Archive for the ‘ Mercedes ’ Category

Meilenwerk Berlin – a classic car museum with a difference

During the recent summer holidays I decided to escape the heat of Madrid and head north where I spent among other places, a week in Berlin. My rationale was that all the Germans will have gone to Spain for their summer holidays so it should be nice and quiet. I’d been to Berlin before so there was no great pressure to rush around seeing all the tourist sites. But one thing I did want to see was Meilenwerk Berlin. I had read about this place on the TopGear website and it sounded amazing. I was not disappointed.

Jaguar XK

Meilenwerk is essentially a storage warehouse for classic cars. One pays 130€ per month (extremely reasonable in my opinion) and one is then able to store one’s Rolls Royce, Mercedes, Ferrari etc in a climate controlled glass box. In addition there are specialist garages attached to the facility for Jaguar, Mercedes, Citroën and other marks. Meilenwerk also have a large number of cars for sale, some such as the Mercedes SL’s with astronomical price tags. But the best bit is that this whole facility is open to the public and completely free to enter.

Mercedes SL convertibles

I spent a few happy hours wandering around admiring all the cars on display. There were not just super-expensive exotica but also some more ordinary classics such as Citroën DS and Mercedes E-klasse but they were all in excellent condition. I’m not sure if there is a requirement that your classic be in mint condition to store it there or not but they certainly were. And the restoration facilities seemed to be very busy with some beautiful examples as well.

In addition to the couple of photos I have published here you can view the full collection on my photo site. Check them out here: https://picasaweb.google.com/111758461119985213903/MeilenwerkBerlin

Meilenwerk also have facilities in Stuttgart, Düsseldorf & Zürich which look equally impressive. The address in Berlin is Wiebestrasse 36 – 37, 10553 Berlin. I highly recommend a visit.

Classic Cars – My Wish List

This list is currently a work in progress…

I am somewhat of a car fanatic. Some may go so far as to call it an obsession but what would they know? I lust after beautiful cars, performance cars, luxury cars, and sometimes even just plain odd cars. And that’s just the modern ones. When it comes to classic cars there are an awful lot that I like but only a handful that I really want to own, generally from a very specific year with a very specific specification, sometimes even down to the colour. So here I am attempting to put together a list of the cars I hope to own during my lifetime. I’ve tried to keep it mildly realistic in terms of cost so, much as I may lust over it, you won’t find a Mercedes 300SL Gullwing on the list. All the prices I list below represent the particular model I desire in what appears to be very good condition and in the countries where they are most likely to be found.

Datsun Sunny 1978 – 1982 (B310)

1980 model with nasty aftermarket hubcaps

Not a classic you say? Maybe not but it was my first car and I had great fun driving it so it holds a special place in my heart and it’s going on the list. Actually I technically had 2 Datsun Sunny’s because I may or may not have accidentally crashed the first one, bought a second crashed one (at the other end), and used all the pieces to build a new car… The result was a beige 1980 Datsun Sunny GX in concours (almost) condition. Note that the GX was the top trim level in New Zealand. It even had an FM radio!

Mine looked like this

My Datsun was a B310 series model which was the 4th generation of Sunny following the B10 of 1966, B110 and B210. These were all sold new in New Zealand and were very popular cars because they were light (970kgs!), fuel efficient and vastly easier and more involving to drive than the competition, most of which was English. Think Vauxhall Viva and you’ll know what I mean… All Sunny’s were rear-wheel drive until the B310 after which they switched to front wheel drive. This change had an adverse effect on the handling so, if you’re hankering for a Sunny, the B310 is the one to get.

Lots of space for... umm... upgrades

Mine had a 1.2litre (A12) petrol engine which means that in other markets such as Japan it would have been badged as a 120Y and, very confusingly, in the US the B310 was sold as the Datsun 210. There was also a Datsun 310 sold in the US but that was a completely different model based on the Nissan Cherry.

There was a facelift in October 1979 which replaced the round headlights with square ones and changed the grill. Mine was one of these facelifted ones. The 1.2litre version had a 4 speed manual gearbox which was light and precise.

Round headlights, no wrap-around indicators

The 5 speed manual would have been better but it was only available with the 1.5litre engine which, although being more powerful, was generally accepted to not be as good an engine. The 1.2litre was a little slower but it was a willing happy engine and you could rev it till the valves were bouncing off the inside of the bonnet without any ill-effect. They were well known for the fact that the engine would soldier on long after the rest of the car had rusted and fallen off. They did have some issues with rust…

Coupé, Sedan, and Wagon

In addition to the 4-door sedan which I owned there was also a station wagon and a  coupé version. The station wagon was the most utilitarian and the coupé was the most ugly. So I was quite happy with my sedan.

The B310 was known for its high equipment levels and build quality at the time and it even had a relatively sophisticated suspension for its place in the market, a live rear axle with a coil spring four-link configuration. OK well it least it didn’t have leaf springs like the previous model (and current Chevy Corvettes…). As I’ve mentioned, it wasn’t a fast car (0-100kph times were best measured with a calendar) but once it was up and going you never needed to slow down because it was so chuckable. It was light, responsive and, I repeat, it loved to rev. I had this car when I was at high school and I lived with my parents out in the country in New Zealand. We lived 20kms from town on a winding hilly road and I remember distinctly that there were only 2 corners that I had to slow below 100kph for.

Mitsubishi Mirage GLX

I could be accused of looking back at this car through rose-tinted glasses as it was my first car and all. But it was a genuinely fun car to drive, something that has been lost in most post-70s small cheap cars. Case in point was the 1982 Mitsubishi Mirage (Colt in some markets) which we inherited from my grandmother at around the same time I had the Sunny. This was a front wheel drive hatchback (one of the first) and it was terrible. The steering was so heavy it was awful to drive in town. It didn’t handle well on the open road and the engine can most kindly be described as sluggish. It absolutely refused to rev and my father had to continually tune it just to keep it running. If I remember correctly it could barely manage 120kph most of the time whilst my older Datsun could happily do 150kph with a tail wind and a pinch of fairy dust. So there’s my direct comparison of two very similar cars from the same era. One great, one crap.

Prices: Around NZ$3,000 in NZ. Very rare now due to rust issues.

Jensen Interceptor 1966 – 1976

The Jensen Interceptor is a Grand Tourer built in the UK from 1966 to 1976 and has, if I might be permitted to say, one of, if not the, coolest car names. The only models that come close in my opinion are the Aston Martin Vanquish, Lamborghini Diablo and Rolls Royce Phantom. Whilst not quite in the same league as these other models the Jensen was an expensive, stylish, luxury cruiser much favoured by the rich and famous in the 1960s. Princess Anne had one as did Farah Fawcett, Cher, and Jack Nicklaus. A contributor to its desirability in later life was a starring role in six “The Saint” movies where it was driven by Simon Templar.

The Interceptor initially had a 6.3litre Chrysler V8 which grew to 7.2litres in 1971. From 1971 to 1973 an SP (Six Pack) edition was offered featuring three twin-barrel Holley carburetors in the classic Chrysler “six-pack” configuration. This increased power from the standard 220hp up to 385hp on a few of the cars. Only 232 SP models were produced.

The Interceptor was hand-built and very expensive (US$16,000 in 1976, double the price of a Corvette!) but the owners wanted for nothing. Like a Rolls Royce or Bentley of the time the Interceptor had real wool carpeting, full leather interior (which required the hides of 7 cows!), rear window defogger, and whilst early cars used vinyl or plastic on the dash, later cars had full wood-and-leather dashboards.  Except for a few early cars, every car had air conditioning and power windows standard.  We take these features for granted today, but they were rare in 1966.

The most distinctive feature of an Interceptor is undoubtedly its large curved rear windscreen that was also the tailgate. It’s certainly a “love it or hate it” feature but I love it. And it gave the car a wonderful graceful swooping shape.

In addition to the regular Interceptors there was an FF edition from 1967 which was four wheel drive and included anti-lock brakes and traction control (in 1967!). It was the first production car in the world to have ABS although it was a fully mechanical system unlike the more modern systems introduced on the likes of the Mercedes S-Class which were computerised. The FF was 100mm longer than the standard car to accommodate the four wheel drive system and can be recognised by 2 extra vents on the front flanks. Only 320 FF’s were produced.

Introduced in 1974, a convertible version sold just 267 examples and, even rarer, a coupé version introduced in 1975 sold only 60 examples. Jensen went bankrupt in 1976 marking the end of the Interceptor.

The best model seems to be the Interceptor Mk III (1971 – 76) “J” version which was the most luxurious. The Mk III included ventilated disc brakes and improved frontal styling as well as a number of other improvements.

Prices: In the UK from around £13,000 (1973 Mk III J Series). In the US from around $10,000 although they are harder to find there.

Mazda Cosmo 1967 – 1972

There have been four generations of Mazda Cosmo but the first was definitely the most distinctive and important. Over the 5 years of its production only 1,519 cars were built, 343 Series I and 1,176 Series II, making them rather rare, expensive and difficult to find. Along with the even more expensive Toyota 2000GT of the same era, the Cosmo was a revolutionary car from a Japanese automaker. The styling, while distinctly Japanese, obviously captures some key design elements from period classics such as the Jaguar E-Type and Alfa Romeos. It was the first production car in the world to have a two-rotor Wankel engine, an engine that Mazda continue to refine and offer on their sports models. The engine technology was licensed from NSU and the Cosmo actually beat the Ro80 to market by a few months.

These were not especially fast cars by today’s standards but in the 1960s they weren’t bad. The L10A two-rotor engine in the Series I produced 110hp at 7,000rpm and had a top speed of 185kph. Most of this turn of speed was due to it’s light weight rather than its power. It also had exceptional handling due to its de-Dion tuned suspension. The Series II gained slightly more power, 128hp, and could achieve 195kph, likely a terrifying experience in such a small car.

The Series II is the more desirable (and attainable) model although they are still extremely scarce. Jay Leno has one which says something about the rarity of them.

Prices: In Japan from around US$45,000. Very rarely for sale though.

Lincoln Continental 1965 – 1969

The third generation Continental was introduced in 1961 and, somewhat astonishingly, it was considered to be small to the extent that marketing materials included images of a woman parallel parking it with ease. It was 2 feet shorter than the previous Continental but still measured a gargantuan 5.6m long and over 2.0m wide. It was initially offered in 4-door convertible and 4-door pillared hardtop forms with the rear doors being rear-hinged, it’s most famous feature. From 1966 a 2-door coupé was offered and sales of the 4-door convertible in particular dropped signficantly.

The particular model that I would most like to own is a post-1965 4-door convertible in triple black. I would also happily settle for the 4-door pillared hard-top. The car was given a facelift in 1965 including a squared-off grill that I consider more handsome,  and some detail changes to the lights. The car was also given front disc brakes, handy for stopping considering it weighs nearly 2,600 kilograms! The enormous convertible roof was operated entirely by hydraulics that required two hydraulic pumps, one to operate the roof and one to operate the trunk lid.

Lincoln Continentals of this era have been used in quite a few movie and tv shows which is one of the reasons for their popularity. They were used in The Matrix, The Last Action Hero, Pushing Daisies, and the opening sequence of Entourage. Certainly it has traded on its coolness and I guess that is the reason I want one…

Prices: In Germany from around 19,900€. In the US from around $25,900.

Mercedes Benz 280SE Coupé 1967 – 1972

I have had an enduring love affair with classic Mercedes, not that I have ever had the pleasure of actually owning one. It’s odd that classic BMWs do not really interest me but modern BMWs do whilst with Mercedes it’s the opposite. Virtually none of their current product line interests me but there are many classic models I would love to own. Top of that list though is the W111 coupé, first produced in 1961 as the 220SE (2.2l I6 engine), then from 1965 as the 250SE (2.5l I6 engine), then from 1967 as the 280SE (2.8l I6 engine), and finally from 1970-1972 as the 280SE 3.5 (3.5l V8 engine). There is apparently also a 300SE coupé (3.0l I6 engine) but I can’t find any reference material on it. Feel free to enlighten me via the comments.

I’m not particularly fussed which engine I have. The 3.5l V8 is of course the most powerful but they are also the most expensive and most of them came with alloy wheels which I don’t want. The body-coloured hubcaps of the W111 models are one of their most striking features so I will be sure to get them. Preferred colour in this case is a little more difficult because the 280SE came in some fantastic hues. There were a number of blues, greens and reds that look beautiful on the car so I am prepared to be flexible! My favourite features include the absence of a B pillar which made the interior very bright and airy, the swooping curve of the C pillar, the aforementioned coloured hubcaps, and the chrome detailing. The ultimate fantasy also includes the burr walnut instrument cowl that was offered on the very top trimmed vehicle, however I could compromise on that particular detail…

Prices: In Germany from around 19,900€. In the US from around $37,500.

Citroën DS19 1965 – 1967

Well, what can I say? I’m sure many of you will have also read the Citroën DS restoration diatribe on this blog. Yes, I’ve already bought a Citroën DS, my first classic car, and it hasn’t gone particularly well. Anyway, safe to say it hasn’t put me off entirely and I will not dwell on the problems here.

The Citroën DS was introduced at the Paris motorshow in 1955 and the public reaction was enormous. It looked like nothing else on earth and in fact, one motoring journalist wrote that it looked like it had fallen from the sky. 12,000 orders were made at the motorshow on the very first day and Citroën would go on to sell 1.5 million D-Series (DS and ID) models over the next 20 years. The DS was easily the most innovative and technologically advanced vehicle in the world when it was launched in 1955 and wasn’t really surpassed technically for a decade or more. The DS had a futuristic aerodynamic shape and rode on hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension which allowed the car to be raised and lowered. It was the first car in the world with disc brakes, the first with a semi-automatic hydraulically controlled gearbox, and the first (from 1967) to be fitted with directional headlights that were also self-levelling.

Rare Chapron coupé

There were many changes to the DS over it’s 20 years in production. The originals until 1967 had separate free-standing headlights whilst the post-67 models changed to a twin headlight design behind glass cowls. From 1966 the hydraulic fluid is changed from the red LHS fluid to the green LHM fluid for reduced corrosiveness. There were also three different dashboards over the years. The first was a very simple straight lined affair. This was updated to a more curvaceous and attractive affair (the second dash) in 1961, which was followed from 1969 by the third and final dash, a very 70’s-style black plastic look.

One of the innovative features of the DS was the fact that all body panels could be removed with a few bolts and didn’t form part of the structure of the car. It was possible in fact to drive the car with all of the body panels removed. In order to change the rear tyres it was actually necessary to remove the rear quarter panel, a feat that can be achieved by undoing only 1 bolt. Making use of the hydraulic suspension and metal stand the DS would actually lift it’s own wheel off the ground to be changed meaning there was no need to jack the car up.

There were 3 very specific features that I wanted in my “perfect” DS and I was able to achieve 2 of them. Ideally I wanted a 1967 DS21 Pallas. The 1967 model has the old nose, the second dashboard and the new more reliable ‘green’ LHM hydraulic system. Unfortunately these cars are very highly sought after and I was unable to find one. So I ended up with a 1965 DS19 with the old nose, the second dashboard and the ‘red’ LHS hydraulic system. The car is painted blanc carrare and has a red fabric interior. It was built in Paris and first registered in France.

Prices: In the Netherlands from around 8,000€. In the US from around $15,995.

BMW M3 (E46) 2001 – 2006

Whilst not technically a classic yet there is absolutely no doubt that the E46 M3 will become one, one of the few modern cars where this can be said. So I’m including it in my list. The E46 had the highest specific horsepower output per litre of any naturally aspirated engine at the time with 343bhp from a 3.2litre inline 6. In fact the only other car to produce more than 100bhp/litre without the aid of a turbo or supercharger was the Honda S2000.

The E46 M3 does 0-100kph in less than 5 seconds in both manual and semi-automatic (SMG) form. SMG II, as installed on the E46, was a new version of the original SMG which had debuted on the E36 M3. It offered lightning fast gear changes and was thus slightly faster accelerating than the manual. However, particularly in the early models, they were prone to problems and eye-wateringly expensive to repair. I would prefer a manual on the basis that it is less demanding to maintain and offers a more involving drive.

I apologise for the cheesy music in this video but the drifting is amazing and demonstrative of the M3’s abilities.

The E46 M3 was particularly praised for its visceral and pure driving experience, a trait that many have commented is somewhat diluted in the larger, heavier, V8-powered E92 M3. The steering is extremely direct and the car has perfect 50:50 weight distribution like most BMW models helping to ensure that it was faster than much more powerful adversaries such as AMG Benzes whenever there was a corner or two involved. It also came standard with a limited slip differential (LSD).

Very early examples of the S54 engine in the E46 up to February 2002 had a very serious problem with the connecting rods bearings failing leading to complete engine failure. A recall was issued and the standard warranty was increased on all of these models so there shouldn’t be any problems now. Nonetheless I would try to find a slightly later model.

The ideal model is a 6 speed manual built between April 2003 and April 2005. There was a very minor facelift in 2003 which included new LED tail-lights and the option of brushed aluminium trim. And the colour I want, Laguna Seca blue, was dropped from 2005 so that renders the newer ones unacceptable. This was the launch colour for the E46 M3 and, despite it’s garishness, I love it. No-one will notice a black M3 but, in the brief moment before they are rendered blind, everyone notices LSB!

Like most BMWs there were a huge number of options available. However, in the spirit of pureness I would tend to keep these to a minimum. Electronics like satellite navigation date terribly so it is better not to have them in a car you intend to keep. I also wouldn’t want a sunroof although I could accept leather seats, mostly because it is very difficult to find one without them. The M3 came standard with 18″ wheels and 19″ wheels were offered as an option. I have to admit that the 19″ wheels look a lot better and suit the car so I would be very tempted. However, there is a significant penalty to be paid in ride comfort and indeed road-holding on imperfect surfaces. So I would need to try them both first…

In addition to the standard M3 there was also an M3 CSL (coupe sports lightweight) version offered in 2004. This is a more collectable model because of its rareness (only 1,400 were produced) and is thus much more expensive if you can find one. They are also not really driveable as an everyday car because of the racing style seats, lack of sound-deadening, and lack of airconditioning, radio etc. Very interesting if you see one though. They can easily be spotted as they had an unpainted carbon-fibre roof.

Prices: In Germany from around 20,000€. In Australia from around $70,000.

NB: Unfortunately due it not yet being an old-timer it is not possible to import these as left-hand drive to Australia.

To be continued…

Nürburgring! No longer a virgin…

Well yesterday was certainly a milestone in my life. My first, long-anticipated ride around the Nürburgring and it was in a Ferrari 355GTS no less. And it wasn’t exactly being driven cautiously… It was one of the most exhilarating rides I’ve ever had and that’s saying something…

The Nürburgring is a motorsport complex that consists of several tracks including a Grand Prix track (GP-Strecke) located in Nürburg, Germany. The most famous track is the Northern Loop (Nordschleife) which is open to the public most days and is a Mecca for petrol heads from all over the world. At 20.81 kms long it is one of the longest racetracks in the world and with 154 corners it is certainly the most complex and challenging. Most of the corners are blind as the track is on the side of a mountain and there are constant crests, dips and even a couple of potential jumps. It’s not called the “Green Hell” for nothing. It’s fantastic.

I’d been twice before as a spectator so I thought I knew what to expect. I’d also spent a fair bit of time on racetracks back in New Zealand so I was feeling quietly confident. I was in for a wake-up call. This track is not at all like the short, flat, sparsely populated tracks I’d driven on in my Subaru. This is an extremely fast, intense track with chicanes, dips, crests, uphill, downhill, blind corners and it is too long to commit to memory without many, many laps experience. Combine this with constant pressure from Porsche 911’s and BMW M3’s coming up behind me at high speed, not to mention the Ring Taxi, and there was a distinct possibility that I would be reduced to a dribbling wreck.

Ferrari 355 GTS

I drove from Belgium to Nürburg in convoy with a few other people in a Porsche 911, a BMW 3er Touring, and the Ferrari 355. Through Germany this was extremely highspeed at around 220kph so I was well warmed up by the time we arrived. My friend has much experience of the ‘Ring so he took me out first in the Ferrari to experience the track and see what I was getting myself into. This was a very fast lap (I don’t believe we were passed by anything) and initially I was mildly terrified. However, I was able to relax after the first couple of kilometres when it became apparent that my chauffeur knew what he was doing. I’m always happy in the hands of a competent driver. The most amazing aspect of this lap was the grip that Ferrari had through the corners. Barely a wriggle or tyre squeal as we barrelled round the bends. Put that down to very large tyres, low centre of gravity and a wide track. Oh, and the fact that it’s a Ferrari!

Once that lap was completed (in less than 10 minutes) we took a little time to wander around and check out the merchandise in the carpark. Gorgeous sunny day and much eye-candy as you can see from the photos. Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches of every flavour, BMW M3’s, Corvettes, and, the highlight of my day, a Mercedes SLS AMG Gullwing! This Swedish-owned masterpiece in red was being driven round the track along with everything else.

My BMW 123d coupé

Ford Focus RS and Mercedes SLS AMG

Chevrolet Corvette

Ferrari 599

Porsche 911 GT3 RS in Gulf livery

Then came time for me to do a lap in my BMW. It is a 123d coupe and was probably just about the cheapest car in the parking lot. Nonetheless it is still too expensive for me to crash so this was going to be a cautious lap. That and I’d optimistically bought myself 4 laps so I wanted to get my money’s worth. Following a seating position check we set off with my friend in the passenger seat to give me instruction – very useful! I very quickly realised that I wasn’t going to be anything approximating fast as I was quickly passed by a procession of much more exotic machinery but that was ok. I just wanted to survive the first lap with the shiny side up. I’ll freely admit I was pretty terrible initially. Braking in corners rather than on the straight, changing gear mid-corner upsetting the weight balance, missing apexes, I did it all. Even managed to lose the back end about quarter of the way through the first lap although it was masterfully caught and corrected (not by me – clever BMW electronics…). However, with gentle but insistent prodding by my co-pilot I started to take the instructions onboard and remember them.

We continued straight through for a second lap which turned out to be a little messy. The track was quite busy and I was feeling a little flustered. But there was promise showing and the occasional well-executed racing line amongst all the dodgy gear changes and muffed braking points. So I exited the track after the second lap for a break and to take stock. The BMW had done well given that it was entirely road-spec and I hadn’t done anything to prepare it for its track debut. The brake pedal went a little soft but the brakes never faded and it was still braking strongly even after two continuous laps. Bear in mind that’s 42 kilometres! The steering in the 1er is electric so there was no hint of the problem which used to plague my old Subaru, namely the power-steering fluid over-heating. The only component that really let it down was the tyres. They over-heated and I could really feel the grip going out of them. This was my fault for not pumping up the pressure – didn’t think of it – next time.

KTM X-Bow

We then had some lunch – tasty burger – after some of the guys had been for hot laps in a KTM X-Bow! One of them was an F16 fighter pilot and even he came back ashen-faced from the sheer brutality of that machine under braking and cornering. I actually didn’t want a ride – figured the Ferrari was enough pant-wetting exhilaration for one day. While we were lunching the track was unfortunately closed due to a serious Porsche v Armco incident. The Porsche left on a truck and the driver left in an ambulance – hope he’s ok. Happily for me though, I was one of the first through the gate when the track reopened which meant I had a relatively clear, traffic-free lap. This enabled me to focus more on what I should be doing without worrying so much about all the shiny objects in my rear-view mirror. I’m happy to report that my 3rd lap was much tidier than the previous 2 and I was able to concentrate on braking before the corners, turning in and holding consistent lines without upsetting the car’s balance. This lap probably wasn’t that fast either as this time I didn’t have a navigator to tell me what was coming up over the blind crests.

I continued straight through for a 4th and final lap and I believe this was probably my best because now I was starting to remember the track so I could anticipate what was coming up and not brake unnecessarily. There was more traffic than the previous lap but this actually gave me the opportunity to pass a few people, albeit very slow people. (Who takes an X5 SUV on a racetrack anyway!?) There are some lovely chicanes at one point on the track where you can just shoot straight through the middle with the car dancing lightly first left and then right. I enjoyed that bit. And there’s the dipper with a big hump on the way down over which one would get serious air if one wasn’t prepared. That would not be recommended as directly after the jump is a rather serious right hander. Hard to brake or turn corners when your wheels aren’t touching the ground!

I could feel as this lap came to an end that my front tyres had seriously had enough. Grip was reducing and there was beading on the left tyre causing some vibration. Good time to end then. The BMW did well and, despite enormous room for improvement, I don’t think I did too badly either. The BMW is built for the task (M-Sport package and all) and I’m not! Just don’t go to the Nürburgring thinking it will be fun to casually drive round it. It’s a serious racetrack filled with serious drivers piloting serious machines and it doesn’t suffer fools.

Following my 4th lap I exited, rendezvoused with the Ferrari and we set off back to Belgium. Needed a small fuel stop on the way before another high speed run up towards Aachen. Two and a half hours later I was safely home in Antwerp with slightly less brake pads, a lot less tyres, and quite a bit more sunburn. And as for fuel consumption, the BMW 123d endured 5 hours of high speed autobahn, 84 kilometres of Nürburgring thrashing, and still achieved 7.6litres/100 kilometres. Nice.

Home safe

Classic Mercedes… be still my heart…

1957 300SL Roadster

Repost from Jalopnik. God I love classic Mercedes. Just the right amount of bling and gorgeous paint colours.

See article here: http://jalopnik.com/5541095/