If you’re interested in joining the fun on the 3rd Annual Walleye 1000 Vintage Rally please send in your entry NOW!
This year’s event will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 7 -8!
Reservations need to be made, T shirts ordered, you get the idea. EIGHT entries for the 2014 Walleye 1000 have already been received, 3 of them are pictured below – Entries are limited to 20 total, there are 14 spots left!
This year’s event is open to classic, sports and grand touring cars 20+ years old, cars from model year 1994 and older!
Our route will incorporate some of the best twisty and challenging roads you can possibly traverse in the upper mid-west! We will make our way South along the Mississippi River going back and forth between Minnesota and Wisconsin making a handful of entertaining stops for food and fun along the way.DEPART: 9:00am Saturday – “Caribou Coffee” – 1100 County Road 42E, Burnsville, MN
OVERNIGHT: La Crosse, WI
FINISH: +/- 5:00 Sunday evening – “The Tavern on Grand” – 656 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN for the finishers dinner where awards of unspeakable value (and questionable taste) will be distributed.
Total event mileage will be between 400 and 500 miles. Once again we will have a safety sweep team in a Yukon with an open car trailer to lend a hand in case any of these old cars ‘fail to proceed’ along the way.
As you probably already know, the Walleye 1000 is more of a fun driving tour rather than a true rally… there is nothing to keep track of, no timing, no scoring, just a fun drive over great roads with cool cars and even cooler people.
As always, the MG Midget with rusty floors and a fender in primer is as welcome as the recently restored Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato!
I found this article about the 45th Anniversary of AMG over at the Hemmings Blog… some interesting stuff here. I get the ‘Hemmings
Daily’ e-newsletter sent to my inbox every morning, there is always good stuff in it. Visit the link just below for more and sign up if you’re interested in good vintage and classic car info everyday.
Mercedes Benz AMG Celebrates 45th Anniversary Written by Terry Shea for Hemmings Daily (July 17th, 2012 at 8:58 am)
Just as BMW’s M division celebrated its 40th anniversary in May, Mercedez-Benz lit a few more candles for its vaunted performance group as AMG marked the 45th anniversary of its founding.
While now a part of Mercedes-Benz as a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG, AMG was originally an independent entity, founded in 1967 by two Mercedes engineers, Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher. They started their business in an old mill, in Burgstall An Der Murr, about 20 miles northeast of Stuttgart, to make racing engines. The “A” stood for Aufrecht, the “M” for Melcher and the “G” for Grossaspach, the nearby birthplace of Aufrecht. Although officially a separate entity from the factory until 1990, the firm enjoyed a close relationship with the automaker from the start.
When Mercedes came out with the 250hp 300SEL 6.3 super sedan, AMG built versions making 280, 300 and even 320hp for customers. When it came time to race, AMG built a 6.8-liter version that produced a healthy 428hp. Painted red and entered in the 1971 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, the “Red Pig” won its class and finished an impressive second overall, cementing AMG’s reputation of building high-performance cars. Even today, the Red Pig remains one of the company’s most iconic machines.
In the 1970s, AMG started offering components and modifications for street cars, including exclusive alloy wheel designs, suspension upgrades and, of course, higher performance engines. Busting at the seams of the old mill with 40 employees, AMG moved to nearby Affalterbach in 1976 and began offering body components. Blacked-out chrome trim and five-spoke wheels in body color became signature items for AMG cars and, along with the body kits, practically defined the “Euro” look as it became known in the United States.
In the 1980s, as over-the-top luxury became as important as over-the-top performance, AMG kept pace on both fronts, but in the mechanical department, Melcher and his fellow engineers developed four-valve cylinder heads for the Mercedes-Benz aluminum V-8s, giving them 340hp from the 5.0-liter V-8 at a time when only the most exotic cars made more power, let alone luxury coupes and sedans.
During this time, perhaps their most famous creation was the 5.6-liter, 32-valve V-8-powered E-class sedan from the late 1980s, affectionately known as The Hammer. Its 360hp engine made it capable of 300 KmPH, or 186 MPH, by far the fastest sedan of its day. The final iteration of The Hammer, with a 6.0-liter V-8, was good for 385hp.
In 1988, Mercedes-Benz contracted AMG to run their DTM touring car program and AMG rewarded that contract with several titles claimed with the 190E 2.5-16 Evolution model. AMG’s affiliation with Mercedes-Benz helped turn the Stuttgart manufacturer into a touring car juggernaut from the late 1980s through today. In 1998, AMG developed a complete, purpose-built race car (which spawned a handful of homologated models), called the CLK-GTR. Featuring a 612hp, mid-engined, V-12 monster engine, it secured the FIA GT title for the two companies. When the DTM was revived in 2000, AMG returned, again piling up titles for the company.
After more than two decades with an arm’s length understanding, finally, in 1990, Mercedes-Benz and AMG signed an agreement of cooperation, the first joint product of which was the 1993 C36, a 276hp C-class sedan powered by an inline six-cylinder engine, though the agreement also opened up the entire AMG parts catalog to Mercedes-Benz dealers. The C36 was sold in the United States from 1995 through 1997. AMG followed that car up with the 347hp E50 in 1996 and essentially opened the floodgates for virtually every Mercedes-Benz model to have a performance version engineered by the Affalterbach crew.
Since the late 1990s, SUVs and minivans (the R63) have been added to the AMG fray that already included sedans, coupes, roadsters and wagons. AMG engines in the past two decades have included four-cylinder, inline sixes, V-6s, V-8s and V-12s, all with multivalve heads, some normally aspirated, others supercharged and turbocharged, but all with a bottom line of more power. The craziest, over-the-top models, such as the SL65, feature a 612hp, 738-lbs.ft, twin-turbocharged V-12, for which you will pay more than $200,000 to get your hands on, but you will drive away knowing you are in one of the hardest-accelerating roadsters ever made.
AMG makes a big deal – and rightly so – of each engine being hand-assembled by a single, highly trained technician, who then leaves a signature plate atop the completed powerplant before it leaves the factory. They call it “One Man, One Engine” and it delivers the personal touch that the mass production of mainline Mercedes-Benz cars simply can’t offer.
Mercedes-Benz upped the ante in 1999 when they purchased 51 percent of AMG from Aufrecht and then completed the purchase by buying the remaining shares in 2007, renaming the entity Mercedes-AMG, but we all mostly know it by those three letters tacked onto the back of their cars signifying a very fast version of what is already likely a competent and fairly quick car.
While cruising Craigslist here in the Twin Cities last night I came across this cute 1973 Mercedes-Benz 280 sedan in my favorite 1970s Mercedes color, Caledonia Green. The matching hub caps are typical of these cars, but this green color is just so period correct, it’s all I can do not to drive right up to Anoka and buy the thing. Because it’s a 1973 model it still has the small, chrome bumpers, much more attractive and cleaner looking that the battering ram bumpers that were federally mandated by the U.S. Government for cars built in 1974 and later. If you’re going to get one of these, you have to get a ’73 or older.
I believe I saw this same car on Craigslist about a year and a half ago, there can’t be that many in the Twin Cities this color. This has the same dual overhead cam inline 6 cylinder engine that I have in my 1973 280 Coupe, these engines are reliable and run like tops… mine just finished 500+ uneventful miles during the 90+ degree humid heat wave we have last weekend while participating int he Inaugural Walleye 1000 Vintage Rally. It wouldn’t bother me to have a sedan like this for such events, if it has A/C, it’s a huge plus.
As usual, details in the Craigslist ad are few and far between. It’s simply described as “Not perfect, but VERY good condition for a 40 yr old car.” So you’ll have to get underneath and see if it has any rust, from the photos, it looks pretty decent. It has the very light colored interior used at the time formally known as “Parchment” which is a nice contrast to the Caledonia Green exterior. If it checks out and isn’t rusty, $2,200 seems like a fair price. See the actual Craigstlist Ad here.
280 sedans never bring the money that coupes do, they trade in a think market, but if you’re looking for a unique car that’s generally very reliable, this is a lot of car for not very much money. Don’t expect to get rich when you sell, but if well maintained moving forward, you’ll probably come out okay.
The collector car market these days is red hot… at the top anyway. Blue Chip collectibles, cars like Ferrari 250GTs of just about any type are pulling big money, the best, well documented, no stories Shelby Cobras are on fire, Aston Martin DBs of any number are going through the roof and Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwings and roadsters have seen price increases over the last few years that would make any Wall Street investor wish all their investments paid such returns. The ’55 300SL alloy bodied car that’s pictured here is being offered at Gooding and Company’s Scottsdale, AZ auction in January of 2012… it is, arguably, one of the most sought after 300SLs and it’s poised to pull big dollars at the sale.
Mercedes-Benz made just 29 alloy bodied 300SLs (alloy bodied refers to the aluminum coachwork as opposed to steel) for special clients who, theoretically, planned to race their cars. Not only were the bodies lighter, but they were equipped with tuned suspension and a more highly tuned engine making them perfectly suited to the gentleman racer back in the days when you could drive such a car to a race track, use some masking tape to cover the headlamps and put numbers on the side of the car, race the car and then drive it home afterwards.
The 29 alloy bodied Gullwings are well documented, they have been tracked for years, be serial number, by die hard enthusiasts and marque specialists around the world. A complete list of these cars and where they reside (and with whom) is printed in SL specialist and publisher of ‘The SL Market Letter” John Olson’s book “The SL Experience” available on his SL Marter website or at Amazon.com. This book is the definitive guide to Mercedes-Benz SLs by year starting with the 300SLs from the 1950s all the way into the early 2000s with the last of the R129 chassis cars.
This 1955 300SL alloy bodied car that will be auctioned at the Gooding and Co. auction in January is certainly one of the rarest of the breed. The auction estimate for this car is $2.5 to $3.5 million. Seeing how one of these hasn’t come up for auction in the past five years, and who knows when the next one will become available, it wouldn’t surprise me if this car sells handily in that range next month in Arizona. I suppose it wouldn’t surprise me if it went beyond that estimate, but it would certainly be all the money, as this estimate is easily twice the price of a perfect 300SL to this point… but hey, Where are you going to find another? If the right two bidders want this car bad enough, who knows how far up the price will go?
Looking for a Mercedes-Benz wagon? Looking for something that nobody else has? This is an extremely rare 1968 200D fintail (Heckfloss) Estate wagon. A very limited number of 200 series Mercedes Benz sedans were converted into “Estate” form (wagon in Europe) by the Belgian firm, “Universal” in the mid to late 1960s, this is one of those cars that was brought over to the United States.
There is really no way to tell how many of these even exist in the United States. Bidding just ended on this car on eBay today, it was bid up to $25,000, but the reserve was not met. According to the seller it is in original, unrestored condition with a patina that makes it look the part. The exterior color is a light gold repaint (so much for ‘all original’), the interior is brown and trimmed with stainless steel and mahogany wood accents.
While a 200D is never going to break any land speed records, this would be an awfully fun car to cruise around in during the Summer, and if you decided to take it to a German car show you can be sure you wouldn’t see another one!
This pristine 1957 Mercedes Benz 190SL was recently restored by Bruce Kelly’s Lake Country Classics in Minneapolis Minnesota, it was just listed on eBay this evening. This particular 190SL is black with a white leather interior. It has been in the same family for more than 35 years. The owner of the car started a complete restoration more than 25 years ago, and as with so many projects, it was started and stopped and started and stopped. Eventually the owner of the car passed away. At that point it was given to his grandson who commissioned a complete restoration by Lake Country Classics in Minneapolis.
Over the past 18 months the car was restored, inside and out. Today, the car runs and drives beautifully. It’s smooth and effortless, I’m always amazed how Mercedes-Benz cars from the late fifties don’t feel at all like other cars from the same period. This was a much easier car to drive, in my opinion, than Jaguars of the same period, and it’s certainly a nicer car to drive than just about anything American made in the late 1950s.
The collector car world has noticed the same things I have when it comes to classic Mercedes-Benz vehicles. They start when you want them to start, they’re reliable, comfortable and generally good, easy cars to live with. As we see prices of the A list Mercedes classics climb into seven figure territory, as we’ve seen regular steel body 300SL Gullwings do recently with 300SL roadsters not too far behind, now well into the $600 – $700k+ territory we’ve seen 190SLs increase in value as well. A rising tide does lift all boats in the vintage Mercedes roadster market.
While 5 or 10 years ago a 190SL like this one might have been a $30,000 – $50,000 car on a good day, it is likely to bring almost double that in 2011. There is a finite number of good cars left, restorations are staggeringly expensive (and getting more expensive everyday thanks to parts price increases and fewer and fewer marque specialists who can actually do the work. The restorations also take a lot of time, time you could be out enjoying a car. If you can find someone else’s completed project, and as long as it’s been restored correctly and to a high standard by a marque expert, like this car, you might just be able to buy it for about the price of the restoration and save yourself the time and headache.
It was for a 1972 model W108 chassis Mercedes-Benz. Built between 1965 and 1972, these cars were the S classes of their day. They were big, imposing, comfortable, and powerful if fitted with the right engine, the right engine for me would be the 4.5 liter V8 that, even today, can keep up with modern day traffic just fine and propel the vehicle it’s mounted in well over 100mph for long stretches without really breaking a sweat (or anything else for that matter), after all, it does pack 230 Horespower… and that’s back in 1972!
Today, these cars are easy to find, and based on their high cost when new, most were taken pretty good care of. Many show up when folks pass away and leave them to a chile or grandchild who then realizes that they don’t need an ‘extra’ 40 year old car or they go to start it up and realize what a car that’s been sitting in storage for the past 15 years might need to actually get running again and they decide to sell the car.
LOTS of these cars are showing up on eBay and Craigslist these days. The right example can represent an incredible value, as it’s a lot of car for not much money. The sedans will always be less desireable than coupes and convertibles to teh collector and psuedo collector crowds. People usually want the top on their extra car to be able to go down on nice days. As a result, these cars are incredible cheap at the moment, not old enough (or more likely, rare enough) to be true collectibles and not new enough to be regular daily drivers with the usual creature comforts we’ve come to expect.
The seller of this particular car has quite a way with words, and while I’m not really one for giving someone the full history of the production and design of a car in a sales description (I figure if someone’s seriously looking, they already know, or should already know, what they’re looking at) this guy writes extremely well. He must be well educated or have some sort of educational background heavy in literature and letters. There is just the right mix of information and sense of humor, never taking himself too seriously.
While for me, this car isn’t quite right (this light ivory / light beige color just doesn’t do it for me) I’m tempted to take a closer look just based on the great description from the seller… hey, at least he’s out there having fun with the sale of his old car!
My wife and I flew out to the East Coast recently, for a week long vacation. We have some friends in Truro, MA who invited us out for a few days before they were scheduled to go to Europe for their vacation. The plan was that we’d fly to Boston, take the fast ferry to Provincetown on Cape Cod and spend some time with them until they left for Europe. We would stay in their house while they were gone, take care of their two dogs, go to the beach, eat good seafood, and generally enjoy ourselves and relax for a week. Who knew a hurricane would crash the party during our stay? In the end, Irene was pretty much a non event on lower Cape Cod. We didn’t lose power, it didn’t even really rain in Truro… but was there wind… sustained 55 mph winds with gusts a lots bigger than that for about a day. Anyway… upon our arrival on the ferry from Boston into Provincetown I immediately started to see Taxis, in fact, Mercedes Benz Taxis… surely a blog article was brewing.
These weren’t shiny new E classes or high end car service S classes like you might see in Manhattan. No, I’m talking late 1970s and early to mid 1980s vintage 280D and 300 turbo diesels. The old school Mercedes diesels that clatter along forever slowly belching black smoke from their tail pipes. They were mostly sedans, but I saw a couple of wagons as well. It felt more like I was on the Italian or French Riviera back in college than in Cape Cod. They looked so right cruising deliberately through the narrow 250+ year old streets of Provincetown and Wellfleet, MA. “What a great idea” I thought, whoever came up with this idea was a genius, of course, like so many other things, it happened a bit by accident, that this company ended up driving a fleet of diesel Mercedes Benz cars around.
After a week enjoying ourselves, walking around, exploring the beaches of Cape Cod, when our time was up and it was time to make our way to the ferry terminal in Provincetown from the house in Truro there was only one cab company to call… a call I was looking forward to making all week… to “Mercedes Cab.” The ferry left at 10:30am so, the night before I called Mercedes Cab and requested the car for 9:30. I was secretly hoping for one of the W123 wagons to pick us up, I had only seen two around town and I wasn’t about to request a specific car, I mean, who does that? But I hoped it was one of those cool old wagons. At about 9:25 the next morning I actually heard the cab pull up from inside the house. When I went outside I was happy to see…
This wasn’t going to be just another cab ride, this was going to be an experience, we figured, with some local flavor, and maybe some diesel fumes. Cape Cod native Jesse Cartwright was our driver for the short 15 or so minute drive from our place in Truro into Provincetown. As soon as we got in the cab I started asking him about the company. I told him I worked for a Mercedes-Benz dealer and that I would just have to write a blog article about the Mercedes Cab company. “We’ve got about 10 cabs right now, two wagons and the rest are sedans” Jesse said, “the company’s been around since 1983, the owner started with one car, a Mercedes diesel, and it just grew from there.”
The company serves what’s known as the ‘lower cape’ from Eastham in the south, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown on the upper most tip of Cape Cod, not a huge distance, but where the bulk of the tourist traffic is concentrated I would guess, it’s just such a great niche. The wagon we were in was no show winner, this car was, like many of the fishing boats in the Provincetown marina, a working machine. Chipped paint, some surface rust here and there, but it’s not about a perfect vehicle, it’s about the best tool for the job, and I’d be hard pressed to think of a better tool for this job.
“We’re coming up on one of our old cabs here, off the the left, you’ll see it here, coming up, there it is.” Jesse pointed off towards a maroon colored W114 chassis Mercedes diesel from the early to mid 1970s parked in a gravel lot next to a warehouse building just as we were leaving Truro, “That one finally died” he said sadly as he took another sip from his coffee cup. “Yeah, I grew up here, when I was a kid we’d be on our bikes all day, riding around, my parents would just tell us to be back by dark, this was a really safe place to grow up, it still is.”
Jesse has a Mercedes-Benz diesel himself, as his personal car we learned. As we entered Provincetown he announced, “You know, I’m gonna take a little detour to avoid a busy intersection up here.” We hung a left off the main drag into town, “Well, it wasnt’tthat backed up today, sometimes this is all backed up” he waved his hand back and forth, “This way I can show you my car, it’s on the way.”
“What is it?” I asked.
“A 1979 300SD, a friend of mine had it, I traded him a Subaru and a surfboard for it” he announced as we rounded a bend… there it was, I got out and took some pictures while Jesse and Michele waited in the cab.
“I found the original hood emblem for it in the trunk, the star was broken out of it, but I put it on there anyway, I thought it looked cool” Jesse added, “and I put on that turbo badge, ’cause it’s one of the first turbo diesels they made.”
As I got back into the wagon I realized our ride was almost over. Jesse told us about the band he plays Bass in, Squidda. Judging from their Facebook Fan Page they’re pretty prolific on the Cape, it doesn’t look like too many weekends go by where you can’t catch them playing one of the bars along Commercial Street in Provincetown or somewhere else on the cape. (Check out the band and ‘LIKE’ Squidda on Facebook by clicking this link)
How cool is that? Jesse drove this 300SD all the way out to Lake Tahoe for the Winter season last year, put chains on the tires and drove it everyday he was there. How’s that for adventure? “Yeah, it made it up the mountain, everyday, no problem. My buddy was mad when I came back and he saw I was still driving it, he never thought it would make it, but it did, it was a good trade” he concluded.
A Mercedes-Benz film crew actually traveled to Cape Cod to shoot a short movie about “Mercedes Cab” for the Mercedes-Benz.tv website. This video, like all things Mercedes-Benz, it’s extremely high quality. It tells the story of “Mercedes Cab” in about 4 minutes with great photography and commentary. Click the image below to watch this great video on YouTube.
Thanks to Jesse and Mercedes Cab for getting us where we needed to go in style, see you next time. And thanks to our friends Oren and Rick for the best place to stay we could imagine and the fun dogs to walk and feed and play with while we bummed around Cape Cod for a week!
See more photos below of our trip to Cape Cod and some of the other Mercedes vehicles we encountered while on the cape.
One of my friends in the Twin Cities Section Mercedes-Benz Club has decided it’s time to sell a couple of his cars. He just put this beautiful 1969 300 SEL 6.3 liter sedan on eBay last night (CLICK HERE TO SEE THE eBay AUCTION). This is one of just 1,839 300SEL 6.3 liter sedans officially imported to the United States between 1968 and 1972.
This particular car is orignal and unrestored with just over 61,000 miles on its odometer. It is the nicest old Mercedes sedan I’ve ever seen, essentially perfect in every way. During the M100 Group meet held in conjunction with the MBCA German Car Fest in 2007 this car won the “Best 6.3” award. There are more than 85 photos documenting the car included in the eBay auction.
Bottom feeders need not apply, this car will pull good money from a true collector somewhere, given the strength of the Euro to the dollar these days, it wouldn’t surprise me if this one ends up with a new owner in Europe.
I just read an interesting article in the UK’s “The Telegraph” newspaper regarding a move that IGA Automobile is making in an effort to create what essentially sounds like an investment fund that will be used to purcahse iconic and classic cars purely for investment potential and financial gain.
An effort to eventually raise 150 million dollars for the fund is underway, the group is looking for interested investors willing to drop a minimum of $500,000 into the investment fun. According to The Telegraph “The fund will be advised by the designer of the McLaren F1 road car and Nick Mason, the Pink Floyd drummer and car enthusiast.”
How might such collector car speculators do to the collector car hobby? If they’re only looking at the most expensive, iconic cars will it event matter tom ore casual collectors? If the goal is to make money, as is the case with most investment funds… might it be a good move to buy up as money half million dollar Mercedes-Benz 300SL as they can get their hands on, as it looks like those cars might have real appreciation potential?
Here is the complete article from “The Telegraph”: Monday, 7 February 2011, Source: THE TELEGRAPH
Pink Floyd drummer joins world’s first classic car fund
Pink Floyd’s drummer Nick Mason and the so-called “car dealer to the stars” are raising $50m (£31m) for the world’s first classic car fund.
By Graham Ruddick 6:00AM GMT 07 Feb 2011
IGA Automobile plans to trade iconic and classic cars as demand for physical assets, such as wine and gold, surges. The fund, which aims to launch in April and eventually raise $150m, will be the first to target classic cars purely for financial returns, with the market dominated by collectors.
It has drawn up a list of 25 cars it plans to target, including the Ferrari 250 GTO and Aston Martin DB4 Zagato. The market for classic cars has expanded rapidly over the past 20 years, according to IGA Automobile, with annual auction sales rising from $30m in 1994 to $422m in 2009.
Ray Bellm, a co-founder of the fund and former chairman of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, said: “As people get fed up with paper assets they have gone back to physical assets. With emerging nations gaining more wealth there is increasing demand for cars. They are pieces of art.”
According to Mr Bellm, a classic car bought in 1991 for $8m would now be worth $82m. The Ferrari 250 GTO sells for between $25m and $30m. The seven-year fund is targeting wealthy individuals by asking for a minimum investment of $500,000, but is also understood to have attracted interest from institutions.
Alongside Mr Bellm, a former chief executive of consumer medicine group International Laboratories, which was sold to Pfizer in 1994, management of the Guernsey-based fund will be led by property fund manager Grant Tromans and Nick Lancaster, the founder of Lancaster and the former chief executive of HR Owens, the luxury car dealer. The chairman is Jeremy Agace, the founder Mann & Co estate agents, which became part of Countrywide.
Additionally, the fund will be advised by the designer of the McLaren F1 road car and Nick Mason, the Pink Floyd drummer and car enthusiast.