2nd Annual Walleye 1000 Vintage Rally Video and Photos! Participants Drive Twisty Roads Through Wisconsin and Minnesota and Visit Crazy Roadside Attractions Along the Way

Walleye-1000-Vintage Rally
2013 marked the second year for the Walleye 1000 Vintage Rally, open to interesting cars more than 20 years old, the event is a leisurely two day driving tour covering about 500 miles of scenic Minnesota and Wisconsin back roads. I needed an excuse to put a few hundred miles on my 1973 Mercedes 280C last year with other like minded car enthusiasts, so I came up with the inaugural event last year. This year turned out to be extra fun behind the wheel of a 1984 Porsche 911 Targa. The skies were threatening enough all weekend, I never took the top off, but the roads were twisty and smooth, I don’t know that I’ve ever had such fun on public roads.

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Participants go over route directions and maps before departure.

(A Little Walleye 1000 video from behind the wheel of Tobin’s Porsche 911… narration begins at about 30 seconds… thanks to Kool and the Gang for the music playing on the CD player).

The weekend of June 8-9, 2013 marked the 2nd Annual Walleye 1000 Vintage Rally. The spirit of this event is one of laid back camaraderie among people who have a passion for vintage cars.

The idea is that the guy with the MG Midget with a rusty door and a fender in primer is as welcome as the guy who just wrote the last check for his 300SL Gullwing restoration and wants to put some miles on his new million dollar car. The motto of the event it ‘Check your tires, check your oil, check your ego at the starting line and let’s go!’ Everyone is equal, no matter the size of their engine or their pocketbook. No jerks allowed.

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“Spirit of the Walleye” award winners, Jim and Kim Larsen… who completed the rally in their Citroen 2CV with 1/4 – 1/2 of the cylinders as the rest of us with big smiles on their faces the whole time.

Visit the Walleye 1000 website for more info and to see photos of the event!

SL Market Letter editor and publisher, John Olson, came along with his very original 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL fintail. SL Market Letter subscribers on the event included David Steingas of Wayzata, MN who put his 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL through it’s paces with some very spirited driving. Frankly, I didn’t know a 280SL could do some of the things he was doing with his car as I tried to keep up in my 1984 Porsche 911… apparently I have a lot to learn about what Pagoda SLs can and can’t do. SLML subscribers Dick and Marty Olson were on the tour with their 1968 280SL, silver with dark green hard top. SLML subscribers Bruce Kelly of Lake Country Classics in Minneapolis was the navigator for Warren Rauch in their W126 chassis 500SEL, not what you normally think of as a rally car… but they were probably two of the most comfortable people on the event.

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Authentic, as usual, Olson with his ’63 300SEL sedan, one of the few models the Mercedes factory actually used for rallying in the early 1960s.

Other cars on the event included several 1980s vintage Porsche 911s, a 1965 Porsche 356 a 1970 Triumph GT6+, even a Citroen 2CV that made it just fine despite having far fewer cylinders than the rest of the field.

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Group photo over looking Lake Pepin from the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River.

While not technically a true rally (there are no checkpoints or timed sections) the Walleye 1000 is simply a chance to get out and drive some great roads in our vintage cars, stop at some nice restaurants and visit some quirky roadside attractions with new and old friends. A car show is created each time we roll into a small town along the way.

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Steingas navigates a twisty Wisconsin country road in his ’71 280SL.

Stops included Slippery’s Restaurant along the Mississippi River in Wabasha, MN, the site where several scenes of the movie ‘Grumpy Old Men’ were filmed as well as the National Eagle Center in downtown Wabasha. Saturday night accommodations were in La Crosse, WI, again, along the Mississippi River where we had dinner at Huck Finn’s Restaurant on the water. Special parking was secured for the group, it seemed wherever we pulled up there was an impromptu car show.

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Tobin’s 911 among the ‘fish out of water’.

Sunday began early with more great, very twisty roads, up and down the bluffs along the Wisconsin side  of the Mississippi River. We traversed roads with names like ‘Pretzel Pass’ and ‘Alligator Back Rd.’ the roads were great fun, taking concentration and a good bit of caution as there were no guardrails to save you from a mistake. While not a speed contest by any measure, there were plenty of opportunities for spirited driving for those who were so inclined.

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Olson’s fintail next to a fiberglass fish mold at F.A.S.T. Corp., Sparta, WI

The most bizarre stop on the route had to be headquarters of F.A.S.T. Corporation in Sparta, WI. F.A.S.T. stands for “Fiberglass Animals Shapes and Trademarks.” In business for almost 40 years, this company is responsible for 75-80% of all fiberglass attractions in the United States. Everything from ice cream cones and elephants to gigantic Paul Bunyan figures and Coke bottles. There is a huge grass field behind their plant building that they call the ‘mold yard’. All of the molds for all of the projects they’ve completed are strewn about like an alien amusement park. Visitors are welcome to browse through this creepy landscape of lichen covered leprechauns and circus animals. There is a photo opportunity around every corner which some of us took full advantage of.

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Hoping the Porsche 356 isn’t mistaken for a piece of cheese by the giant mouse.

Elmer’s Car and Toy Museum (and Salvage Yard!) in Fountain City, WI was another stop that really defies description. There is a salvage yard full of cars from the 40s – 80s covering acres and acres, but it’s the eclectic car and toy collection that is housed in all of the barns on the property that is most amazing. Over 100 cars and between 600 and 700 pedal cars, toys, dolls, wagons, automobilia of all kinds. It simply can’t be described. Elmer himself literally invites you to go inside his house to see the Ford Model A sitting in his family room, just off the kitchen. It must have been taken apart to get it inside there where it was then reassembled.

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Elmer’s Car and Toy Museum, Fountain City, WI. Ron and Karen Scott’s very nice ’80 450SLC in foreground.

Added safety and convenience is right behind the group the entire way, friend and past MBCA Twin Cities Section President Dave Bortner brings up the rear in his GMC Yukon with beautiful hydraulic car trailer in tow, just in case someone does break down and needs a lift to the next bit of civilization. Dave is a great sport for taking on this duty, especially considering he has about the nicest 1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 that he could bring along instead. For the second year in a row there were no mechanical failures to speak of. One of the 280SLs did have a fouled plug late Saturday afternoon, but it wasn’t anything removal and a little cleaning couldn’t take care of.

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Diagnosing a fouled spark plug Saturday afternoon, this was the extent of the mechanical failures of the weekend.

The 2014 event is already in the works and we’d love to have more participants next year. There were just 11 cars on this year’s event, the event could easily handle double that. We’d love to have participants from all over the Midwest come up to Minneapolis for the event, SLML subscribers are welcomed and encouraged to sign up. We depart from somewhere in the Minneapolis / Twin Cities metro area Saturday morning and return Sunday by about 6:00pm for the finisher’s dinner.  Next year’s event will be held the second weekend in June – Saturday, June 14 – Sunday, June 15, 2014. Visit the Walleye 1000 for more information and pictures of the 2013 and 2012 event!

Mercedes-GLK250-BlueTEC-diesel

Mercedes Benz GLK250 BlueTEC Diesel Video! Great Gas Mileage and Long Engine Life… Classic Mercedes Diesel

Click on the 2013 Mercedes Benz GLK250 BlueTEC diesel video above to see a walk around of the new diesel GLK . These  long awaited GLK diesels have started to arrive at dealer showrooms! While they have just 200 horsepower they pack a whopping 369 ft./Lbs. of torque… all from a miserly turbo charged inline 4 cylinder engine capable of well over 30mpg on the highway.

Mercedes-GLK250-BlueTEC-diesel
How do those horsepower and torque numbers match up, what do they mean? Consider the fact that a 2013 Mercedes E350 produces 302 horsepower, but has just 273 Ft./Lbs. of torque… with

The EPA estimates printed on the window sticker show 24mpg city 33mpg highway with a combined number of 28mpg. Chances are you’ll get closer to 40mpg with cruise control on the highway.

This particular car is Pebble Grey with a black interior and very well equipped. It has the P1 Package (Premium 1 Package), Multimedia Package, Lighting Package, Lane Tracking Package as well as KEYLESS GO and a number of other stand alone options.

The response to these vehicles has been great so far… hopefully supply will keep up with demand.

Have a look at the engine detail video I took just a few minutes after this one, it will give you a look under the hood at the 4 cylinder inline, turbo charged engine. Link to that video on Youtube here.

Mercedes-Premium-1-Package

Difference Between the Mercedes Benz Premium 1 Package (P01 Package) and Premium 2 Package (P02 Package) Contents Explained

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A 2013 E350 4matic equipped with the P2 Package, note the KEYLESS-GO button, heated seats and rear window sunshade buttons.

Mercedes Benz, like many other automobile manufacturers bundle common options for their vehicles into packages. Mercedes-Benz has used their Premium Package line up over the last 5 years or so as their container for large bundles of various options, rather than being a set of options for a specific purpose.

Some manufacturers have a ‘Sport Package’ with specific options like tuned suspension and bigger wheels or a ‘Winter Package’ with a heated steering wheel and heated seats and exterior mirrors. Mercedes has similar packages, but their most common option packages are the Premium Packages.

Mercedes-Benz Premium Packages bundle common amenities that have historically high ‘take rates’ by buyers, things most people want in their cars. Mercedes Benz offers a Premium 1 Package, Premium 2 Package and in some cases, a Premium 3 Package. They’re generally abbreviated as P1 Package, P2 Package and P3 Package. For this article we will be exploring the contents of the P1 and P2 Packages on the 2013 model year Mercedes-Benz E350 Sedan.

Mercedes-Premium-1-Package

Window sticker of a moderately equipped 2013 E350 4matic sedan with the P01 Package (Premium 1 Package).

It’s important to realize that Premium Package contents vary by vehicle class with Mercedes-Benz, and even within body style within class. The E class sedan’s P1 Package is different than the E class wagon’s P1 Package and the E class Cabriolet’s Package is different than both of those. To further complicate things, the P1 Package often changes slightly on each class and model every single year, so there is a lot to keep track of, especially if you’re considering a Certified Pre Owned vehicle… the 2010 will have a different P1 Package than the 2011.

2013 Mercedes Benz E class Premium 1 Package (P01 Package):

  • COMAND with hard-drive-based navigation, 3D maps, 10GB Music Register and MB Apps compatibility
  • harman/kardon LOGIC7 surround-sound system with Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Gracenote media databaseand iPod / MP3 media interface
  • SiriusXM Radio, SiriusXM Traffic and SiriusXM Weather (with 6 mo service)
  • Enhanced Voice Control for audio, phone and navigation
  • Rearview camera
  • Active multicontour driver seat (E63 only)
  • Heated and Active Ventilated front seats (heated seats standard on E550; package adds Active Ventilated front seats)
  • Heated front seats (E350 and E400 only)
  • Power rear window sunshade

What does the Premium 1 Package cost?
E350 / E400 Hybrid: $4,000
E550: $4,450
E63 AMG: Standard

One interesting piece of information that most people are surprised by when I tell them… I have probably seen hundreds of 2013 E classes, I have NEVER seen one without the Premium 1 Package. Some people say they don’t need or want navigation, I don’t need the upgraded sound system, I want a ‘base E class’ (usually in order to keep the price of the car down, in the end, it’s always about money). They simply don’t exist… or at least they don’t exist in very large numbers because very few people want such a basic car. If you do want a non P1 Package car, your best bet is to place a factory order for it, build it as you want it and hope you never have to trade it in or sell it as a used car because it will be a tough sell indeed.

As far as the Premium 2 Package goes… the P02 package always includes everything in the P01 Package plus some other things.

2013 Mercedes Benz E class Premium 2 Package (P02 Package):

  • Bi-Xenon headlamps with Active Curve Illumination, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, headlamp washing system and corner-illuminating front lamps
  • KEYLESS-GO
  • Electronic-trunk closer

 

P02 Package Cost:
E350 / E400 Hybrid: $6,450
E550: $6,900
E63 AMG: Standard

There are the packages, but what if you want the KEYLESS-GO option but you don’t need the entire P02 Package? Some options are available as stand alone options, KEYLESS-GO for the 2013 E class happens to be one of them, so it is possible to get a P01 Package car with KEYLESS-GO as a stand alone option, it save you about $1,500. There are other such examples of stand alone options that come bundled in other Premium Packages, some classes offer a special Lighting Package which will give you Bi-Xenon head lamps, unrelated to the P02 Package. Again, there are always exceptions and if you dig all the way into it, things can get complicated quickly.

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The rear view camera peeks out from under the trunk lip near the rear license plate on this 2013 E350 4matic sedan, another component to the P01 Package.

A short, in person visit to a dealership with a row of new E classes to look at will make your life easier. If you don’t want to be ‘bothered’ by a salesperson, visit a dealership after hours. If you just walk down a row of new cars, look at the window stickers, see how the cars are actually built and optioned, the smoke will clear for you very quickly. You can spend forever on mbusa.com building your ideal car, but you’ll be disappointed when you call a dealer only to find that you’ve built a unicorn that doesn’t exist in any dealer inventory. This is extremely common, people submit the exact car they’ve built online to me via email and, in most cases, there is an easier, better or cheaper way to get what they want on a car without having to also pay for a bunch of stuff they don’t really want.

I’ve never cared for ‘base price’ advertising with cars… you can say an E class ‘starts at $53,500 (per the window sticker above), but if I’ve never seen an E class without the $4,000 P01 Package, and they all get the ‘destination and delivery’ charge added to them… any E class you’d actually want to own is $58,000+ in 2013.

In the end, it depends upon each potential owner… what do you, the guy who’s about to buy a $60,000+ car want? Are you looking for the best deal (read, cheapest car), do you want what you want, exactly how you want it? Maybe a factory order is best for you then. Try a European delivery if you want. If you want a nicely equipped car that makes sense, you can usually find it in your local dealer’s inventory. If they don’t have what you want, they can probably perform a ‘locate’ or ‘dealer trade’, they can find what you want and truck it in for you, but remember, the ‘best deal’ is always on what’s in stock… Mercedes-Benz will make you a pink E class with gold plated wheels if you want them to, with money, you can buy anything… but for most of us, a P01 Package E class is all the car we’ll ever need.

I am beginning to compile a comprehensive list of all the Premium 1  and Premium 2 Package contents for the most common Mercedes-Benz vehicle classes starting with the 2008 model year. I will add them to the blog soon.

 

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Sears Imported Autos to Enter Lucrative Mercedes-Benz Funeral Coach Market Segment

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As luxury auto sales hit record numbers during the first quarter of 2013, the sales race between Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus is heating up. Dealerships are looking for new ways to differentiate themselves and offer their customers something new and innovative. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van sales are brisk across the U.S. Mercedes-Benz trucks and commercial vehicles are the norm in Europe. Sears Imports Mercedes-Benz in Minnetonka, a family owned car dealership for more than 40 years, continues to innovate with their announcement of a business expansion in to the lucrative Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles market, specifically, the funeral coach market, hearses based on the Mercedes-Benz E class.

It’s this type of innovation that has kept Sears Imported Autos in Minnetonka, MN at the forefront of Mercedes-Benz sales and customer service over the years. To say Sears a full service dealership is an understatement, they take care of their customer’s vehicle needs throughout their lives, and now, beyond.

“Sears is a unique company in that we’re willing to take calculated risks to enter a new market if we think it can work” says Mike Roeder, General Sales Manager at Sears Imported Autos about their foray into the funeral coach market.

“The baby boomers aren’t getting any younger,” says Gary Emfield, new Mercedes-Benz manager at sears Imports, “after polling a number of local funeral homes regarding their transportation needs it became clear that a high end option for funeral coaches was grossly lacking, we’re simply offering an alternative to the typical Cadillac or Lincoln hearse.” Emfiled is optimistic about the new segment “Our first three units are already spoken for, due to be delivered to local funeral homes later this month.”
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It’s true, Europeans have been taking their ‘last rides’ in Mercedes-Benz hearses for more than 50 years. Sears Imports believes their clients who drove Mercedes-Benz vehicles throughout their lives, will appreciate taking their ‘last ride’ with dignity in a Mercedes-Benz.

Teaming up with the German firm Huiskamp Carrosserie, makers of specialty vehicles for over three decades in Germany, Sear Imports hopes to deliver between 100 and 125 units throughout the United States during 2013. “We are the exclusive Huiskamp representatives in the United States” reports Roeder, “We’re making the investment, we knew we wanted an exclusive deal with Huiskamp, it’s the only way we would have done it.”

For more information on these new Mercedes-Benz hearses, please feel free to contact me directly… Dave Tobin, 952-512-6685, you only go around once, right?
(See date on this post below… April Fools!)

2014-Mercedes-CLA-Class-production car

2014 Mercedes Benz CLA Class Makes Appearance at Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance – Twin Cities Auto Show Just Gets ‘Empty’ Concept Car Version

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2013 CLA250 on display at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

A friend of mine emailed me this photos from the Amelia Island Concours ‘d’Elegance yesterday from beautiful Amelia Island, FL. My friend, Dave Bortner from Freedom Boat Service, has a 1930 30’ Hacker Craft Triple Cockpit Runabout, a beautiful vintage wood boat, in the RM Auctions sale being held in the area. While strolling the grounds of the Concours he took this photo, of a Mercedes-Benz display showing off some vintage Mercedes hardware from the Classic Center in Irvine, CA… along with a new production model CLA class car.

So, while at the Twin Cities Auto Show we get a cool looking concept… it is a non running (no engine, no interior, can’t even open up the doors) example. At the Amelia Island Concours they get a road ready street version.

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2013 Twin Cities Auto Show got this shell of a CLA Concept.

At the Twin Cities Auto Show yesterday, people were asking me about the door handles on the concept… there aren’t any really, just a different color silver inlay, flush to the body. I mentioned to one person that I was quite sure the door handles on the actual production car would be just like all the other door handles on the cars. Looking at this photo, that does seem to be the case. I’m not sure that I love the wheels chosen for this car, in black. The lower front bumper is a bit different than the concept, as one would expect… but keeps the same general shape. As expected, the CLA is basically a ‘baby CLS’.

I suppose there is no argument to be made as to where the ‘money is’ when it comes to reaching the most REAL potential buyers and where Mercedes-Benz would get the most bang for their marketing buck… Amelia Island is essentially the Pebble Beach of the East, held each March.

Hopefully they’ll make them fast enough to keep up with demand, my guess is that they will be in short supply for the first few months of production, it probably won’t be easy to get one.

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The 1930 Hack Craft Triple Cockpit Runabout consigned at RM Auctions by Freedom Boat Service from Mound, MN.

walleye-1000 vintage rally

2013 Walleye 1000 Vintage Rally Event Dates Announced – Saturday & Sunday, June 8 – 9, 2013 – Join Us with your Classic Car!

walleye 1000 vintage rally
No time or money to go on high dollar vintage rallies like the Colorado Grand or California Mille? If so, the “Walleye 1000 Vintage Rally” just might be for you! It’s a two day vintage car tour on the back roads of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The 2nd annual Walleye 1000 will be upon us before we know it. This year’s route will take us South-East from the Twin Cities along the Mississippi and into Wisconsin for the evening, then back into Minnesota for our return and finisher’s banquet on Sunday evening.

Open to interesting classic, sports and grand touring cars, foreign and domestic, model year 1993 and older.

Saturday and Sunday, June 8 and 9, 2013

From the patinated to the pristine, from works in progress to completed projects, blue chip collectibles to vintage fright pigs, all are welcome to participate in the old car hijinx and debauchery that will likely unfold during the 2nd Annual “Walleye 1000 Vintage Rally” on the scenic back roads of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

View photos of the Inaugural 2012 Walleye 1000… lots of interesting cars and fun people!

Entry fee is $249 per vehicle (2 person team, driver + co-driver). Overnight accommodations, finisher’s dinner, event T-shirts for all participants and a bunch of other event swag is included, this is a laid back car event on a budget!

Contact Event Organizer: Dave Tobin | (651) 216-1265 | dave ( at ) daveknowscars.com

www.walleye1000.com
Visit the website for event info, sign up for email updates and download a Participant Application.

1935-Mercedes-500K-Cabrio

Arizona Collector Car Auction Report Preview… Mercedes Cars Sell from $2.5 Million down to Under $10,000 Sensory Overload, Mercedes Cars at Every Venue

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Perhaps the most imposing Mercedes of the week, this 1935 500K Cabriolet A, sold at Gooding and Co. for $2.5 Million at the hammer.

The Collector Car Auctions in Scottsdale this past week were great… and the 70 degree weather was nice too. I must admit, as I got off the plane to ONE degree in Minneapolis I pondered a permanent change in geography and lifestyle.

There were lots of great cars, some huge sale numbers… and some not so huge sale numbers. There was virtually every kind of car imaginable, lots of Mercedes-Benz cars representing over 120 years… from an 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen to a Mercedes McLaren that’s just a few years old. SLs were the star cars… 300SLs appeared at each of the sales I attended, more than one at several of them. Pagoda SLs were very well represented, as they continue their steady price rise. There were a couple of 190SLs and more R107 and R129 ‘just used cars’ than I could count. Classic Mercedes Coupes from the 50s and 60s were present as well and one very imposing 1935 500K Cabriolet A.

I am working on a number of stories related to the auctions… about specific auctions, about specific cars at specific auctions and why things happened as they did.

Each sale really has its own personality. Different crowds are drawn to each auction for different reasons. You have the elephant in the room… Barrett-Jackson, which is what most people think of when they think of the Scottsdale in January, many people don’t even realize there are other auctions going on. The best description of Barrett-Jackson that I can come up with is that it’s basically like the Minnesota State Fair except inside the buildings, there aren’t animals, there are cars. Russo and Steele seems a bit like a WWF Pro Wrestling event, but instead of two big sweaty guys going at it in the ring, there are collector cars of (widely) varying quality rolling through looking for new owners. Gooding and Company and RM Auctions clearly cater to the highest end Robin Leech champagne and caviar set. The quality of cars at these events are as good as any sale in the world. Gooding creates a lively, rather laid back atmosphere, considering the millions of dollars being spent on individual cars in a series of very comfortable tents. RM gets my vote for best venue, the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Arizona Biltmore Hotel and Spa Complex. Their cars are nicely displayed outside among the palm tree lined drives and inside in a ballroom where you would expect a wedding reception instead of a car auction, but this is no normal car auction. In the auction room things are fairly quiet and very orderly.

I attended the Consignment Tour at RM Auctions put on by Sports Car Market Magazine which was interesting. The availability and openness of the RM Auction analysts and Carl Bomstead and Keith Martin from SCM was great. While higher profile in the car hobby than a guy like me, they’re still just car guys… their insights are interesting and you can tell they’re having a lot of fun walking among these wonderful discussing the pros and cons of each or speculating as to why the market is moving this way or that.

Cruising from preview to preview and sale to sale was a blast… I ran into a number of old friends, made some new ones and got to know some friends I already had just that much better. I hope to recount the highlights on the DaveKnowsCars blog over the next few weeks as well as in a number of articles on the SLMarket website. If you’re not familiar with the SL Market Website or the printed SL Market Letter, I encourage you to click the link to that website in the upper right of any page on on the DKC blog. In the meantime… here is a taste of some of the Mercedes-Benz vehicles that caught my eye… there are many more, this is just a sampling!

Clark Gable Mercedes 300SL Gullwing

Mercedes Benz 300SL Originally owned by Clark Gable (complete with Gable manequin), no sale at $1.6 million. Seemed like a more than fair number to me, consignor must think the star power is worth more. Should have sold.

Mercedes 300Sc Cabriolet

My buddy David Steingas leaving no stone unturned with his inspection of the 300Sc, ultimately sold for $750,000, soaring right past the high estimate of $450,000.

Mercedes 300S Cabriolet Gooding and Co Scottsdale 2013

One of the surprises of the sale… description noted the car just came out of long term storage and needs ‘complete recommissioning’ never the less, this car brought $300k OVER the high estimate of $450,000, hammer fell at $750,000!

Mercedes 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet Gooding and co Scottsdale 2013

One of two 280SE 3.5 Cabriolets at this sale. This was the lesser of the two, paint was cracking and crazing all over this car, but still pretty.

Mercedes 240D limousine

Curios Mercedes 240D Limo, previously the property of the royal family in Monaco.

300SL Roadster at Gooding and Co Arizona 2013

300SL Roadster Sold for $700k Friday afternoon at Gooding and Co. The first of two 300SL roadsters at their sale.

Mercedes 300SL roadster Russo and Steele

300SL Roadster at Russo and Steele, sold Saturday night for $660,000. Looks about market correct to me, if not well bought. Seller reluctantly lifted the reserve and let it go when bidding stalled at about $655k, auction company pressured hard to get it done.

1980 Mercedes 450SLC

1980 Mercedes 450SLC, perhaps the ‘worst’ (least desirable?) Mercedes of the week. Who had the bright idea to bolt on those pimp chrome wheels?

1969 Mercedes 280SL Russo and Steele 2013

One of the nicest 280SLs we saw all week, and sitting in the dusty gravel of Russo and Steele. My friend I went out to AZ with was the under bidder on this car… but that’s another story.

Mercedes Benz 300SL Roadster at Gooding and co

Mercedes Benz 300SL Roadster at Gooding and co, the nicest of the week, brought a hammer price of 1.4 Million. A big number for a roadster, but try to find another this nice with original Rudge wheels.

Mercedes 190SL RM Auctions

RM’s auctioneer and one of their analysts checking this 190SL out very carefully.

300SL Gullwing and Roadster RM Auctions Scottsdale

300SLs at RM.

Mercedes 280SL RM Auctions

Mercedes 280SL at RM Auctions.

 

DaveKnowsCars-Arizona-Auctions

Barrett Jackson Arizona Auction Bound, And RM, Gooding, Bonhams, Russo and Steele! DaveKnowsCars to Report from the Center of the Collector car World: 5 Days – 5 Collector Car Auctions

DaveKnowsCars-Arizona-Auctions

I’m headed to the airport in a few minutes… bound for Phoenix, AZ and what has become the center of the collector car world each January.

I will be attending 5 auctions… I’m on assignment for the SL Market Letter, so watch for a forthcoming article in that publication regarding the Mercedes-Benz scene in Arizona this January. I hope to pay particularly close attention to a handful of early 70s Mercedes 280SE 3.5 cabriolets that will be crossing the various blocks… in addition to the 300SLs and pagoda SLs.

I’m signed up for the Sports Car Market Insider Auction Tour at RM tomorrow, watch for a full report on that event as well.

My ride is outside honking… must run… I have  a feeling there will be a lot of that over the next few days!

More from the road. – DT

Mercedes-iPhone5 IOS 6.0.2 Upgrade

Apple iPhone 5 Unable to Pair with Mercedes Benz Bluetooth After IOS Version 6.0.2 Upgrade

Mercedes-iPhone5 IOS 6.0.2 Upgrade

12/31/2012 – Breaking News – It’s come to my attention that there is an issue with the new iPhone 5 when trying to pair to Mercedes-Benz Blue tooth equipped vehicles (which means any new Mercedes Benz).

Quite simply, if you perform the automatic ‘upgrade’ from IOS 6.0.1 to the newer IOS 6.0.2, the iPhone 5 that you had previously paired for use in your Mercedes-Benz vehicle will no longer be paired… and worse, CANNOT be paired to your Mercedes-Benz vehicle for easy Bluetooth hands free usage. Bluetooth phone capabilities, GONE, Bluetooth streaming music capabilities… SORRY, that won’t work either.

Once the IOS 6.0.2 upgrade is made to your iPhone 5, the phone cannot be paired to your Mercedes Benz vehicle.

I’ve got to believe that a fix will be made for the situation… whether it will come from Mercedes-Benz or from Apple, I don’t know. I would guess it will be an Apple upgrade or ‘fix’, as the way I understand it the same problem is cropping up in other vehicles from other manufacturers.

So, if you have an iPhone 5 and you want to talk hands free or stream music in your Mercedes-Benz, at least for now… you’ll have to hold off on the 6.0.2 upgrade or downgrade back to IOS 6.0.1 if you’ve already made the change. There is a third option… make the upgrade an go back to holding your phone up to your ear.

I’m sorry for the bad news… You’ve gotta love the accelerated speed of technology and how one compatible device jumps ahead of another.

I will try to provide an update to the situation once I learn more from either Mercedes-Benz or from Apple.

Mercedes E350 and C300 Sedans

A Very Merry Christmas! Local Father / Son Duo Pick Up Their New Mercedes Benz C and E Classes in Time For Christmas!

Mercedes E350 and C300 Sedans

It was a good day for these guys on Thursday! This is a local father and son that I met very early this year on the show room floor here at Sears Imports Mercedes-Benz. Alan (the father) purchased this Palladium Silver E350 while his son, Austin, went with this black C300 4matic Sport (Mercedes-Benz demographic engineers are right again… dad gets an E, son gets a C!).

Austin had been looking at brand new cars recently to replace the car that got him through college… and he almost pulled the trigger on a new Volkswagen Passat with front wheel drive when he figured he could get an almost new, Certified Pre Owned C300 4matic all wheel drive car for about the same money.

He wanted a 2012, he wanted a lot of options… the stars aligned and this black car happened to come in to Sears Imports as a one owner lease return. It’s a P1 Package car with Keyless Go and the Multi media package. Austin is one guy who will actually use all the features and options in that Multi Media Package. Congratulations Austin, you weighed your options and made an informed decision. I would imagine this young man has a very bright future indeed!

Alan, Austin’s father, had been watching lightly pre owned E350 4matic inventories for months. A car came in a few months ago that checked every box on his wish list… but he couldn’t live with the interior color. Another potential contender showed up not too much later, but he was set on a silver car (Iridium, Palladium, maybe Steel Grey) so the search continued. He was looking for a highly optioned Certified Pre Owned E class with low miles with a clean history, plenty of warranty left at a fair price. What just about everybody wants, right? If I could have called the ‘Used Car Factory” I would have.

In the end Alan had the patience and diligence to find the right car. He knew it was what he wanted, and he was able to take advantage of aggressive 1.99% APR interest rates for up to 66 months on the purchase. His car is equipped with the P2 Package (Premium 2 Package), the wheel Package which give him those great looking AMG wheels, PARKTRONIC, and a Panorama sunroof among other options.

Alan’s wife Sherri and daughter Ariel (Austin’s mother and sister of course) came down with them to pick up the cars, it was a real family adventure, just in time for the holidays. Thank you gentlemen, it’s been great getting to know you, I hope the whole family enjoys the cars… and I hope we can do it again some time.
dave-tobin-mercedes-customers

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