Mercedes SL 550 silver arrow

2009 Mercedes Silver Arrow SL550 Special Edition – Only 550 Made – Lightly Used and For Sale at Sears Imports!

Mercedes SL 550 silver arrow

Update! – Dateline: November 20, 2015. Three years on, I received a question about the market potential and values of these 2009 Silver Arrow Edition SLs.

Arguably, no SLs from this very modern era are ‘collectible’ at this point. They are still depreciating, at the usual, alarming rate. BUT… if any R230 series SL is going to be a collectible, or eventually increase in value, the special edition cars will be the ones to lead the pack. We’re already seeing this with R129 series SLs. Now that they’re almost 20 years old, price premiums are being put on the 1997 Anniversary edition SL 320 and SL 500 models (see an article I wrote for the SL Market Letter about an SL 320 40th Anniversary edition that sold at Barrett Jackson in 2013 here). A slight premium is also being paid for the best 2002 SL 500 and SL 600 Silver Arrow Edition cars. Only the most original, low mile cars are being sought by collectors interested in putting them away, driving them very little, hoping that they may end up with a car that’s worth more than they paid, eventually.

It cannot be overstated: the lowest mile, original paint, unmolested, excellent service history cars with as few owners as possible are likely to lead the ‘collectible’ pack in the future. Realistically… the R230 series SLs, the 2009 Silver Arrow Editions, will probably continue to depreciate for the next 15 years. If, at that time, you still have a nice one, that you’ve driven very little, it may begin to climb up in value, but chances are it will be many years, if ever, before a future value eclipses its original MSRP of $112,000+. My suggestion, buy one, drive it on nice days and enjoy it. Your grandchildren might end up with a car that’s worth something, but these cars may never, truly, compare to earlier SLs of the 50s, 60s and 70s in terms of outright collectibility.

Here is my original post about this particular SL 550 Silver Arrow, back when I worked at Sears Imports Mercedes-Benz from the Summer of 2012. >

Sears Imports Mercedes Benz just acquired this perfect 2009 Mercedes Benz SL550 Silver Arrow from its only owner. In 2009 the 5th generation R230 Mercedes-Benz SL got a facelift, it’s first since the 5th generation SL was introduced in 2003. In 2009 we saw significant visual changes to the outside of the car. Most prominent were new headlights, much more chiseled and angular that the previous cars. A new front end treatment was included as well as a completely new hood with aggressive looking raised ‘arrows’.

It was also in 2009 when they decided to commemorate the classic racing victories of the Mercedes-Benz racing cars of the 1930s, known as the ‘silver arrows’ due to their silver color. In fact, Mercedes-Benz engineers left the factory racing cars unpainted, to save precious weight. As result, the aluminum body work of the cars shone bright silver giving rise to the name, ‘Silver Arrows’.

2009 Mercedes Silver Arrow SL550

Just 26,389 original, one owner miles on this car!

This car is one of just 550 Limited ‘Silver Arrow Edition’ SL550s produced in 2009. As you can see on the original option list below, the ‘Silver Arrow Package’ was an almost $14,000 option package that was one these 550 cars. All the usual options were included, all of them were painted the same shade of ‘Silver Arrow’ with Red Premium Leather interior along with special ‘Silver Arrow’ badging.
2009-Mercedes-Silver-Arrow values

This particular car is a one owner vehicle from Iowa. It was driven seasonally and has never seen a Winter. It has just 26,389 original miles, it has a clean, no stories Carfax. This is being sold as a Certified Pre Owned car, so you get the balance of the factory, new car warranty. Once that warranty expires, the Certified Pre Owned Warranty begins which is one more year, or up to 100,000 miles. An additional two years of Certified Pre Owned Warranty is available from Mercedes-Benz when you buy the car.

2009 Mercedes SL550 Silver arrow differences

The new front end of the 2009 Mercedes SL550, new lights, grille and front air dam… great looking new AMG sport wheel option too!

Essentially a perfect car, this is Sears Imports Stock# 20431 and is seriously for sale today for $67,900. There are more photos below.. of this particular car and some of the Mercedes-Benz racing Silver Arrows of the 1930s. If you’re going to own a Silver Arrow Edition SL, you better know the rich history behind the name.

Mercedes SL550 silver arrow

The Red Premium Leather, a classic Mercedes-Benz interior color.

Mercedes SL550 Airscarf

Another shot of the interior, notice the AIRSCARF vents in the back of the head rests.

2009 Mercedes SL550 silver arrow badge

Here is the interior badge showing that this is 1 of 550 2009 SL550 Silver Arrow Edition cars built. This isn’t car #1, it is just one of the 550 made… they weren’t numbered 1 of 550, 2 of 550, etc. All of them have this same badge. I’ve had two different owners tell me they have car number one… and I hate to break the bad news to them, that ‘everyone has car #1′ and then I explain the badging to them.


Mercedes-Benz first racing outing of the 1937 season was at the Grand Prix in Tripoli, Libya.


Cutting edge for 1937… just a couple of years later everything would end for the factory backed Mercedes-Benz racing teams with Hitler’s invasion of Poland. It would be many years before Mercedes-Benz was back on the race track.


Awesome Classified: Rolling Fortess of Sheet Metal – 1960 Chevrolet Apache C10 Seller claims women will be asking ‘Just how pregnant do I want to get?’ when you pull up in this baby!

1960 Chevy Apache For SaleEvery once in a while I come across a classified ad that is so well written, that makes such a compelling case, convinces me so fully that I need it that I consider begging, borrowing and stealing whatever I must in order to put the vehicle in my garage. This 1960 Chevrolet Apache C10 Longbed Stepside Pickup  ad I found on Craigslist here in Minneapolis is just such an ad.

Are you bullied on a regular basis? Do you have feelings of general inadequacy? From what the seller says, this pick up truck might just be what you need to turn things around. I must admit, I felt considerably tougher and my skin appeared more weathered just minutes after reading this ad.

1960 Chevy Apache For Sale - 2

If things go badly, this could be the last thing you ever see speeding towards you.

Who woudn’t want to say ‘Yeah, I just picked up a 1960 Chevrolet Apache C10 Longbed Stepside Pickup, you wanna go for a ride?’?

1960 Chevy Apache For Sale - 5

All V8, all the time… yeah, boy!

I wouldn’t normally expect the owner of a pickup like this to be such a proficient writer. He seems to entertain while he informs… crazy thing is… I don’t think he was joking when he wrote this. I think he’s serious, dead serious. What’s a little scary to me, is that I recognize the drive in restaurant where the seller took the photos included with the ad… it’s less than a mile from my house. I don’t think I want this guy that close to my house!
1960 Chevy Apache For Sale - 1The seller bought this car as an original ‘barn find’ in Nebraska, equipped with a camper on the back of it, and hauled it back to the Twin Cities for recommissioning. It looks to be original, as described, and comes with a treasure trove of original books, manuals and other paperwork. $20,000 seems a a little steep for me… but I think I’d rather just pay the man instead of trying to haggle with him too much.

Here is a link to the actual ad.  (and one that link is no longer active… see below)

From Minneapolis Craigslist – November 9, 2015:
Now here’s a real truck…none of that pussy shit you see nowadays. Plastic was a luxury in 1960 so everything’s made from things long forgotten today….steel, sweat, chewing tobacco, gun powder and dead dinosaurs.

That’s right this Nebraska barn find is as complete and unmolested as kid who had something better to do the night Michael Jackson asked him to sleep over.

I know what you’re wondering: how safe is it? There are only two things that will keep you safe in this, those expired condoms in your wallet and the safety switch on the gun in the rear window rack because seat belts weren’t even an option when this baby came out and she’s certainly not getting them installed so don’t even ask if your flesh trophies can have a ride unless you accept that they can easily be thrown from this majesty of metal if they touch the wrong handle on the door (or they talk).
No tree hugging hippie shit here because to move this beast you need both feet on the floor and both hands on the wheel pulling this vessel of men in the direction you need to go. Hell, pirates would rather steer a wooden ship through the Bearing Strait than to mess with this thing in traffic.

Air conditioning? There is absolutely a dial that says “AIR” but literally interpreted means that you are offered the same options as Jesus and John Wayne, that’s right just flip that switch and you will be handed some outside air that’s passed over 283 cubic inches of piss and vinegar and, when first opening said vent, a healthy dose of trail dust reminiscent of an Arizona dust storm because the makers of this fine piece of machinery were men who rode the trails and not each other and thought hot dust was just another one of the food groups.

This rolling fortress of sheet metal has an AM radio and the only power-anything is the power coming from under the hood. That’s right, there will be no Justin Bieber being played in this sanctuary of steel, and if you own white Oakley’s, affliction t-shirts, or those cheesy stitched-pocket jeans you should probably not get in this man wagon because you will be ridiculed relentlessly and probably left on the side of some dirt road in the country where a local farmer might find you and make you squeal like a pig.

However, if you laugh at danger, and tempt fate, consider the Prius an abominable affront to the Gods of displacement, torque, and All Mighty Internal Combustion or uttered the words, “Hold my beer and watch this . . .” then step aboard but most likely there will be no room as your mom, girlfriend and sister will have beat you to it.

No sir, when this baby pulls up in the driveway the only questions one has to ask are, “just how pregnant do I want to get?” and/or “do I have enough money for bail?”.


Originally purchased to hot rod and slam but after inspecting thoroughly I decided against tarnishing this pristine-condition specimen.

Purchased from the second owner, this truck sat in a barn in Nebraska for the past 30 years and appears to have been frozen in time. Prior to my purchase in September it was last titled in 1984. I literally loaded it on the trailer and using an external fuel source it started and ran perfectly.

I have performed only the following:
– Removed camper (which comes with the truck)
– Washed and buffed the exterior
– Changed oil and filter
– New fuel tank, fuel pump and fuel sending unit
– Rebuilt carburetor
– New brake master cylinder
– New bias ply tires
– Flushed all fluids
– Replaced rear brake hose due to cracking
– Installed dual glass pack straight back exhaust (orig. exhaust included)

Since getting running I have put close to 2,000 miles on and it drives like a dream and everything works right down to the cigarette lighter!

I don’t think you will find a more perfect candidate for an all original restoration. This truck is 99% intact missing only the original rear bumper and mounts. Every item on this 45K mile truck was retained intact right down to the original owner’s manual and booklets in the mint glove box. The seats were covered in 1960 with a cover and when checking out the original vinyl underneath there are no cracks or damage to the original seat so the cover kept everything in pristine condition. The floors were covered in outdoor carpeting so the floors are 100% clean and the original floors underneath immaculate. I’ve inspected the entire truck for rust and found only a couple spots of surface rust and minor spotting as you can see in the pictures. The truck was painted to match the camper (which comes with the truck if you like) so the paint is not original but apparently was done in the 60’s

Trades, bartering, etc will be taken into consideration. I do not need the money and really, really love driving this truck and am not motivated to sell except for I want to hot rod an Apache and do not want to wreck this one. If you think you’re going to offer me $10,000 think again.


Porsche 944 for sale funny craigslist ads

Awesome Classified: 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo Will, Apparently, Change Your Life

Porsche 944 Turbo for sale

If this car can do half the things the seller claims.. count me in! Race prepared 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo, 97,000 miles, $11,000. Hilarious CL ad below, this seller pulled out all the stops!

I see all kinds of classified ads for cars during my regular scouring of the web for the next fun car… this hilarious ad from Craigslist Minneapolis made me want to create a new blog category where I can post other such ridiculous ads. You’ve gotta hand it to the guy who put this one together… it’s all I can do not to run right out and buy this one… the part about the Argentinian intern is the best!

I’m not sure that a ‘Carrera’ (911) constitutes a ‘classless car’ but this guy thinks pretty highly of his 944… and himself, self described as ‘185 pounds of toned muscle’…

Here is a link to the ad itself. It’s also pasted below, verbatim, from the CL listing.. so when the ad is eventually taken down or the car is sold, we can still read it and laugh.

From Minneapolis Craigslist – July 29, 2015:

This is for the truly discerning man who understands that the right mix of class and power is to have an abundance of both. This pearl white chariot will take you to concerts, ball fields, and the apartment of that new intern from Argentina. Don’t get a classless Boxster or Carrera – get a real car meticulously assembled by the best mechanics in the world at the Zuffenhausen factory in 1986. Fewer than 11,000 of these cars were ever produced – she’s rarer than your Rolex. This car has been fully upgraded for track racing. Professionally balanced so that when she is 1/2 full of high octane and has 185 pounds of toned muscle in the driver’s seat the weight distribution is exactly 25% on each wheel. Her four 12″ Brembo discs stay cool with custom ventilation piping that 170 MPH breeze over their slotted surface. So, your buddy in the passenger seat just told you he’s decided to become a vegetarian – tap these suckers and break his stupid noise [nose] on the dashboard – cause hey, you’re doing the guy a favor.
And if during one of the many getaway chases you’ll be leading something goes terribly awry and you accidently go off that overpass, at least you’ll be in one piece when you’re incarcerated – ’cause this baby is outfitted with a rollcage, Sparco Evo racing seat, and 5-point Simpson harness. Hear that lion roaring under the hood? That is 2.6 liters of double camshafted, turbocharged adrenaline. The whole thing has been gone through by Auto Edge Racing. We are talking over $7,000 in racing upgrades.
Porsche 944 for sale funny craigslist ads

She is the real deal with a 5 speed rear mounted transmission handling all that power through a high performance puck clutch with less than 10,000 miles on the clutch. Don’t show up expecting to test drive this beauty unless you know how to drive a manual & have cash in hand.

So, you’re ready to have this white stallion in your stable? Then you better be willing to fork over $11,000 american. Or if you have a blue water sailboat in the caribbean I’d be willing to swap.

Shoot me an email and we can set up a meeting.
Porsche 944 for sale funny craigslist ads

Porsche 944 for sale funny craigslist ads

Porsche 944 for sale funny craigslist ads


2015 Walleye 1000 Vintage Rally – Recap and Photos

This year marked the 4th Annual Walleye 1000 Vintage Rally. More of a driving tour than a true rally, as there is no time, speed or distance to keep track of per se, unless your keeping track of the next meal time. You don’t need a fancy car to participate, you just need a good attitude and a car that’s at least 20 years old. Heck, on the 1st Walleye 1000 I drove an old Mercedes I bought for 3,000 bucks!

This year we had 60 people, 2 dogs, 31 cool old cars (20 years old and older), 2 days and 400+ miles over back roads along the Mississippi River in Wisconsin and Minnesota. We started in Prescott, WI and took a circuitous route covering about 200 miles over some pretty incredible back roads en route to a hotel in La Crosse, WI. all 60 participants had dinner at Piggy’s Restaurant in downtown La Crosse.

Sunday morning it was up for another day of driving, there were storms overnight Saturday, but we didn’t get rained on at all during the driving part of the event. Sunday was gorgeous and the event culminated in the finisher’s dinner at Axel’s Restaurant in Mendota.

The 2016 Walleye 1000 will be June 11 – 12, 2016. If you’re looking for a lot of laid back fun with a group of people as eclectic as the cars they drive, check out the Walleye 1000 website to learn more.  It’s about  as much fun as you can have on 4 wheels.

Some photos below and almost 200 photos on a flickr page here.
Walleye 1000 Vintage Rally Porsche 356
























Videos from the 2015 Intermarque Spring Kick Off Car Show in Osseo, MN

The Intermarque Car Show, held for the past few years in Osseo, MN… and a show that’s been going on for more than 20 years at some venue around the Twin Cities, is, HANDS DOWN, one of my favorites of the year. This year the big day was Saturday, May 16th.

I tried something new this year… in an effort to share some of the fun cars that show up to the event with friends around the country, and the world, that probably won’t ever make it to the show, I brought a friend a long with a video camera. We talked to some folks who were happy to share the stories of their cars. These are just some of the videos, uploaded to the DaveKnowsCars YouTube Channel, we shot that day, some are still being edited, so check the YouTube channel again soon for more. (scroll below the graphic for more).

The great thing about this show is that it’s so laid back and the collection of cars is about as eclectic as yo can imagine. This year there were two Volvo 544s parked next to each other, a Citroen Mehari, a Suffolk Jaguar SS100, more MGs than you could shake a stick at (including a couple of pre-War models). All the clubs come out and park together and mingle… it’s what the collector car hobby is all about. You bring what you’ve got and nobody cares whether your car costs a million dollars or fifteen hundred dollars.

Intermarque is a multi-marque organization that incorporates all the different vintage, foreign car clubs in the area in an effort to consolidate event information and car activites… so everyone knows what’s happening inside our little collector car world. Brian Cornell and Andy Lindberg spend a lot of time each month putting together a great online newsletter ‘The Intermarque Monthly” available for free download at

A big thank you needs to go out to Brian Cornell, John Engstrom and all the Intermarque Volunteers that made this show happen, it’s truly a gem of a show and we’re lucky to have such a rabid group of enthusiasts that make it happen, year after year.

Volvo-P1800-for sale

Collector Car Buzz: Volvo P1800, The Next Big Thing?

When I saw the Gooding and Company auction catalog for their upcoming Scottsdale, AZ sale one car caught my eye. A 1967 Volvo P1800S in red. The auction catalogs says it has original paint, one long time owner, exceedingly low miles – just over 10,000, nice patina on the original leather seats, a real survivor, fully serviced, ready to drive and enjoy. Auction estimate: $50,000 – $70,000. (See their complete auction catalog description by cliking this link)

What causes a car that’s been largely ‘off the radar’ for many enthusiasts in the collector car hobby for years to start attracting attention?

1) It seems to start with a few high profile auction results that bring higher than ‘normal’ sale prices. There was the 1971 Volvo P1800 in white at Rick Cole’s 2014 auction in Monterey that sold for $81,400. Bonhams Auctions sold a 1974 P1800ES Wagon for $92,400 (wagons are rarer than the coupes and usually bring more money, but still… a big number for any Volvo).

2) Collector car pundits start writing about them, how they won’t be ‘affordable’ for very much longer. They start talking about what they might cost in the not too distant future and what seemed like crazy high auction prices just a little while ago will be the new norm (see Wayne Carini’s thoughts about the P1800 below). ‘If you want a good one, you better get one while you still can’. They they show up in magazine columns and on websites… These guys might even buy one for their own collection (see Keith Martin’s column below).


Wayne Carini chimes in on collector cars to ‘Buy, Hold and Sell’ in 2015′ – from Forbes Life – December 2014 (click to view full size)

It’s not all that common to see such a mainstream publication such as ‘Forbes Life’ report on cars, I suppose they’re trying to cover all the things their readers might ‘collect’ as there was a wine, art and watch expert that contributed to the one page feature on collectibles.

Sports Car Market Magazine (my favorite of all the collector car publications) publisher, Keith Martin, devoted his ‘Shifting Gears’ column in the December 2014 issue of Sports Car Market to share with readers how he just purchased a 1964 Volvo P1800 for his personal collection. Sports Car Market is the car magazine for real car guys, Keith went into detail about the particular car he purchased and how he came to own it. He also referenced some of the finer details of the car and the robust vintage Volvo subculture in the collector car world. Click the photo below to see the whole article, full size. And if, somehow, you’re reading this and you aren’t an SCM subscriber, follow this link to their website and get a subscription, whatever it costs these days, just get it. I’ve been a subscriber for, jeez, 15 years now. It’s a must read, every month.


Click above to see the whole article, then click the little icon in upper right corner to enlarge to full size.

The collector car spotlight continues to shine down on the Volvo P1800 – It was the subject of their featured story in this week’s “Hagerty Classic Cars – Weekly News” email blast. Hagerty is one of the nation’s foremost insurers of collector cars and boats. They put together a video ride along featuring the Volvo P1800 owned by Angus Forsyth, Managing Director of Hagerty International. Angus bought his car in 1982, when he was just 18 years old. Click on the video below to see his 1964 P1800S in action, and thoughts about the car from its long time owner.

Hagerty also maintains a very informative collector car pricing tool that’s available free on their website. I insure my 1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL with Hagerty. Their ‘agreed value’ rates for collector cars are reasonable and everyone I’ve ever talked to who’s had to make a claim has had good things to say about their service.

While the Volvo P1800 might be a car that’s just coming out of the shadows for some people, Irv Gordon of Long Island, NY has been a fan for a long time. Irv currently holds the Guinness Book of World’s Records’ “title for the most miles logged on an originally owned car” with over 3 Million miles on his red 1966 Volvo P1800S. That just about covers the question of reliability and longevity for the P1800.


Irv Gordon with his 1966 Volvo P1800S with over 3 Million miles!

The P1800 was designed by Pelle Petterson, a Swede and son of Volvo PV544 stylist Helmer Petterson while he was an employee at the Italian design firm Frua, a Ghia subsidiary at the time. It was produced from 1961 – 1973 in several iterations. For the first few years Volvo contracted with the Jensen company in England to build the bodies of the cars, but for the 1964 model year Volvo moved production to Sweden citing quality control problems at Jensen. A couple of different engines were used over the years, the 4 speed manual transmission was offered with overdrive by the mid 60s. By the early 70s the interior of the P1800 was redesigned and fuel injection replaced the twin SU carburetors that had been standard to that point.

Opinions differ as to which P1800 is ‘most desirable’, it really comes down to why you want a P1800 and what you’re going to do with it. Purists seem to prefer the earliest Jensen bodied cars with their two piece ‘bull horn’ or ‘cow horn’ front bumpers used through 1963 as opposed to the straight bumpers used on later models. The cars of the early 70s with their fuel injection are preferred by others for the more modern fuel delivery system. The interiors of these cars through 1967 are wonderful. Keith Martin calls them ‘art deco’ like in his December 2014 ‘Shifting Gears’ column (above). Chrome bezels around the gauges, teal green background on the instruments, classic steering wheel, they’re just gorgeous. In 1968 the more classic metal / plastic rimmed steering wheel was replaced with a completely molded plastic / rubber piece, losing some of the vintage charm of the earlier models. 1970 brought the introduction of the fuel injected models and a completely new interior. Fake plastic wood covered the dash, the instruments were redesigned and the P1800 came into the 70s, leaving all the true vintage charm of the 60s interior behind.

There is a great Volvo P1800 Photo site that shows cars, inside and out, from each year of production and explains the progression and changes of the P1800 from the beginning through the end of the production run. Check it out by clicking this link.

So what might all this buzz mean for the 1967 model with just over 10,000 original miles that Gooding and Company is offering at their Scottsdale sale on January 16th and 17th? It’s hard to say, but it wouldn’t surprise me that with all this buzz around these unique and robust cars from Sweden if it didn’t just get bid right past the fairly conservative high estimate of $70,000 and actually sell closer to $100,000. Original, ‘preservation class’ cars like the one Gooding is offering are the kinds of cars discerning collectors prefer today, and as we all know, ‘they’re only original once’.  If this car does break Gooding’s high estimate, Wayne Carini will look like a fortune teller worth paying and that light metallic green Ferrari Mondial Cab Keith Martin bought a while back will fade away even further in the rear view mirror of his P1800.

Schramm-Barn Find Catalina Mini moke collection

Hoard of 35+ Cars Including Ex-Catalina Island Rental Fleet Mini Mokes Finally Sees Light of Day – Most For Sale

“Hey Dave, I want to consolidate the cars I have stored in a couple of barns and sell this stuff off, can you help?” It’s the kind of call I always look forward to receiving. This time it came from a car guy buddy I’ve known for a few years, a long time SCCA member, ex-ice racer, ex-everything racer and all around good old hopeless car guy. I had heard about his ‘collection’ (or hoard) a handful of times, but had never seen it.

When he called me back in April he explained that the farmer he had been renting one of the barns from for more than 15 years sold the property and he had to have the cars out by August 1, so, he wanted to sell a bunch of these cars off “I’ve just realized I’m not going to get to all of them” he explained over the phone… a realization some car guys never actually even come to.

He has about 35 cars / vehicles, that were spread over three different barns at two different locations separated by about 25 miles in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area of Minnesota. In April of this year I went out with him, to both locations, to take these photos, and to help him take some kind of inventory of all the ‘stuff’. I told him I would take photos, but that I didn’t want to post them anywhere until he was ‘ready’ to field the calls I figured would probably come rolling in.

Have a look a 100+ photos on the Dave Knows Cars Flickr page.

Click here for a a PDF of the Excel spreadsheet of the inventory of all the cars and basic descriptions.

Click here for an a 4 page PDF ‘map’ of each barn and location of each car, so you can figure out what’s in all of the photos (#s on map correspond to #s on inventory sheet)

I have no vested interest in the sale of any of these cars,  (although I hope to buy one of the ex-‘Catalina Auto Rental’ Mini Mokes before they’re all gone) If you’re interested in something you see in the photos call the owner TOM SCHRAMM in Minneapolis, MN
He told me to post his mobile phone number here… 612-578- six six tw0 tw0. (more photos and additional description of my trip out to see all this stuff below).

He recently moved all of the cars to one location, about 1/2 hour West of Minneapolis, they’re now housed in two buildings on one property.

All of these cars are somewhere on the ‘project continuum’  (obviously) and we all know that it can be pretty labor intensive to sell such an amalgamation of stuff. He says he’s ‘ready’ to sell them, and in fact, a few have already been sold (one of the MGBs, the Alfa GTV, one of the bugeye sprites) but many other interesting cars remain.

Highlights include: A Moretti 850 Tour de Monde Coupe, 10+ ex-Catalina Island rental fleet Mini Mokes, a couple of Mini Cooper Ss, two Morris Minor convertibles, a Datsun 2000 Spider, a bunch of other Minis, a couple of VW based Pumas (1 coupe, 1 convertible). It was simply an overwhelming day climbing through this stuff.
Austin Mini Moke Collection Barn Find
Mini Cooper and a couple of ex-Catalina Island Mini Mokes.

Barn Find Thames Frieghter
Thames Freighter van.


Barn Find Austin Mini Moke
Ex-Catalina Auto Rental cars, stacked like cord wood.

Barn Find Austin Mini Moke

Barn Find Austin Mini Moke
Red cars are Mini Cooper S models, one early car w/ sliding windows.

Barn Find Austin Mini Moke

Barn Find Austin Mini Moke

Barn Find Moretti 850 Coupe
Moretti 850 Tour du Monde Coupe.

Moretti 850 Coupe

Barn Find Austin Mini Moke
Minis everywhere, vans, woody wagons, race cars, all kinds.

VW Puma Convertible
White Datsun 2000, red Puma Convertible.

VW Puma Coupe
Purple Puma Coupe.

Barn Find Datsun 2000 Roadster

Barn Find MGB

Barn Find Triumph Herald
Triumph Herald w/ detachable hard top.

Mini Cooper Barn Find

1969 Austin 7 Mini
1959 Austin 7.

Morris Minor Convertible
Early Morris Minor Convertible.

Mini Ranger Kit Car
Mini Ranger kit car.

Vanden Plas Princess Mini Cooper pick up and Vanden Plas Princess.

Mini Cooper Race car
Mini Cooper race car.

Mini Cooper S Parts
Tons of Mini parts and pieces everywhere.



3 Car Road Trip to the HAWK Vintage Races at Elkhart Lake and Road America

On Friday, July 18th I met a friend of mine at about 5:15 in the morning on a highway exit to meet up and drive to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, the home of Road America, and this particular weekend, the HAWK Vintage Races with Brian Redman. See photos below, or more than 100+ photos in this album on my Flickr page.

Mercedes Alfa Romeo Porsche Road Trip

Gas stop somewhere in Wisconsin.

HAWK Vintage Races Road America

Mark passes me in the 356.

As I pulled into the parking lot we had decided to meet at, I saw my friend Kevin’s 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider (top down) coming down the off ramp to collect me in my 1966 Mercedes 230SL. He drove in, circled around me and with a wave of his string backed driver’s gloves, off we went with a simple yelling of ‘let’s go’ over the sounds of our revving engines.

HAWK Vintage Races Road America

Ex-John Paul Jr. Porsche 935 squeals away in downtown Elkhart Lake Friday night.

We wanted to beat any rush hour traffic that might come along on a Friday morning, it was still dark outside, I knew we’d miss all the poor slobs driving into work, it was so early. Our plan was to take Kevin’s regular route east out of the Twin Cities and then southeast into Wisconsin where we would pick up the last man in our classic car convoy and take back roads for about 7 hours to Elkhart Lake, arriving in time for the Friday night race car Concours d’Elegance on the streets of downtown Elkhart Lake. They actually drive the race cars the three or four miles from the track, on public roads, into Elkhart Lake where, basically, a big street party ensues until dusk when the cars (many without headlights) roar back to the track to the delight of the onlookers lining the streets.

HAWK Vintage Races Road America

Colin Comer in his Lister Knobbly.

About an hour into our drive we crossed over the Mississippi River into Wisconsin where we picked up the third participant in our convoy… my buddy Mark in his Champagne Yellow 1965 Porsche 356. We stopped at a gas station briefly where Mark passed out our newly acquired Cobra ‘Walkie Talkies’ so we could make ridiculous small talk while weaving our best ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ CB lingo into the conversation… they proved to be a lot of fun.

HAWK Vintage Races Road America

The 230 parked in the paddock (false grid in background).

I was scheduled to work, as usual, as an SCCA worker this weekend, on the false grid, lining cars up for the next practice session or actually gridding cars in their numbered grid positions based on qualifying times, I’ve been doing that with the SCCA for about 15 years now I guess.

HAWK Vintage Races Road America

Pretty 246 Dino in front of Siebkens Saturday night.

It was, as usual, an insanely cool weekend of great cars from all over the country, from pre war cars to ALMS cars that were racing competitively just a few years ago, and everything in between. And, of course, the cars parked at the track and in downtown Elkhart Lake (especially Saturday night for the Street Car Concours) were just as cool as what was on the track all weekend.

This event is like the Monterey Historics in the mid-west, many of the same cars, owners and drivers come to this event, it’s absolutely a blast and you should put it on your calendar and attend at least once in your life.

Kevin and I drove back Sunday, Mark came back Monday… none of us had a single mechanical problem, our (almost) 50 – 50+ year old cars performed flawlessly on the long drive to and from Elkhart Lake. On the back roads, in those old cars… a few times, I could have sworn it was the mid 60s. These cars really can be like time machines, not that I much new what the 60s felt like… while the other guys I was with sure remember them… I wouldn’t be born for another decade.

HAWK Vintage Races Road America

Driving home Sunday night as the sun sets in the West.


Porsche 356 corral.


Barn find Jag in the paddock.


Street car concours, downtown Saturday night.

HAWK Vintage Races Road America

Flat radiator Morgan pulls onto the grid.

HAWK Vintage Races Road America

Marv Primack in his ’47 Lester MG.

HAWK Vintage Races Road America

Downtown Friday night.

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“Keels and Wheels” in Alexandria, MN! Speed Reunion Vintage Car Show and Chain of Lakes Classic Boat Show

2014 marks the third year for the ‘Speed Reunion’ vintage and exotic car show being held in conjunction with the ‘Chain of Lakes Classic Boat Show’ at the Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria, MN.

See vintage and exotic cars and a huge classic boat display. Classic wood and fiberglass boats will be displayed on land as well as in the water.

The event will be held Saturday, July 12 from 9:00am – 2:00pm see the flyer below for all the necessary info or DOWNLOAD a pdf version of the flyer to share with your car club!

All classic and exotic cars are welcome, all nationalities, all makes and models. The ‘featured marque’ for the 2014 event is Mercedes-Benz, so expect a good turn out and a showing of classic as well as modern Mercedes-Benz cars.

Please scroll all the way down to see the official event announcement and to see the map of the Arrowwood Resort so you can see the approach and car show parking area.

This is a FREE event! It’s free to show your car and it’s free to attend, so come join us!

Scroll down for more info and for photos of last year’s event!

Actual physical address of the Arrowwood Resort for mapping directions:
Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center
2100 Arrowwood Lane NW
Alexandria, MN 56308

Approach map for show cars…

Event photos from the Speed Reunion 2013:
Speed Reunion Car Show Alexandria





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Differences Between Mercedes Benz C300 Sport and Luxury Models

The basic question “What are the fundamental differences between the Mercedes Benz C300 Sport and C300 Luxury models?” was posed to me once again today, this time, in an email from a potential customer. I’ve been thinking about documenting the real differences with photos and posting them to the Dave Knows Cars Blog for a long time, now I’ve finally done it with photos and text explanations of the differences, read on…

Since the introduction of the ‘new body style’ C class (W204 internal designation) this has been a common question, as there are essentially two versions of the C300, a Sport and Luxury model. The differences are largely cosmetic, the only real mechanical difference is the slightly different suspension on the Sport model, but for all practical purposes, they’re the same car.

What’s the same between the C300 Sport and C300 Luxury?
Some of the things that are the same include: the base prices, every interior and exterior dimension, every piece of sheet metal, leg room for all seats, trunk capacity, wheel size, gas tank capacity, the engines, horsepower and on and on.

What differences are there between the C300 Sport and C300 Luxury?
As mentioned above, most differences are cosmetic, they are clearly illustrated in the photos below.

The two cars illustrating the differences here are both Iridium Silver, 2011 model Mercedes-Benz C300 4matic models.

Front of the cars, most notably, the C300 grille, but also look at the lower front bumper of each car.

C300 Luxury: Traditional type Mercedes-Benz grille, upright star hood ornament, round fog lights integrated into lower air dam with slatted black lower grille.

C300 Sport: Aggressive sport grille with embedded star (a la DTM C class racing cars, SLS AMG, SL, CL, etc), flat hood badge, LED daytime running lamps integrated into more aggressive AMG body styling down low, black mesh venting in front airdam.

The grilles of these two cars are completely interchangeable. A conservative Luxury grille can be removed and a sport grille with the embedded three pointed star can be installed or vice versa. The upright hood ornament and flat Mercedes-Benz star and laurel badge are interchangeable as well. It is common for Luxury model buyers to switch out the grille for a sport grille, as many people like the Sport grille look. Many 2011 Luxury models actually come from the factory with the Sport grille installed and a flat hood badge, with the change noted on the window sticker.

C300 Sport: Pronounced AMG body styling along the rocker panels and under the doors running from behind the front fender to in front of the rear wheel well.

C300 Luxury: Softer, more conservative, less pronounced rocker panel / under door trim running the length of the car.

C300 Sport: 17″ 5 spoke sport wheel (new style for 2011).

C300 Luxury: 17″ 5 twin spoke wheel.Standard wheels on the C300 4matic Sport and Luxury are both 17″ and they are the same width all the way around… no staggered width, or wider in the back than in the front… they’re the same all the way around the vehicle.


C300 Sport: Clean, painted rear bumper, aggressive lower rear underside ground effects.

C300 Luxury: Chrome strip accent along rear bumper, more conservative underbody ground effects, less visible (the trunk lid spoiler is optional equipment, this Luxury model happens to have it).

The C300 Sport and Luxury are both equipped with true dual exhaust and chrome tipped dual exhaust pipes coming out the back of each car.  It’s fairly unusual to see a Luxury with the rear deck lid spoiler, I was surprised to see this one equipped with it from the factory.

C300 Sport: Headlamps are ‘blacked out’. The little piece of plastic trim between the actual surface of the light and the glass covering is black plastic on the Sport models.

C300 Luxury: Headlamps are surrounded with mirror-like silver trim.

Standard headlamps are high output halogen on C300 Sport and Luxury models. Bi-Xenon headlamps are available as part of the C class Lighting Package (new for MY 2011) from 2008 to 2010 Bi-Xenon headlamps were included in the Premium 2 Package (P2 Package) for C class models.

C300 Sport VS. C300 Luxury Prices
The base prices of the two cars here are the same. To get a Luxury model it costs $410. That essentially includes the upright hood star and Burl Walnut interior trim (Sport comes standard with Aluminum Trim). To get Sport styling is “No Charge” (see N/C on window sticker). The window stickers for each subject car here are posted below for your reference. They are equipped differently in terms of options, but you can see that the base prices are the same.

C300 Sport: Window sticker of Sport subject car, notice “N/C” for Sport Package. Most 2011 Sport models I see seem to be built with the Burl Walnut Wood option.

C300 Luxury: MSRP of our C300 Luxury subject car. $410 cost for wood trim and the hood star.

What about the interior?
The window sticker for the Luxury above mentions “Luxury Interior” what does that really mean? C300 Luxury models come with a 4 spoke steering wheel while the Sport comes with a three spoke sport steering wheel. There is a slightly different stitch pattern on the seats between the two cars, but unless you’re looking for it, you’ll never see or notice it. All C300s with Cashmere interior will have a 4 spoke wheel, as they do not make the tan / brown wheel for that interior in a three spoke version.

Mechanical Differences: Suspension
The only real mechanical difference between the Sport and Luxury model is the suspension. The Sport model has a slightly tighter suspension system, as a result it handles a little more aggressively with less body lean when pushed hard, it’s a little more firm over bumps in the road. The Sport model sits about 5mm lower than the luxury model in the front. Both of these cars are built for markets all over the world, so don’t think that 5mm is going to make it harder for the Sport model to go through deep snow in Minnesota or that it’s going to constantly be getting scraped on driveways and pulling into parking lots. They design these cars for the lowest common denominator, for roads and conditions all over the world. Both the Sport and Luxury have plenty of ground clearance for regular driving in normal conditions.

I’ve gone on test drives in both cars, back to back, and I find very little difference to be honest. The Sport is a little stiffer, but they’re both very comfortable. The C300 Sport doesn’t begin to compare with the stiffness of a BMW 3 series, for example. I think it’s a much more comfortable car for everyday driving and it handles beautifully under all sorts of conditions.

Available Options on C300 Models Whether Sport or Luxury
There are all sorts of available options for the C300, I’ve listed just a couple with the photos below… the rear deck spoiler (described above) is available for either model.

18″ AMG twin spoke wheels are a popular upgrade now available on 4matic C300 Sport models, in years past these wheels were staggered and therefore only available on rear wheel drive models. From 2010 forward they’ve been available on C300 Sport models, not available from the factory on the Luxury model.

Panorama Sunroof: Notice the entire roof of this C300 is black glass. This is the Panorama Sunroof option. A large glass panel that opens all the way up. When it’s closed, the front and rear passengers can look up and see the sky. It makes the back seat feel quite roomy and bright.

Of course there are many other available exterior options on C300 models, these are just a couple mentioned here.

Mercedes-Benz has regularly offered customers the choice between a Luxury or Sport model, across a number of car classes. I think of the two versions of the C class as more marketing tactics than anything else. The Luxury was created for the traditional Mercedes-Benz buyer, perhaps an older person interested in downsizing from an E class into something smaller. The C300 Sport was designed to compete directly with the young BMW 3 series buyer who wants something more aggressive and sporty looking.

I’ve seen this marketing concept turned on its head many times… an older woman comes in and wants “the new C class with the star in the grille” and then decides she wants the Sport model with the cool AMG wheels. I’ve seen the young couple come in and specifically ask for the Luxury model because to them “It just looks like a classic Mercedes”. Then you’ve got the folks who want the slightly softer ride of the Luxury with the Sporty look, so we switch out the Luxury grille for the Sport grille with the star in it.

The C300 Sport is clearly the more common model. To give you an idea of just how many more Sports there are out there than luxuries just look at our inventory. At any one time Feldmann Imports might have 25 – 30 new C300 sedans in stock, if we have 25, 23 of them are most likely C300 Sport models.

Mercedes Benz and Collector Car Specialist for the Buyer, Seller and Vintage Car Enthusiast