Tag Archives: Dave Knows Cars Blog

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  (and one that link is no longer active… see below)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?”.

SPECIFICS:

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.

Thanks!

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.

The Differences Between the 2013 Mercedes Benz GLK350 and the 2012 GLK350 In Pictures

2013 Mercedes GLK350

We’ve all read about the new facelifted 2013 GLK350 in the usual motoring press publications and online… I’ve read several synopsis of the new car, and they’re all the same, nobody ever really lays out the differences side by side, with both cars sitting next to each other, until Dave Knows Cars. This article will be laid out in a similar manner to my “Differences between the C300 Sport and C300 Luxury” article (one of the most visited and commented on posts on the Dave Knows Cars  Blog).

The goal here is to educate the reader about both vehicles… the 2013 model and those GLKs built during the 2010 – 2012 model years. This should help you decide which car might be right depending upon whether you’re looking at new cars, Certified Pre Owned examples or both… this should help you weigh the options.

The 2013 GLK350 get mechanical as well as cosmetic changes. Let’s start on the outside….

2013 Mercedes Benz GLK350 Palladium Silver
Our subject 2013 Mercedes GLK350 in Palladium Silver, this is a fairly standard car, with the new style standard wheel and NO appearance package. This is the standard GLK350 ‘look’ for MY 2013.
2012 Mercedes Benz GLK350 Arctic White
This is the standard equipment 2012 Mercedes Benz GLK350, NO appearance package, this car has the standard GLK wheels for 2012.

The most notable cosmetic differences start in the front of the vehicle. The 2013 model gets a new grille with chrome topped horizontal bars, the front bumper and lower front fascia are all new. ALL the metal panels on the two vehicles are the same, only the plastic wrap around bumper and lower front fascia have changed. The new 2013 model gets a sporty chrome front skid plate at the very bottom of the front fascia, as well as standard LED daytime running lamps (similar to the C and E classes). The other major front end difference is the new headlamp shape / style for the 2013 models.

2013 mercedes GLK350 changes
Have a close look at our 2013 GLK350 here: New grille, front bumper and lower front fascia, notice the new LED daytime running lamps which replace the standard round fog lamps on the 2012 model GLK350. Fancy new headlamp treatment too.
2012 Mercedes GLK350 head lamps
This is the 2012 model GLK350… different grille, lower front bumper and fascia are all white plastic… no chrome, round fog lamps instead of the LED daytime running lamps, different headlamp shape.
2013 Mercedes Benz GLK350 Wheel
This is the new, standard equipment, 19″ wheel for the 2013 model GLK350. A larger 20″ wheel is available if you opt for the “Appearance Package”.
2012 Mercedes GLK350 19" Wheel
This is the standard 19″ wheel for GLK vehicles built between the 2010 model year and 2012.

The rear ends of the vehicles have changed in a similar way… the 2013 gets some visual updates, but also some new technology. The rear plastic bumpers are all new on the 2013 model GLK class cars. You’ll notice that the 2013 GLK has chrome down low on the rear bumper, the red lights integrated into the rear bumpers are in a difference place and a different shape, the 2013 model also gets a new tail pipe treatment.

2013 Mercedes GLK350 LED tail lamps
The rear end of the new 2013 GLK350 reveals a new plastic bumper, the lower part of the bumper incorporates a chrome ‘skid plate’ and new tail pipe treatment. New rear tail lamp design boasts LEDs.
2012 Mercedes GLK350 rear styling
The rear end of the 2012 GLK appears a bit more simple and less stylized. The tail pipes don’t seem as integrated here, different tail lamp treatment.

In addition to the visual enhancements and a new tail lamp shape, the 2013 GLK350 gets LED rear tail lamps while the 2012 models still use regular incandescent bulbs. The rear license plate is also lit by LED lamps on the new 2013 models.

2013 Mercedes GLK350 LED tail lamps
The 2013 model GLK gets a new tail lamp, LED tail lamps in fact. They light up more quickly when the brake pedal is applied and LEDs last longer than traditional bulbs, while using less energy.
2012 Mercedes GLK tail lamp
The original 2010 – 2012 GLK350 tail lamp, uses regular incandescent bulbs.

Moving to the interior of the vehicle… the 2013 GLK gets many of the changes that we saw appear in the 2012 model C classes in terms of dash layout. The 2013 models get the new steering wheel we saw appear int eh 2012 model C class cars… but also, all the vents have been upgraded and their shape has been changed to emulate the SL and SLS round shaped air vents. Like the rest of the new Mercedes-Benz model line, the display within the instrument cluster is now full color, not just white pixels on a black back ground.

2013 Mercedes GLK350 new interior
Big changes on the inside of the new 2013 GLK… notice the vents, steering wheel and full color instrument display. If you look closely, you will see there is NO gear shift selector on the console… read on for more info about that!

Since 2010 the gear shift selector for the GLK has been in the console between the seats, so the cup holders were just in front of the arm rest. Well, the new 2013 GLK models have the same electronic transmission selector, on the steering column, to control the 7 speed transmission as the GL, M, S and E class vehicles from Mercedes-Benz. This makes room for more cup holders and storage under that little roll back wood piece where the gear shift selector used to be.

2013 Mercedes GLK interior
This is the interior of the 2013 GLK… no more gear shift selector in the console, now it’s on the steering column like most of the rest of the MB product line. This leaves more room for additional storage and cup holders under the wood roll back compartment in front of the climate control
2012 Mercedes GLK interior
This is the 2012 GLK dash and interior. Doesn’t seem quite as intricate or rich looking, still a great vehicle though, just a different look.
2012 Mercedes GLK350 interior
Transmission selector of the 2012 model, like the 2010 and 2011 models, are situated in the console, good cup holders are right behind the gear shifter.

Mechanical upgrades for the interior, beyond the transmission selector relocation includes the addition of the same Electro-Mechanical steering system that is found in the 2012 model ML350, it no longer uses a hydraulic power steering system. This makes the vehicle very easy to turn and maneuver at low speeds, say, in a parking lot, but the steering stiffens as speeds increase. The other big change on the inside for long time Mercedes-Benz owners is the change in position of the cruise control and turn signal stalks. For 20+ years the cruise control stalk has been the upper most stalk on the left side of the steering wheel while the lower stalk has always been the turn signals / wiper controls. Thanks to all the potential customers Mercedes Benz surveyed during the redesign of the 2012 model ML350 (mostly women, mostly Lexus owners) the positioning of these two controls were changed. Apparently, if you’re a driver of Japanese cars, you’re used to hitting the upper most stalk for teh turn signals and people were constantly turning on the cruise control when trying to signal a turn. Interestingly, this happens on almost EVERY SINGLE test drive I’ve ever been on with anyone who hasn’t owned a Mercedes-Benz before. I tell people as we’re getting int he car, they still hit the cruise control as they’re attempting to signal the first turn out of the lot.. no joke.. it happens almost every time.

2013 mercedes GLK turn signal placement
Changed after 25+ years, the turn signal stalk is the upper most stalk on the left of the 2013 GLK350, the cruise control is below. The little stalk in between the two is the power steering column adjustment.
2012 Mercedes GLK turn signals
This is a shot of the 2012 turn signal / cruise control placement. This has been the standard placement of cruise and turn signal stalks since at least the early 1980s as far as I can tell.
2013 Mercedes GLK350 gear shift placement
Notice the steering column mounted transmission selector… this new placement gives you new space for additional cup holders and more storage in the roll back console area.

So, we’ve covered all the enhancements you can SEE on the GLK.. but what lies under the hood. The new GLK350 get the newest Mercedes-Benz direct injection V6 engine that appeared inthe new ML350 in 2012 and now resides in the 2013 model E class cars. The new V6 ups its horsepower from 268HP in 2012 to 302HP for the 2013 model year… ft./lb of torque also increases…. and while we’re increasing numbers… let’s touch on the improved fuel efficiency. The new 2013 mode GLK gets a couple of more miles per gallon according to the EPA (who always have conservative estimates, far less economy that actual owners experience).

2013 Mercedes GLK gas mileage
A shot of the window sticker of the 2013 GLK350… according to the EPA the car gets 19mpg in the city and 24mpg on the highway, about 3 miles per gallon more than the outgoing 2012 model.
2012 Mercedes GLK gas mileage
This is the window sticker of the 2012 model… 16mpg city, 21 mpg highway, combined fuel economy of 18MPG. Real owners always get better than these estimates.

My wife recently completed a 22 hour round trip drive in her 2012 GLK from Minneapolis to Toledo, OH… she averaged a little more than 26mpg on the highway with the cruise control set at 74mph. 5 miles per hour better than the EPA states on the window sticker, so it might not be too much of a stretch to think the new GLK is capable of about 30mpg on the highway. If I have a chance to take an extended road test in a new 2013 GLK, I will report back here and let you know what I find.

So the first face lift of the GLK is out and about, available at dealers today. The new direct injection engine is certainly noteworthy, the new steering system is too, but in my eyes, not a huge deal. There will be a number of option packages for the new 2013 GLK… an Appearance Package to include 20″ wheels and stainless steel roof rails among other things. The next big thing in the GLK world will be the GLK350 BlueTEC diesel arriving in the U.S. in early 2013. There will be a lot of talk about it… it should be good for mid 30s MPG… but chances are we will sell few of them sue to the general distaste the American buyer has for diesel (unfounded of course, it’s really a pity). Those who want them are nuts about them.. those who don’t are just as nuts in their distaste for them.

My next article will focus on my thoughts about the used GLK market.. it’s been very strong since the GLKs were released…and chances are it will remain strong.

‘Miami Vice Style’ 1984 Mercedes 500SEL Limousine For Sale in South Florida

Mercedes Limousine Limo

This 1984 Mercedes Benz 500SEL Limousine may or may not have been used on the style making 80s cop show “Miami Vice” but it certainly would have looked at home on the small screen if it had.

The description from the seller claims ‘redone interior’ with ‘excellent champagne paint’ on the exterior. The wheels are from a late 1990s vintage Mercedes E class which muddles the style a bit in my opinion and I’d pry off those ugly chrome fender trim pieces. The ‘landau’ top is very ‘South Florida’ but just another thing that makes me question the taste of the owner / builder of this rare W126 chassis limousine. There is no mention of the company that performed the limousine conversion or when it was converted.
Mercedes W126 Limousine Limo

Mechanically Mercedes W126 chassis cars can be costly to maintain, this car has a stated 172,000 miles and the owner says it has a new exhaust system and drive shaft.

If you’re looking for a limo like this, there aren’t many out there, but when they do appear, they usually have fewer miles than this example. This car probably had a real life as a working limousine, so many others just sit in the garage of their wealthy private owner.

Mercedes W126 Limousine Limo
Interior looks like a custom layout, not the classic look of a period Mercedes limo.

It’s for sale on Craigslist near Orlando, FL for $9,000. Even with the new paint, interior and recent mechanical work, I don’t why anyone should pay more than about $6,000 for this drug lord chariot… and that’s on the very high side.
Mercedes W126 Chassic Limousine Limo

 

Rare Mercedes Benz 560SEL Convertible For Sale – The Only W126 Convertible in the U.S.?

During my regular rounds searching for interesting Mercedes-Benz cars online I came across this rare gem. A 1986 Mercedes 560SEL Convertible. The owner claims this is just one of three Mercedes W126 convertibles on the planet and the only one in the United States. I’m not sure how you verify that claim… I’d be most interested in verifying the quality of the convertible conversion before I ever considered a purchase. Scroll all the way down…
1986-Mercedes 560SEL-Convertible-

These cars have long wheel bases and while it looks like they left the B pillar in the car, so when the top is down there is a sort of ‘roll bar’ that is made up of the B pillar. Forget the way it looks, I have to think the structural integrity of the car has been compromised to some degree… but I’m not engineer, I think you’d have to look at the car and see for yourself.

1986-Mercedes-560SEL-Convertible
Rare indeed, I don’t even think they used one of these in Miami Vice.

 

There is a video walk around of the car… scroll all the way down… where the owner shows us some basics of the car. It does look like it’s in very good condition. The interior looks very nice and it is said to have just 79,000 original miles. In the video the owner mentions that it is a power top, although doesn’t demonstrate the top in operation. I dare say it’s quite a sight to see… I’ve got to assume its a hydraulic powered top, again, you’ll have to get more details from the owner.

The asking price in one listing I saw from early June was $15,000, it looks like it has been reduced to $12,500 at this point, the car is advertised on Craigslist in Iowa. I dare say it will take a few thousand dollars of additional discounting before this car is actually sold. The W126 market is fairly soft, even for great examples. A stock Mercedes 560SEL can be hugely expensive to maintain, especially if they haven’t been maintained regularly over the past 20+ years… an example such as this, with an essentially, one off, power, convertible could mean HUGE repair bills in the future. There certainly is some 1980s ‘Pimp Appeal’ in this car… reclining rear seats, smoke silver exterior (read gold). I’d be a player in about the $8,000 range.

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

Mercedes-P2-Package-keyless-go
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.

P1-back-up-camera
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.

 

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

2014-Mercedes-CLA-Class-production car-Amelia Island Concours
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.

2013-Minneapolis-Auto-Show-Mercedes-CLA-Concept-car
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.

1930-hacker-craft-freedom-boat-service
The 1930 Hack Craft Triple Cockpit Runabout consigned at RM Auctions by Freedom Boat Service from Mound, MN.

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

2012 Motor Trend SUV of the Year Honors Go to the new 2013 Mercedes Benz GL450 – But What Does It Really Mean?

Mercedes-Motor-Trend-SUV-of-The-Year

It was just announced that the all new 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL450 SUV won Motor Trend’s prestigious ‘SUV of the Year’ Award. 11 SUVS, both foreign and domestic, were tested and judged side by side and the new GL came out on top. Judging was based on a number of criteria including: Design Advancement, Engineering Excellence, Performance of Intended Function, Efficiency, Safety and Value.

The competitors were: Acura RDX, Audi Allroad, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, Infiniti JX, Mazda CX-5, Mercedes-Benz GL450, Mercedes-Benz GLK350, Nissan Pathfinder and the Subaru XV Crosstrek.

While it’s nice for Mercedes-Benz to get some recognition for the pure genius of the new GL, it really is an amazing vehicle, and I write that as objectively as I can. I regularly drive Cadillac Escalades, Range Rovers, Yukon Denalis and other big SUVS, but nothing even compares to a GL…really. BUT, I must look at the other vehicles in the competition and think… how can you really compare a Mazda CX-5 to a $70,000 GL450? What’s a CX-5 Cost? $35,000? The GLK350 is in the same comparison test, as great a little SUV as it is… how is it going to beat its big brother the GL?
Mercedes GL450-Motor-Trend-SUV-of-The-Year

Sure, we can look at the criteria and talk about Design Advancement across all these competitors, Engineering Excellence, etc. But I’d be more proud to say that the GL came out on top if cars like the Range Rover and Escalade (and any number of other behemoth – in size and price – luxury SUVs) were included in the test, not all these mid sized cross overs that cost at least $20k – $30k less than the winner. I mean, is the Audi Allroad even an SUV? Where’s the Q7 in this competition?

So, while this is nice press and we can all slap each other on the back about winning the award, I caution everyone to take these sorts of ‘awards’ with a grain of salt, no matter who wins. There is no doubt the GL450 is a  great vehicle and I’d put it up against any SUV on the market. Nothing drives like it, it’s easy to live with and has made huge strides in fuel efficiency… I’m just saying, I don’t know why you’d comapre it to a Hyundai Santa Fe and be surprised at the outcome of the competition.

If money were no object… wouldn’t we all be driving GLs ?

Mercedes Benz Club Turns Out for Oktoberfest German Car Show at the Auto Motor Plex in Chanhassen

Despite cold temperatures and heavy fog and cloud cover a couple of hundred German cars showed up for the Oktoberfest German Car Show at the AutoMotorPlex in Chanhassen. Porsche and Mercedes-Benz were the marques with the most cars on display. Many members of the Mercedes Benz Club of America Twin Cities Section were in attendance. There were a couple of nice BMWs, including two 1980s vintage 6 series cars. Volkswagen fans turned out with a handful of beetles an early ’70s Westfalia camper and a handful of other models including a couple of square backs, I even saw a late 70s / early 80s Scirocco! Many Porsche 911s from all years were in attendance, along with a 944, 928 and 914 sprinkled around. Mercedes-Benz cars were very well represented. Click this LINK for 100 photos of the Oktoberfest show on my Dave Knows Cars Flickr page.
Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Quite a few members of “The Pagoda Pack” were in attendance with the W113 ‘Pagoda’ SLs, including “Pagoda Pack’ ring leader Ken Garelick. Club members were in attendance with a 190SL, a W111 chassis 280SE sedan, several R107 SLs a an R129 SL, a couple of R230s, David Steingas was there with his always pretty 1951 220S Cabriolet. Two of the rarest Mercedes in attendance were the 600 Limousine and the 1955 300SL Gullwing. It was a real treat to see both of those cars as they don’t make appearances very often.
Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show
Sears Imports Mercedes-Benz was one of the event sponsors and sponsored the 35 piece German Band, ‘The Bavarian Muzikmeisters’ to give the event just the right true German flavor. The Chanhassen American Legion made brats and kraut available along with some real German beer.

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show
The Mercedes-Benz Club board is talking about bringing back their annual show, held in June for the past 17 years in a row, except this year… hopefully the club can pull together a German Car Fest during the warmer Summer months as in years past to get German car fans out in greater numbers.

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

A big thanks needs to go to Bruno Silikowski at the Auto Motor Plex in Chanhassen for hosting the event, to Sears Imports Mercedes-Benz and BMW of Minnetonka for sponsoring the event and all the volunteers from the different German car clubs that helped out with the organization and parking cars.
Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show
600 Limo.

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show
Very rare, over the top, DP motorsport 911 slant nose turbo.

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

David Tobin
The first show appearance for my newly acquired Porsche 911 and the first time I’ve taken anything but a Mercedes-Benz to a German car show!