-Benz classic dealer and the destination Corning Glass Museum. We will also have parade laps at lunch as well as “Performance Driving Experience” at highway speeds for those who are undecided about Performance Driving. For more information, please contact Jim Roberts: jertoothsaver@, or Drew Webb:


THE STAR 3–4 • 2022

We are also planning a caravan from Gettysburg through the Smokey Mountains for our members to reach the area. For more information about this caravanning opportunity, please contact Jim Roberts:

Talladega High Performance Driver Education

On June 11, MBCA will return to Talladega Gran Prix Raceway, Munford, Alabama, for a one-day High Performance Driver Education (HPDE) co-hosted by Peachtree and Alabama/NW Florida Sections. Talladega GP Raceway is a great track for novices, with only five turns in 1.4 miles and minimal elevation change. With wide, smooth runoff areas, the track is still challenging enough to be fun for advanced drivers. We will offer classroom and in-car instruction. The event costs $300. Members can also choose the Performance Driving Experience (PDE) for $100, which includes classroom and highway speed on-track instruction. Register at As planning proceeds, we will also try to include other events such as a Mercedes Factory tour and a Barber Museum tour if possible. For questions about this event, please contact Gary Edwards at


THE STAR 3–4 • 2022




Driving & Social Events



SACRAMENTO SECTION, DIXON TO BODEGA BAY, NOVEMBER 8. Organizer Kris Summitt added a slight deviation to a favorite route to Bodega Bay. We left the small farming town of Dixon, drove along some bucolic tree-lined back roads to a California secondary highway with a rest stop at Calistoga. William Brandt PITTSBURGH SECTION, ANNUAL MEETING AND GARAGE TOUR, NOVEMBER 13. We had about 30 members come out to lunch. After lunch, we moved a few miles down the road to tour the car collection of a section member. The family's collection includes three Mercedes as well as numerous rare antique cars from around the world. Susan Grunewald OZARK SECTION, DEALERSHIP EVENT, NOVEMBER 13. We had a very special event at our Northwest Arkansas Mercedes-Benz dealership celebrating our 24th MBCA Section Anniversary, starting off with the delivery of their very first all-electric 2022 EQS 450 vehicle. We closed out the day with members enjoying a delicious lunch at Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe in Bentonville. Kathleen Menold NORTH TEXAS SECTION, DETAILING SEMINAR & SHOW, NOVEMBER 13. Kurt Smith of Ten Flat Detailing was the featured presenter at the event. He detailed three vehicles in this state-of-the-art facility and discussed the best ways to detail your car and the products that provide the ultimate results. Ron Seifert SOUTHERN STARS SECTION, CAFFEINE AND OCTANE, NOVEMBER 13. We had a great variety of vintage and modern muscle Mercedes-Benz vehicles in attendance. We had two 1971 V8 280SE 3.5 cabriolets. We also had an S-Class equivalent sedan version, as well as a 1967 250SE Coupe all lined up next to each other! Oh, and they were parked next to a gorgeous 1968 280SL. David Wommer

TOP: Some classic stars came out for Southern Stars Section's "Caffeine and Octane" meet. 96

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FORT WORTH SECTION, GERMAN DAY AT ZUR AUTOBAHN, NOVEMBER 13. We enjoyed a country drive and lunch at authentic German restaurant Zur Autobahn. Established by Kornelia and Dieter Sedlmaier, Zur Autobahn features Hessian cooking in a Teutonic setting. DJ de Jesus HOUSTON SECTION, R107 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, NOVEMBER 13. We gathered in Houston on a fine fall day to caravan west to the Henkel Square Market in Round Top. After lunch, a group headed south for a 16-mile trip to the La Grange Historic Downtown District. Jim Seaver EASTERN OKLAHOMA SECTION, ROUTE 66 DRIVE, NOVEMBER 13. It was a perfect fall day for a drive west on Route 66 from Tulsa to the National Cowboy and Western Museum in Oklahoma City. At the museum members were able to stroll at their own pace and take in the artwork and sculptures that define the American West. John Kushnerick SOUTHERN STARS SECTION, PONTE VEDRA AUTO SHOW, NOVEMBER 14. We had a great variety of Mercedes-Benz vehicles registered and shown, including a variety of vintage and modern muscle Mercedes-Benz vehicles in attendance. We had two 1971 V8 280SE cabriolets. One of them was a gorgeous blue, the other a beautiful Light Ivory, originally purchased by Hollywood Squares Center Square Paul Lynde! David Wommer MISSISSIPPI SECTION, POLO MATCH, NOVEMBER 14. We made the drive to Folsom, Louisiana at the invitation of the New Orleans Polo Club for a fabulous day of polo! Doug Parsons and all the members of the club made us feel welcome! The beautiful facility, excellent polo matches, and outstanding weather made for a terrific outing! Scott Boone ROAD STAR SECTION, HISTORIC SEMINOLE INN, NOVEMBER 14. As Snowbirds returned to Florida (some via Scenic Route 714 reminiscent of Old Florida) our attendance increases and we had 36 people attending. The granddaughter of the founder gave a short history of the Inn and her childhood encounter with the resident ghost. William Browney

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THE STAR 3–4 • 2022



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SectionEvents ST. LOUIS GATEWAY SECTION, ANNUAL PLANNING MEETING, NOVEMBER 15. Members met at the Mercedes-Benz dealership to provide and discuss ideas for events for the upcoming 2022 year. Before discussion began, Jay Schuessler gave a briefing on the new electric EQS. Alan Biby TAMPA BAY SECTION, CAR COLLECTION ON PALMETTO TOUR, NOVEMBER 19. This is a small, but very interesting private collection of pre-war vintage automobiles. We viewed exquisite Mercedes, Pierce Arrows, Auburns, Model T Fords and more. My favorite was the red Allard XJ6. The museum also houses a nice collection of Stanley Steamer cars and a beautiful vintage electric car. Dave Hutchinson NORTH TEXAS SECTION, MEMBERSHIP LUNCH, NOVEMBER 20. We had our November Membership Lunch on at the Outback Steakhouse in Plano, Texas. Thirty-two members attended and enjoyed great food and catching up with friends. Ron Seifert NORTH TEXAS SECTION, CHRISTMAS PARTY, DECEMBER 4. The food was good and visiting with friends was fun. Ron Seifert presented the 2021 Member of the Year Award to Carol and Kent Van Meter. Folks brought their White Elephant gifts from home, and it was fun seeing what the folks were left with after the game. Ron Seifert TEXAS HILL COUNTRY SECTION, HOLIDAY DINNER, DECEMBER 4. It was a great evening to see and visit with our car club friends. Don presented Sak Reeves with the Member of the Year award. Sak and his wife Bebe have been loyal club members for many years and we look forward to having them with us for many more years. Charles Dove BLUEGRASS STARS SECTION, HOLIDAY DINNER, DECEMBER 4. We had door prizes for everyone, thanks again to David Rosenberg and Anne Gilliland. To keep the fun going, we also had a very profitable 50/50 drawing. The cash winner was Steve Loboyko, who also won the third place prize of a beautiful diecast Mercedes-Benz model. Anne Gilliland LONE STAR SECTION, CHRISTMAS PARTY, DECEMBER 4. Thirty-seven members gathered at Alan and Susann Syme's home. Members enjoyed lunch and a fun white elephant gift exchange. Again, this year the stuffed moose was a big hit and it ended up with Joyce Melugin! Ginny Pitzen EASTERN OKLAHOMA SECTION, TOYS FOR TOTS, DECEMBER 4. Twenty members of the section and forty members of the Cimmaron section of the PCA participated in the annual Marine Corp Toys for Tots annual toy drive. This is the fifth time the MBCA has participated. John Kushnerick INTERNATIONAL STARS SECTION, HOLIDAY DINNER, DECEMBER 4. Robert Beltz was named Member of the Year for his many years of service, especially with the club raffle. James Fancy was named Officer of the Year as both secretary and editor of the newsletter. Rich Godfrey MISSISSIPPI SECTION, HOLIDAY PARTY, DECEMBER 5. Henri Fuselier was presented with the 2021 Member of the Year award for writing for the newsletter and helping in any way he can. Morgan Larkins was elected Secretary and will also manage membership duties. Scott Boone WISCONSIN SECTION, CHRISTMAS PARTY AND ANNUAL MEETING, DECEMBER 5. Shrugging off the first real blast of winter, 48 members and guests attended the Christmas Party and Annual Meeting at the Golden Mast on Lake Okauchee. Frank Lubinski was named Member of the Year for his years of service as Treasurer of our Section. Bruce Hamilton


THE STAR 3–4 • 2022

ROAD TRIP: Sacramento Section members on the way to Angel's Camp in the Sierras.

SACRAMENTO SECTION, DRIVE TO ANGEL'S CAMP, DECEMBER 5. Angel's Camp became famous because some bored miners decided to have a "jumping frog" contest, and Mark Twain just happened to be there to immortalize it. In fact, if you drive along historic State Highway 49, you pass the cabin that Mark Twain called home for a time. William Brandt TAMPA BAY SECTION, HOLIDAY BRUNCH AT SAFETY HARBOR SPA, DECEMBER 5. Connie Dolin prepared a Mercedes trivia game that was fun and informative. The winners took home gift cards. First place went to Ben Berman, second to Bob Martino, and third to Carmine Pluchino. Steven Raeour was named Member of the Year. Lynn Hutchinson NIAGARA SECTION, CHRISTMAS PARTY, DECEMBER 5. Our club generously donated to The Family Justice Center. The afternoon ended with the presentation of awards and membership pins to those who have been members in increments of 5 years. Deborah Boehm SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA SECTION, HOLIDAY BANQUET, DECEMBER 7. Casa Bella restaurant was tastefully decorated (thanks to Janet Welter of the Decorating Committee), and music played softly over slides of our 2021 events. John Goode was surprised by a presentation of his Regional Officer of the Year award and handsome plaque. John Goode EASTERN OKLAHOMA SECTION, CHRISTMAS PARTY, DECEMBER 9. We presented John Kushnerick with a special plaque for his five years of service as section President. Richard Jagel was named Member of the Year for his nine years as section Treasurer. Door prizes were provided by Kristen Bebout and the staff of Jackie Cooper Mercedes Benz. John Kushnerick ST. LOUIS GATEWAY SECTION, HOLIDAY PARTY, DECEMBER 9. Now retiring after seven years as the Central Region’s Director and MBCA Board Member, Rick Siefert presented Bob and Kay Frank with the St. Louis Gateway Section’s 2021 Members-of-the-Year award. Rick first recognized the nine previous Members-of-the-Year and two Central Region Officersof-the-Year who attended the evening’s dinner party. Alan Biby

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SectionEvents FORT WORTH SECTION, HOLIDAY CELEBRATION AT RIVER CREST COUNTRY CLUB, DECEMBER 11. Our holiday dinner was held at River Crest Country Club in Fort Worth. Jim Hannon, Martin and Nicki Branville, Ginny & Arno Pitzen were honored for their service to the club. DJ de Jesus

FORT WORTH SECTION, WINTER GETAWAY TO OMA LEEN'S, JANUARY 8. We took a country drive to a great prime rib lunch at Oma Leen's farm-to-table restaurant, started by young couple Austin and Shannon Odom in a century-old building in tiny Walnut Springs. DJ de Jesus

SEATTLE SECTION, CANDY CANE DRIVE, DECEMBER 11. We made a Candy Cane Drive to the world-famous Boehm’s Candies chalet. We passed over a section of the original cobblestone wagon road that served as part of the original Snoqualmie Pass wagon road. David Glass

ALABAMA-NW FLORIDA SECTION, WINTERFAHRT, JANUARY 8. Winterfahrt (winter drive) seemed like it could be a real challenge for the first time in a decade. The week started out with six inches of snow in North Alabama and at higher elevations near our route. As it turned out, conditions warmed to 60 degrees by lunch. Doug Bloomberg

SOUTHERN STARS SECTION, CAFFEINE AND OCTANE, DECEMBER 11. We had fantastic vintage and modern muscle Mercedes-Benz vehicles in attendance, and two different 280SL Pagoda build specifications. We had a 2005 SLR McLaren, as well as a 1961 190SL. David Wommer NORTH TEXAS SECTION, PARK PLACE DIY TECH SESSION, DECEMBER 11. Services were performed from fluid changes, O2 sensors, using the Star System, ball joints, brakes and oil and transmission fluid changes. Park Place had seven technicians on site to help folks when needed. Ron Seifert ALABAMA-NW FLORIDA SECTION, CHRISTMAS PARTY – MEMBER OF THE YEAR, DECEMBER 11. Jim Roberts was named Member of the Year by Jim Sparacio. Dr. Roberts is a 30+ year MBCA member. Doug Bloomberg SOUTHERN STARS SECTION, CLASSIC CAR MUSEUM OF ST. AUGUSTINE, DECEMBER 12. David Le Roy received a 35-year certificate. Sheldon Hofferman, Carlos Malpartida, and Robert Schlessinger received 5-year anniversary certificates. Gene Gorman was Member of the Year. David Wommer MINUTEMAN SECTION, HOLIDAY POPS CONCERT, DECEMBER 12. Around 50 members of the Minuteman Section attended the Boston Pops Christmas Concert at Symphony Hall. The concert contained both religious and secular seasonal music along with a dash of humor and topped by a visit from Santa Claus himself. Dean Coclin CONNECTICUT/WESTCHESTER SECTION, HOLIDAY PARTY, DECEMBER 12. A silent auction, with generous member donations, was a big hit. Some club business was attended to with the Election of Officers for 2022, a preliminary schedule of 2022 events presented, and the coveted Member of the Year Award was awarded to Egon Schimmeck. Magdalena Zajac ROAD STAR SECTION, HOLIDAY PARTY, DECEMBER 12. We had a very nice lunch. Barry Paraizo, President & John Corcia, Treasurer, distributed gifts to lucky attendees who had the winning ticket numbers. Rhonda Williams earned the Member of the Year award. William Browney


THE STAR 3–4 • 2022

Spotlight Event

PITTSBURGH SECTION, AUTOMOTIVE COOLING SYSTEMS WEBINAR, JANUARY 8. This webinar was hosted by Paul Bowman and his sons Alex (an engineer at Honda), and Ethan (who handled the livestreaming). They covered how cooling systems work, key inspections, types of coolant and choices in replacement parts, maintenance, repairs and restoration of vintage and modern cooling systems. Watch on YouTube: https:// Susan Grunewald SOUTHERN STARS SECTION, CAFFEINE AND OCTANE, JANUARY 8. We had a terrific turnout at Caffeine and Octane Jacksonville this past weekend, with over 20 Mercedes-Benz vehicles shared in the Central Lot alone. We saw everything from a new AMG GT Black Series, a near mint low-mileage first-generation SLK Roadster, and an AMG GT. David Wommer SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA SECTION, BACKROADS OF CONTRA COSTA, JANUARY 9. Our destination was at the fabulous Blackhawk Plaza. A group of people stayed in the parking lot marveling at all the fine automobiles that joined us, and some of us had a delicious meal and social time to go with this gorgeous event. John Goode

ABOVE, FROM LEFT: The happy group at the Connecticut/Westchester Section Holiday Party; North Texas Section held another popular DIY session at Park Place Mercedes-Benz.

Section Event Reports in The Star are based on materials uploaded to the MBCA website. Deadline for the next issue is March 15. Visit, select the Star Magazine tab and click on Submit Event Notice or Submit Event Report to publicize your section’s upcoming activities, submit reports and pictures, and learn what other sections are doing.


? Want to see your SECTION EVENT REPORT in the pages of The Star?

Section Event Reports seen here are compiled from write-ups and pictures submitted to the MBCA club website, www., that features an improved system for submitting and displaying reports. Visit the Star Magazine area of the club website to publicize your upcoming events, post event reports with pictures, and learn what other sections are doing.

MBCA Eastern Region Presents High Performance Driver Education

June 11, 2022 Talladega Gran Prix Raceway - Munford, Alabama

One-day High Performance Driver Education (HPDE) co-hosted by Peachtree and Alabama/NW Florida Sections. A wonderful track for novices, only 5 turns in 1.4 miles with minimal elevation changes and wide, smooth runoff areas, but challenging enough to be fun for advanced drivers. We will provide both classroom and in-car instruction. Only $300. Also offering the Performance Driving Experience (PDE) $100 which includes classroom and highway speed on-track instruction.

For more information and to Register: THE STAR 3–4 • 2022





Back Issues 800.942.8444


nl op o



Mon-Fri 8am-5pm est 7773 W. Strickland St. Douglasville, GA 30134

All issues of The Star for the years 2011-2019 are still available from the MBCA National Business Office. Consult the online index for contents before ordering. Many issues for the years 1999 to 2010 are also available. Please contact the office to find out if your requested issue is still in stock. Call:

800.637.2360 Easy Buying Tips: • You don’t need to be a club member to order magazines • Credit card or check accepted • Shipping is included within continental United States • Individual copies $10.50 each • Call to check on the availability of specific issues • International Orders: Call for details & shipping costs

Mail your order with payment to: MBCA-Store 1907 Lelaray Street Colorado Springs CO 80909-9283 or call 800.637.2360 or order online at


THE STAR 3-4 • 2022



President (2022)

Vice President (2023)

Julie Bruggner Three Rivers Section 5526 Thornbriar Lane Fort Wayne, IN 46835 260.348.1369 (h)

Doug Geganto Peachtree Section 3211 Black Gum Lane Gainesville, GA 30504 404.754.9955

Treasurer (2022)

Charles Woods Central Oklahoma Section 3708 Bonaire Place Edmond, OK 73013

Secretary (2022)

Cliff Reyle Memphis Section 9658 Dove Meadow Cove East Germantown, TN 38139 901.754.8574 (h) 901.251.4808 (o)



“To elevate the MercedesBenz experience through knowledge, camaraderie, and exceptional events.” NATIONAL BUSINESS OFFICE

Director at Large (2022)

Director at Large (2023)



Ernie Fancy Minuteman Section 1 Butterworth Road Holland, MA 01521 508.377.8286 (c)

1955-1957 1957-1959 1959-1960 1960-1961 1961-1962 1962-1964 1964-1966 1966-1968 1968-1970 1970-1972 1972-1974 1974-1976 1976-1977 1977-1978 1978-1979 1979-1981 1981-1982 1982-1984 1984-1986 1986-1988 1988-1990 1990-1992 1992-1994 1994-1996 1996-1998 1998-1999 1999-2001 2001-2003 2003-2005 2005-2007 2007-2009 2009-2011 2011-2013 2014-2017 2018-2019

Dr. Milton Allen= Dr. Ken Bartlett, Jr.= L. B. Kirkendall = Arthur G. Rippey= Allen G. Bishop= John W. Burnside= Walter G. Vartan Frank S. Baker= Harger W. Dodge= J. Chadwick Hunt= Otto Saborsky= Allen Funkhouser= Tracy Williams= Thomas Doherty= Fred Lustig= Phil Parrino= Ferne Gardner= Grant Elford= Hyatt Cheek Murdoch Campbell= Virginia Turner Robert Beltz Robert A. Martin= Kathy Kennel= Walt Anderson W. Robert Nitske= H. Peter Watson Donald Leap= Richard Simonds Jim O’Sullivan Peter Lesler Rodger Van Ness Steve Dierks Terry Kiwala Gene Jurick

James E. Roberts, DMD Alabama Section 2301 Arlington Avenue S #200 Birmingham, AL 35205 205.529.0071 (c)

Ginny Pitzen Lone Star Section 304 Legends Parkway Kingsland, TX 78639


Charles Woods Central Oklahoma Section 3708 Bonaire Place Edmond, OK 73013

Election Committee Gene Jurick North Texas Section 6008 Bracknell Drive Parker, TX 75002 972.461.1981


Josie Lesler Southwest Florida Section 2314 Queens Way Naples, FL 34112 216.403.2216 (c)

Driving Skills

Jason Burton Chicago Section 175 E Delaware Place #4925 Chicago, IL 60611 312.224.1787

Director at Large (2023)

Executive Director

Jason Burton Chicago Section 175 E Delaware Place #4925 Chicago, ll 60611 312.224.1787

Mike Regennitter Pikes Peak Section 1907 Lelaray Street Colorado Springs, CO 80909 800.637.2360

Administrative Services Cindy Tumbleson Pikes Peak Section 1907 Lelaray Street Colorado Springs, CO 80909 800.637.2360


Performance Driving

National Events

National Concours

Andrew Opicka Wisconsin Section 1221 Bay De Noc Ct Green Bay, WI 54311

Social Media


Doug Geganto Peachtree Section 3211 Black Gum Lane Gainesville, GA 30504 404.754.9955 Pete Lesler Southwest Florida Section 2314 Queens Way Naples, FL 34112 216.403.2951 (c)


Cliff Reyle Memphis Section 9658 Dove Meadow Cove East Germantown, TN 38139 901.754.8574 (h)


Julie Bruggner Three Rivers Section 5526 Thornbriar Lane Fort Wayne, IN 46835 260.348.1369 (h)


Laura Simonds 650.703.2656

Arno Pitzen 304 Legends Parkway Kingsland, TX 78639 512.736.5203

Strategic Planning Julie Bruggner Three Rivers Section 5526 Thornbriar Lane Fort Wayne, IN 46835 260.348.1369 (h)

Technical Information George Murphy Smoky Mountain Section 233 Briarcliff Avenue Oakridge, TN 37830 865.482.9175

David Abarr 625 4th Avenue SE Albany, OR 97321 541.981.1919

Bryan Gunning

MERCEDES-BENZ USA Customer Assistance 800.367.6372 (U.S.) 800.387.0100 (CANADA)

Classic Parts & Information


Editor, The Star

Jeff Zurschmeide Portland Section 1506 5TH Street Tillamook, OR 97141 503.330.3010

Legal Counsel Thomas James

Raffle Legal Counsel

C. Robert Beltz International Stars Section 810.908.1979


Jason Burton Chicago Section 175 E Delaware Pl #4925 Chicago, IL 60611 312.224.1787



Send contact information updates to: THE STAR 3-4 • 2022








Jordan Brammer PO Box 2125 Campton, NH 03223 603.721.2083



Drew Webb PO Box 473 Salem, NH 03073 508.662.4900


Contact Regional Director


Dean Coclin 781.789.8686

James R. Wright 26 Crystal Lane Delmar, NY 12054 518.281.3406 hudsonmohawkmbca


Joanie Long 8561 Falls Rd West Falls, NY 14170 716.655.4515



Donald C. Klug, Jr. 518 Sherman Street Watertown, NY 13601 315-785-8800

Robert Hartmann 781 Summer Oaks Court Oviedo, FL 32765 407.913.6134 (h)

Mike McKinnon 213 Denise Crescent Carleton Place, ON K7C 0C4 Canada 613.257.1913


Michael J. Chrusch 10945 Ravel Court Boca Raton, FL 33498-6761 561.990.7886 (h) 954.260.6466 (c)


Barry Paraizo 11758 Lake Shore Place North Palm Beach, FL 33408 561.310.8957




David Peebles 2601 Yearling Dr St Lazare, QC J7T 2A1 Canada 514.941.5320


Peter Spitzer 4425 No 1 Sideroad Burlington, ON L7M 0X4 Canada 905.599.5770

Hank Webb 2224 Lookout Landing Fleming Island, FL 32003 904.294.5650 David Wommer 904.534.7319




Bill Fisher 53 Winfield Circle Sewell, NJ 08080 609.221.2633


Winthrop E. Baum 25 Van Zant Street, Ste 19C East Norwalk, CT 06855 203.858.6300

Ernest Schirmer PO Box 6429 Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 609.895.1611


Oliver Seligman 760 Holden Avenue Ext. Cutchogue, NY 11935 917.763.0178 (c) 212.510.8293 (h)


Mike Ziegler 437 Auburn Street Allentown, PA 18103 610.504.5370 (c)


Michael Parlato 113 Blackwell Road Pennington, NJ 08534 609.577.5931


Brad Purvis 757.566.1546


Donald LaBar 1274 Christian Court Virginia Beach, VA 23464 757.226.0048


Diana Quinn 442 Chowning Pl NW Marietta, GA 30064 770.635.8112

Bill Faison 108 Royal Club Drive Cary, NC 27513 919-469-9228

Rugger Smith 3709 S. George Mason Drive T5E Falls Church, VA 22041 703.861.0402

William L. Parrish, Jr. 828.719.6140


Rick Siefert 846 Nardin Drive Chesterfield, MO 63017 314.435.1903 (c)

Contact Regional Director

Mike Marsh 533 Madeleine Court Brandon, MS 39047 601.946.1950 (c)



Ken Koehler 6168 Ruthven Drive Noblesville, IN 46062-6722 317.669.2072 (h)


Gary Rumrill 6801 Switch Bark Ct Louisville, KY 40228 502.592.7736


Randy Bibb 330 Whitworth Way Nashville, TN 37205 615.259.1349

Bill Sudekum 561 Long St Southaven, MS 38672 662.429.3407



Tyler O’Brien 513.477.3056


Roger Brummett 317.721.2784






Marty Rexroth 1060 Detwiler Drive York, PA 17404 717.764.0624



David Hutchinson 2104 Flamingo Pl Safety Harbor, FL 34695 727.726.6711(h)


MID-ATLANTIC REGION Valerie Cristiano 908.369.0793


Thomas Harruff




Jane Martinez 1375 Whispering Oaks Ln Matthews, NC 28104 505.270.3851

Michael Mizesko 614.776.5667 7614 Brandon Road New Albany, OH 43054

Gary Edwards 2060 White Rock Rd Lincolnton, GA 30817 757.831.9556

Branton Pardee 419.215.1696



Jim Sparacio PO Box 530185 Birmingham, AL 35253 205.243.7727


Thomas Couch 478.741.9014



Ron Harshman 3200 Loop Road #97 Orange Beach, AL 36561 218.213.4967


Sandra Turko 612 Pennsylvania Boulevard Jeanette, PA 15644 742.527.0838


Don MacDonald 248.647.8430


Matthew Short 269.760.7204


Rod Thompson 3175 Roundwood Road Chagrin Falls, OH 44022 440.247.2853 renold.thompson@


Contact National VP

Send contact information updates to:


THE STAR 3-4 • 2022




MIDWEST REGION Bruce Hamilton 4225 Southwyck Drive Janesville, WI 53546-2120 608.754.6066

John Jacobson 1820 Kolff St Newport, MN 55055 651.690.5115

Gretta Glimm

Bob Young PO Box 716 De Soto, IA 50069 515.229.3870



Andrew Opička 1221 Bay De Noc Ct Green Bay, WI 54311



Patricia D. Kellogg 4607 Thornhill Drive Peoria, IL 61615 309.688.8000 (h)


John Peters 520.425.5058




Rich Carlson


Steve Ross 16151 Fruitvale Road Valley Center, CA 92082 619.508.3925


Debbie Ichiyama 6502 E. Evans Drive Scottsdale, AZ 85254 480.268.9535 (h)

Robert Hellriegel 8260 Sweetwater Creek Way Las Vegas, NV 89113 702.768.7530


Amir Rudyan 28051 Balkins Dr Agoura Hills, CA 91301 818.707.3518




Diana Kruse 4654 Lucille Dr. San Diego, CA 92115 619.851.8067


Peter Samaha 1600 Hobart Street Camarillo, CA 93010 805.890.8489


Contact RD


DJ de Jesus 4159 Charron Lane Fort Worth , TX 76116-8160 817.732.8773 (h)

Jeff Leatherock 904 N Miller Oklahoma City, OK 73107 405.306.9495

Erroll Hines P.O. Box 2261 Kingwood, TX 77252



Brett Jurick 2024 Palace Way Allen, TX 75013 214.773.7820


Sandy Downing 219 Garden Road River Ridge, LA 70123 504.813.3086


Dennis Anderson 15175 Putman Road Rogers, AR 72756 479.295.8008


Brian Johnson 6414 E 94th PL Tulsa, OK 74137 405.311.1488


Ron Seifert 339 Pine Valley Dr Fairview, TX 75069 972.824.0464

Steve Dierks 2381 Shrider Road Colorado Springs, CO. 80920 719.593.9557



Yvonne Lazear 805.402.2322

Gail Wells 1230 Mineral Flat Road Reno, NV 89506 blackswan342@gmail.comt

Alan Syme 520 Davis Mountain Circle Georgetown, TX 78633 210.827.8308



Contact National VP


Don Dionisi 1503 Wild Peak San Antonio, TX 78258 830.438.5539



John Goode 650.215.3402



Robert Heath 5429 W. Clearview Ct Boise, ID 83703 208.599.3334

Sandy Dose 1331 S. 184th Circle Omaha, NE 68130 402.334.8126 (h)

Jo Chase 6338 Antares Road NE Albuquerque, NM 87111 505.220.3267

David Glass 10901 176th Circle NE #4618 Redmond, WA 98052 425.869.6706



Kathryn Splivalo 4800 N Van Ness Boulevard Fresno, CA 93704 559.289.0578

Andrew Nelson 1027 Adams Dr Colorado Springs, CO 80904 719.217.9481

Stan Rios 3222 W 96th Circle Westminster, CO 80031 720.404.6362


David Michael 302 Stage Stop Court El Dorado Hills, CA 95762 415.939.9000

Lee Elrick 1440 N. Gatewood #51 Wichita, KS 67206 316.634.2088




Shawn Merrill PO Box 492658 Keaau, HI 96749 650.255.8202






Jeff Shindler #9-11291 7th Ave Richmond BC V7E 4J3 CANADA 604.271.1829 (h) 604.910.1829 (c)


David Abarr 625 4th Avenue SE Albany, OR 97321 541.981.1919


Satellite to British Columbia Section


Leigh Gayman 1815 Crawford Rd North Vancouver, BC V7K 1R8 CANADA


Robert Watson #518-6880 Wallace Drive Brentwood Bay, BC V8M 1N8 CANADA 250.652.5667 (h)

Send contact information updates to: THE STAR 3-4 • 2022



SLs for Sale

1969 280SL Blue/Blue. 47,390 miles. Two owners from new, All body numbers match. Original engine, interior. Perfect original body, tools, manuals, data plate. Automatic. $139,500.00 Dr. John Mancini: (978) 660-6139 (FL)

Submit ads to:

Other Mercedes-Benz Vehicles for Sale

1985 380SL Pearl Black/Palomino. 97,946 miles. Purchased new at Mercedes-Benz Inc., New York and spent most of its life with the second owner for 24 years in Connecticut. See more details @ Albert Michaud: 860-913-5257 amichaud2@ (CT)

1963 220SEb Coupe Black/Red. 28,368 Miles. Great restoration project or parts car. Joe Eisenbach: 323.541.6133 joeeisenbach@ (CA)


1972 450SL Red/Palomino. 130,200 miles. Soft and Hard tops, Red with Palomino MB Tex Interior, Two Owners, 130K Mileage $11,500. Kristin Huff: 713-817-4103 (TX)

1987 560SL Black /Tan. 89,000 miles. Burl wood trim. hardtop with cover, automatic climate, Becker Grand Prix cassette stereo, power windows, power antenna. Full records, along with clean Carfax. Steven Adelman: (323) 440-7982 (TN)

1963 220SE Blue/Blue. 105,000 miles. Original black plate CA car. No rust. No 1 car. Complete resto. $140k, plus 10 percent for std shift. Richard A. DeVito: (781)899-2702 x142 (MA)

1979 450SL Green/Tan. miles. Rust in spare tire area. Hardtop and soft top. I have all the parts that have been removed. I think fuel distribution unit is bad. $2500 in NW Ohio. Jim R Wende: 419-234-1751 (OH)

1998 SL500 White/Tan. 26,500 miles. Optional and rare see thru hard top. Has cover and hard top stand. All books from new. Car is located on Long Island, New York (NY)

1965 220SE Coupe White/Red. A/T PS. Almost complete resto. New everything. 2nd Place Boston Cup $80k Richard A. DeVito, Sr.: (781)899-2702 x142 (MA)

1980 450SLC Black/Palomino. April 1980 production. Replacement odo shows 73K miles. true mileage likely 130K. No cracks in dash. ACC2 fully sorted. email for photos. $28k obo. Pierre Hedary: 407-765-2867 (FL)

2007 SLK280 Red/Tan. 80,000 miles. Good to very good condition. Newly added tires and maintenance just performed. Driver’s seat show some wear but the other interior components excellent. Asking $18,000 Robert Dorn: 419-265-1049 RLD11349@ (FL)

1971 280SE 3.5L Cabriolet Red/Parchment. 80,252 miles. Award winning restoration. Details provided on request. Offers over $300,000 considered. Call 253-631-0679 evenings (West Coast). (WA)

1980 450SL Grey primer 62,000 miles. Car been getting a restoration-both engine/tranny removed, rebuilt,& reinstalled, many new parts. Contact for pictures, all original parts come too. $3,799.00 Daniel Green: 740-701-8116 greendaniel7245@ (OH)

2014 SLK55 AMG Red/Black/ Anthracite. 16,000 miles. AMG engine signed by builder, Only 400 of these built that year, complete dealer svc records. Appraised $55,000 Sale price $55,000 See video: Mike McHann: 901299-6341 (TN)

1978 W123 White/Blue/Black.This 250T is a long-wheelbase ambulance that was converted by the German coachbuilder Miesen. More Info here: for-sale-1978-ambulance-der-krankenwagen.3083980/ John Morais: 805-286-0233 (CA)


THE STAR 3-4 • 2022

Other Mercedes-Benz Vehicles for Sale

1985 190E Blue/Blue. 84,000 miles. ORIGINAL Unmolested 2.3 petrol engine with an auto transmission. Unusual original paint. Engine starts and runs. Rod knock under load. Body and interior is very clean. Dash needs attention. 860-280-6062 (CT)

1986 560SEC Smoke Silver/Red. 164,498 miles. Owned for 26 years. All records from new. $23,700 OBO. Rapidly appreciating. Perfect color combination. Very reliable. Everything works. Please call or email, no text. Bill Burkhardt: (913)648-1835 (KS)

2001 E320 wagon Silver/Gray. 171,000 miles. Bought Certified from local dealer. 2nd owner. Excellent and properly maintained. Looks great, runs better. Email for pics and details. Fully optioned. 171K easy miles. Bill Reiter: (214) 707-3332 Curator@ (TX)

2007 C280 4Matic, Pewter. 63,700 miles, one 91 y/o lady owner until 12/2021. Recent coolant & hose, thermostat, transmission (fluid & filter), air filters, wipers and 2 new tires. Firm $7990. NO DEALERS PLEASE. Ben: (862) 930-9387 bahrams@ (NJ)

To submit a Trading Post Ad, upload your ad, with a good quality image if desired, at: To appear in the May-June 2022 issue of The Star, ads must be active on the website at the end of the day March 15, 2022. Submitted ads are posted immediately. A club member may post one Mercedes-Benz related ad of up to 250 characters (approximately 35 words) and one photo on the website free of charge, space permitting. Members are charged for additional words and pictures. The online ad may be edited or removed by the member. All ads are automatically removed after 60 days online unless renewed. Only ads for Mercedes-Benz vehicles, parts, literature, and related services are accepted.


1988 420SEL, Gray/Gray. 97k miles. Texas Car, Extensive Mechanical Refresh w/Timing Chain, Fuel system overhaul, Stamped Booklets & Clean History. Roy 504-957-9636 (TX)

2007 S65 AMG Grey/Ash. 50,000 miles. California Car, Pristine Condition, Dealer maintained since new, All Svc up-to-date, All Mechanicals and Electronics Perfect, Paint and Interior like new, Strong Engine $35,500. Nathan (949) 887-9201 (CA)

Non-members or commercial enterprises may post text ads for Mercedes-Benz related vehicles, parts, goods, and services on the club website. Ads up to 300 characters $30 per issue with 60 days on the website. Fees must be paid in advance and are non-refundable. Please submit all

Commercial Corner ads to Nicole@mbca. org or call 800.637.2360.

The terms of sale, payment, shipping, and other affairs related to Trading Post ads are the sole responsibility of the buyer and seller. However, if issues arise, write to: MBCA and the Editor of The Star reserve the right to edit or remove any advertisement without recourse, justification, refund, or compensation.

1994 E320 Black/Saffron. 124,676 miles. Excellent condition, no accidents. New tires. New water pump, thermostat, & more. Harness replaced in 2005. Call/Text for pricing, more info & pictures. Laurentiu Dobrila: (319) 252-7565 DobrilaLaurentiuO@ (IA)

2007 CL600 White/Cognac. 47,000 miles. Inspected with all maintenance completed. Excellent condition, drives silky smooth and needs nothing. collection/130/513 Will Sellenraad: (248) 622-9859 w.selle@ (NY)

Club members without internet access may submit ads by mail to: MBCA National Business Office 1907 Lelaray Street Colorado Springs, CO 80909-2872 Please follow correct ad format when submitting ads by mail. Ad must be typed or clearly printed, and include name, address, phone and credit card information or check. Always include member number. Photographs submitted by mail will not be returned. Trading Post ads automatically expire after 60 days unless promptly renewed.

1997 S600 Smoke Silver/Mushroom. 81K miles. Collector owned. Two keys, comprehensive records (XL file) back to 2016 FL/SC car. Great condition. Correct part-number W140 AMG Monobloc 18” rims. Always garaged and just serviced. $33,500 Erich Schmidt: 843-478-7485 (SC)

2011 E350 4MATIC Blue/Beige. 95,811 miles. Very hard to find. Beautiful condition. Original paint, No accidents, Clean Carfax. AWD, Panorama roof. Heated & ventilated leather seats and more. $20,500 D Scott Katsaras: (305) 804-9550 (OH)

No inference should be made that the goods

and services advertised herein have the endorsement of Daimler AG, MBUSA, or MBCA. THE STAR 3-4 • 2022



How to Submit Trading Post Ads


Submit ads to:


Other Mercedes-Benz Vehicles for Sale

2014 E350 Silver/Tan. 100,700 miles. 4Matic European delivery car . Two owner car - Father was original owner. Son second. Car was very well maintained. Olaf Jentzsch : 262-347-7560 (WI)

Vehicles Wanted

Wanted: Iow mileage 560SL Any color combo - must be well maintained and original - under 60,000 miles or less - lower the miles the better - also happy to pay you finder’s fee for good specimen. Jack Handegan: 843-870-7006 (SC)

Parts for Sale

2013 SL63 10-Spoke AMG Rims Full set of staggered 20” rear / 19” front AMG 10 spoke rims off a 2013 SL63. Used for 10,000 miles and in excellent condition. Asking $2000 or best offer. Scott Fisher: 920-393-0254 (FL)

Wanted: 1986-1989 Mercedes 300SL Grey Market wanted. Any condition. Jerry Ciardello: 603-894-4464 (NH) Wanted: 1970 or 1971 280SE 3.5 Coupe I’m looking for a 280SE 3.5 coupe for my personal use and not to resell. Jay: (559) 360-7971 (CA)

2016 E400 Black/Black. 31,000 miles. Triple black Florida car (no rust), Harman Kardon, AM-FM/CD/BlueTooth/SIRIUS, NON-SMOKER, no eating in this car, recent 30K service, new tires, Diamond accents, $34,000. Dr. Anthony C. LoBalbo: 914-5485450 (FL)

Wanted: 2006 Mercedes E320 CDI Your CDI has a clean CarFax w/no accident history, Under 100K miles, NO Rust, visible damage, dents, scratches, non-smoker car -no rips, tears, stains, excellent service history, Harman Kardon stereo. Will pay up to $12,500. Mike: 408-221-1284 (CA)

W126 Grill Original equipment grill to fit the W126 chassis. No dings, broken slats, etc. $250 + shipping. David Pienkowski: 859-239-9870 (KY)

Wanted: McLaren SLR, ideally a 722 edition. Also looking for pre-merger AMG cars and vintage supercars such as Lamborghinis and Ferraris. As well as other significant vintage supercars. Stephen Duncan-Peters: 301-741-3842 Stephen@wearecurated. com (MD) Wanted: Any Classic Mercedes in any condition, Very serious and professional buyer, we will pick up from anywhere in the US, top dollar paid, please call. Alex Manos, 877-912-0007 (CA)

2016 C300 4matic White/Black. 9,281 miles. I am selling a one owner, garaged kept, C300 that has never been in weather. Only 9281 miles on it! Better than showroom new with some custom features. $34000/obo. Bruce Rankin: 17172059108 (Florida)

Wanted: Why waste your time with tire kickers? I am looking for very clean and low mileage examples of all Mercedes-Benz cars from post WW2 up until the late 1990s. No nonsense cash buyer for the right cars. All original. I will pay top $$$: 848-459-7776 (NJ)


Be careful. Online crooks can scam you. It’s best to sell to someone you know, or to confirm the transaction with a mutual friend, like a club member. Note that cashier’s checks are easily faked. Ask for a direct bank-to-bank transfer and confirm receipt before releasing your car. The most common scam is when the Scammers offers more than your asking price, paying with a cashier’s check, with excess to be used by you to pay for shipping. They’re stealing your car and your money.


Aftermarket Mercedes Benz GLK Crossbars. For Mercedes Benz GLK (2009-2015) Had for two years, never anything loaded on them. Rated at 165 lbs. max load. With both keys and Allen wrench. Pickup only -$99.00 John Hameline: 843.315.4320 john. (SC)

Barn Full of 123,126 &107 Parts. New, Used & Refurbished parts available.Cars:1977-85(123&126);1974-85 (107). Questions & advice (35 years’ experience with these cars/parts). William (Chip) Johnson; 757.789.3203; 860.402.0232; (VA)

AMG Carbon Fiber Paddle Shifters. Red DSG V2 Easy to install, They fit most AMG’s except E43. Guaranteed new in box and fit will sell for $89. 203-4821409 (CT)


THE STAR 3-4 • 2022

Parts for Sale and Wanted T R A D I N G P OS T

Sirius A 171-870-15-89 module My Sirius radio stopped working so I bought a module on ebay and had it installed, all is good. I have the old one and before I throw it away, checking to see if anyone wants it. Free! Elliott Ross: 727-639-3800 elliottross@ (FL)

Painted hub caps Four hub caps for 113 or other compatible vehicle $100 plus shipping. Peter Menger: 516-987-9425 (NY)

Washer Pump, 129 869 00 21, fits 123, 124, 126, 201, etc., HELLA, $35. 5-prong Relay (ice cube), 001 542 02 19, German, $35. Euro Headlight Lens for 108, 109, MB Number 108 826 02 90, BOSCH Number 1 305 630 016, $180. Free Shipping to 48 States. Werner Wellmann: (207) 725-8219 (ME)

Wheels & snow tires 4 Sport Edition wheels with Pirelli Sottozero3 snow tires. Size is 245/40R18, includes TPMS sensors, balanced and ready to install. From a 2014 E550. No curb rash, tires have much remaining life. Must pick up in person. Jeff: 610.585.1410 (PA)

Tired of faded paint, a cracked dash or tired wood trim? Exterior refinishing, restoration and repair of dashboards, wood trim, wheels and most other components. Michael Brown: (214) 903-9093 (TX) Mercedes-Benz Shop Closing All left over assorted manuals, parts and tools are for sale. Owners manuals, Service manuals and Assorted parts for most models from 1960-1990. Mostly used, some new. call with needs. Jeffrey 410-526-4495 (MD)

Vintage cigarette lighter. New in box Original instructions. Never used. $58. Stanley 386-931-3998 sgcce@aol.coming (FL)

Mercedes and MBCA literature free Star Magazines November 1974 to 1990 and 2006 on! All or any large portion free, plus shipping, or pick up in Boston area. Also some sales brochures from 1996 onward. No requests for individual issues. David A Bryant: 781-636-8698 (MA)


Two AMG wheels size 8 J x 19H 2 ET 43 which are most common on E400 front and rear. Can be used on other Mercedes if size is correct. Very Good condition. Call or email for complete pictures of each wheel. $800 plus shipping. Bruce 720236-7737 (CO)

New classified ads are posted every day

Wanted: Dealer License Plate Frame from the good old days in the PNW! (pre-Auto Nation) days; e.g. a Phil Smart, or Carrier! Ron 360-393-0518 (WA) THE STAR 3-4 • 2022


Let the




Mercedes-Benz Club of America

Join the Club Get the most out of the marque you love Local sections in every major region of North America Fun-filled calendar of local, regional, national activities Car shows, tours, technical sessions, track events Award-winning bimonthly magazine Member discounts on new-car purchases, parts, service, and insurance can easily exceed cost of dues Membership $55 for U.S. residents US $65 for Canadian and international residents Multiple-year membership discounts

Join the Mercedes-Benz Club of America 800-637-2360 or use the postcard in this magazine 110

THE STAR 3-4 • 2022

Index of Advertisers T R A D I N G P OS T

123 USA LLC.........................................................97 Adsit Company, Inc..............................................85 Airstream, Inc......................................................C3 Authentic Classics LLC..........................................99 AutoMobilia Magazine......................................101 Becker AutoSound, LLC......................................102 Beverly Hills Car Club...........................................97 BMWCCA............................................................101 Bud’s Benz.........................................................102 Classic Trim..........................................................97 Fairfax Service Center..........................................97 Gill’s Precision Automotive................................ 110 Gooding & Company..............................................1 GTECHNICQ........................................................68 Gullwing Motorcars Inc......................................108 Heritage Upholstery and Trim...........................101 Hydro E Lectric.....................................................99 J.C. Taylor Antique Auto Insurance.......................C2 K&K Manufacturing.............................................85 Kienle GmbH .......................................................15 Lauderdale Speedometer.................................. 110 Laurent Nay.........................................................99 Madera Concepts............................................... 110 Mandrus Wheels....................................................2 MBCA – Club Trips to Germany.............................93 MBCA – High Performance Driver Education.......101 MBCA – Loyalty Reward Program • Canada..........95 MBCA – Loyalty Rewards Program • U.S...............84 MBCA – Raffle....................................................86 MBCA –The Star • Back Issues.............................102 The MB Market...................................................73 Mecum Auctions.................................................11 Mercedes-Benz Cars MBUSA ................................C4 Mercedes-Benz Lifestyle Collections......................3 Metric Motors Inc............................................ ..109 Miller’s Inc......................................................... 111 Niemöller Spare Parts........................................ 111 R.M. Sotheby’s....................................................9 Pelican Parts.......................................................69 Porsche Club of America......................................97 P21S Auto Care Products......................................95 Rowe Motor Oil....................................................99 Tire Rack.........................................................28-29 Unique Cars of Palm Beach ................................101

The Next Trading Post Ad Deadline:

March 15, 2022 For More Details See Page 107 THE STAR 3-4 • 2022


StarryEyed 112

THE THE STAR STAR 3-4 3-4 •• 2022 2022

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ADVENTURE FAVORS THE BOLD Introducing the all-new Interstate 24X: A Class B adventure van fully-loaded with best-in-class features and the capability to get you closer to the action than ever before. Built on the powerful Mercedes-Benz® Sprinter Van chassis, the interior is accentuated by a kitchen and bathroom, roomy living space, and the largest sleeping area in any Class B van. And with vast storage for all your gear and a versatile L-track storage system, you can bring along your bikes, kayaks, fishing poles – and anything you need for the perfect Airstream adventure.

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2022 EQS 450+ shown in MANUFAKTUR Diamond White metallic paint. Optional equipment shown. For more information, call 1-800-FOR-MERCEDES, or visit