Currently, Mercedes-Benz vehicles equipped with iPod Integration Kits (option code 057) and the media interface in newer Mercedes-BEnz vehicles (option code 518) use the iPod / iPhone 30-Pin connector that Apple has been using for years now.
With the release of the new iPhone 5 it’s clear that a new charger / adapter plug will have to be installed in existing Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The Press Release below from Mercedes-Benz spells out the current plans for a solution to Apple’s change in plug size from the 30 pin connector to the new 8 pin ‘Lighting’ connector.
It seems like folks with newer cars, 2010 and newer for most models, with the media interface cables that plug in inside the glove box will have the easiest solution. Once Mercedes-Benz releases the new cables, they will be able to buy these new cables, unplug the old ones and plug in new 8 pin Lighting connectors.
Those customers who have the older, 2008 and 2009 models in most cases, or older cars that were retrofitted with iPod Kits that are hard wired right into what had been the standard auxiliary jack may have a bigger challenge. I would guess there are already small adapters on the market to take a 30 pin connector to the new 8 pin… but I have yet to see one myself.
See the full memo from Mercedes-Benz below, including their timeline for release of the new 8 Pin Apple charger / connector cable for Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
FROM MERCEDES BENZ: With the recent launch of the iPhone5®, Apple made some significant changes to the connector. Whereas the previous generations of iPhone® and iPod® models were equipped with a 30-PIN connector, the all new iPhone® and iPod® variants require an 8-PIN “Lightning” connector.
These changes will have a significant impact for customers with the Apple products, as all vehicles equipped with Media Interface (option code 518), iPod Integration Kits (option code 057), and vehicles with Nav + 4 / UMI (option code 001 or 079) only have the standard 30-PIN connector.
As soon as the 8-PIN “Lightning” connector is released by Apple, a careful investigation will commence. All features of Media Interface, iPod Integration Kits, and Nav + 4 / UMI will be tested in accordance with stringent Mercedes-Benz standards to provide our customers a detailed answer as to whether the adapter can be used and what features are compatible. Once testing has been concluded MBUSA will issue an official statement at the end of October / early November.
In the meantime we are working on developing new 8-PIN “Lightning” Media Interface cables, which will replace the existing 30-PIN connectors if the customer has ownership of the new Apple product. These cables are expected to be introduced in the first quarter of 2013 as a customer-pay option.
It participated in the Inaugural Walleye 1000 Vintage Rally in early June and performed flawlessly, despite the almost 100 degree heat both days! The car ran like a top at sustained speeds of 55 – 70 mph, we traveled in comfort and 70s Mercedes style.
This is an extremely rare opportunity to own a Mercedes Benz spec F1 Safety car. A friend of mine in the Mercedes-Benz club introduced me to a gentleman who told me he had an F1 Safety car, that he had special ordered from Mercedes-Benz in Germany. Frankly, I didn’t believe him… until I saw the car yesterday and drove it myself. He has asked me to find a buyer for it… so, it will be posted here, on Dave Knows Cars first, then on eBay, for the world market.
A little history… the FIA uses a ‘very fast’ street car as their ‘Pace Car’ and ‘Safety Car’ during Formula 1 races around the world. There is normally a professional race driver driving and a doctor in the passenger’s seat, so, in the event of a bad accident, the car can take to the track and keep up with F1 car traffic while arriving quickly at the accident scene with a doctor. A variety of Mercedes-Benz vehicles have been used for this purpose over the years. For the 2004 Formula 1 season the FIA used a factory modified SLK55 AMG roadster as the Safety / Medical car during Formula 1 races. Mercedes built a handful of these cars for FIA use and offered them, on an extremely limited basis in subsequent years, to VIP customers around the world.
Enter my new friend from Wisconsin… back in 2004 and 2005, when he heard of these cars, he went to the three Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the Twin Cities, Sears Imports, Feldmann Imports and Maplewood Imports, asking if he could order an SLK55 AMG F1 Safety car. Apparently, all three dealers said, “Sorry, we can’t get one of those for you, they aren’t for sale for the North American market”. He finally went to a Mercedes-Benz dealer in Wisconsin who said he’d ‘see what he could do’. After some phone calls to MBUSA, and the buyer mentioning ‘I thought you could get anything from Mercedes-Benz, as long as you were willing to pay for it’… after all, if you’re a sultan or sheik, you can get your Mercedes cars gold plated. He was eventually told they could get one for him, but he would have to provide documentation that he had professional race driving credentials. (Did they do this expecting him to fold and go away? Whoops!)
It just so happens that this gentleman holds several North American competition drivers licenses for several different racing organizations. He raced professionally in Formula 2 in Europe for a number of years in the 1970s and competed in the SCCA National Champion Run Offs in a number of open wheeled classes throughout the 1980s and has been vintage racing ever since. These days he races a very rare and very fast 1970 D sports prototype in vintage races around the country.
Long story short, they built a Formula 1 Safety car for him, he was able to choose the colors and some options… The factory modifications of a normal, run of the mill SLK55 AMG include the following, among other items… 19″ 3 piece AMG wheels, HUGE upgraded brakes on all four corners, I forget how big they really are, the ‘Nurburgring’ suspension package, top speed limited to 186 MPH, the car sits on FACTORY lowering springs, it is considerably lower than a normal SLK55 AMG. It also has an aluminum hood among other components which replaced heavier steel in series production cars. Beyond the performance enhancements, it has carbon fiber interior trim, alcantara trimmed seats and steering wheel… spare tire delete and a number of other unique options, but still has comfort options such as heated seats, the AIRSCARF feature and a 6 disc CD changer in the glove box.
The car was brought into the country with a standard U.S. spec SLK5 AMG VIN, if you pull the window sticker through the Mercedes-Benz Netstar system it will show up as a regular, run of the mill 2006 SLK55 AMG. The owner’s supporting correspondence and documentation with Mercedes-Benz tells the real story.
Amazingly, the car only has 1,453 miles on its odometer. The owner bought the car, drove it around a little, but never tracked the car. He originally purchased it for track use but decided it was ‘just too nice to take to the track’ and he has other race cars for that anyway. It has seen occasional dry weather use over the past 6 years.
I witnessed an all new level of true fanaticism when taking photos of this car with its owner. Of course, it sits in a climate controlled garage, heated in the Winter, air conditioned in the Summer. When he washes this car he puts wheel and tire covers from his race cars over the wheels as not to get water on the brake calipers, causing oxidation. He brushes his feet off before getting into the driver’s seat. When we got in to go for a drive he put on driving gloves, not for grip or because he was going to thrash the car, but because he ‘doesn’t like to get oil from his hands on the alcantara trimmed steering wheel’! Way over the top…!
The car is essentially PERFECT in every way. The exterior is absolutely flawless, the silver paint shines like brand new. The interior shows absolutely ZERO wear, look at the close up photos of the driver’s seat, the carpet, the buttons, everything is perfect in every way.
So… what is a car like this worth? Good question… it was in the low $80,000s when new. I found a similar 2006 F1 Safety Car online, in Japan, with the F1 safety car graphics and yellow light bar for over $100,000. This gentleman wanted to talk to me about selling his car because he’d like to buy another racing car, something he will use more often, something he car race competitively, wheel to wheel with other cars.
Given the rarity and condition of the car, we’re thinking a fair price today is something in the neighborhood of $60,000.
Seriously interested? Please give me a call, I’d be happy to discuss the car with you.
The 2008 McLaren SLR that’s been sitting on our show room floor for most of the year was picked up by its new owner this morning, a gentleman who lives near St. Louis, MO. He had initially seen the car when I advertised is on eBay, after the eBay auction ended without meeting the $288,000 reserve price, he gave me a call and we were able to put a deal together on the phone.
We discussed the car, its condition, ownership and service history and a wire transfer for the purchase price arrived the next day. We both figured we’d set up an enclosed transport to ship the car to his home, but after a day or so trying to find a transporter, the buyer just gave me a call and said that he will fly in, pick up the car and drive it back home… about 600 miles.
The buyer was a very nice guy and a real car guy. He raced with the SCCA some years ago in a number of national level classes, GT2 in a Nissan Z and later, in the big GT1 class in a Corvette. I’m so glad to see this car go to a good home, to a real ‘car guy’. Thanks again Steve, it was great to meet you, I hope you enjoy the McLaren SLR!
UPDATE: The ‘Chasing Classic Cars’ style rescue of this Porsche 911 from a barn in rural Minnesota is complete! If you missed the first posting on Dave Knows Cars about how my brother found this car on Craigslist, from the comfort of his home in Sweden, and how I went to check it out and made a deal to buy it, please visit that blog post on Dave Knows Cars by following this link.
Dave has a couple of tow vehicles, the vehicle we drove out to get the Porsche in was a Chevy Tahoe Quadrasteer (4 wheel steering) with a big car trailer hook up to the back. To make a long story short, Dave backed the trailer right up to the barn entrance, which was a little tricky, as there were fences to dodge as well as an old derelict tractor right by the entrance. Dave masterfully maneuvered the Tahoe and trailer into place while the cars’ owner and I watched… along with some horses and about 20 cats.
Dave had all the necessary straps, hooks and gear to get the job done. We used a ‘come-a-long’ to ratchet the car up onto the trailer, once in place we strapped it down with the two hooks in the front and suspension components in the back. We finished up just as the sun went down and headed back to the storage facility Dave has been gracious enough to give me a little space in to store the car until my brother comes over from Sweden to see the car and arrange shipping.
These sorts of adventures are a lot of fun… I guess they’re a lot of work, but it seems fun if you’re doing it with the right people. Thanks Dave!
If you’ve read very much of DaveKnowsCars you know I’m always combing the classifieds on Craigslist, AutoTrader Classics, Hemmings and all the other spots I might come across an old vintage car with potential. I Tivo every episode of Chasing Classic Cars and would really like to be Wayne Carini when I ‘grow up’.
I was surprised to get an email from my brother last week about this 1976 Porsche 911S model that he found on Craigslist about an hour Southwest of the Twin Cities. Remember now, my brother, Sean, lives in Sweden. He’s planning a trip to come over to Minneapolis with his family to visit, so, like any good car guy, he’s combing the classifieds here to see what he might find that’s worth taking home to Sweden.
Sean emailed me with a link to a Craigslist ad for this 1976 Porsche 911. It was in rural Minnesota, parked in a barn (with a concrete floor) for the past 5 years. According to the Craigslist ad the car “ran when parked, 5 years ago”. Sean talked to the owner, long distance from Sweden and scheduled a time for me to go out and inspect the car for him.
The general thinking was, that if the car is in good cosmetic condition, most importantly, if it’s a dry, rust free, original car, it would be well worth the asking price. Sean has some experience working on 911s of this vintage. He has a 1978 911 SC model and a good friend of his has a 1976 S model, like this one,t hat they are just putting back together after a fairly serious mechanical freshening.
If we could strike a deal with the owner, I could haul it out of his barn and put it in a friends warehouse for a while until Sean comes over to visit with his family. Then we could arrange shipping in an ocean freight container back to Sweden where Sean could work on the car, get it back in running order and have a great looking vintage 911.
So last Wednesday morning I drove out to the owner’s farm near Arlington, MN, not knowing exactly what I’d find. As I pulled into the gravel driveway I saw an early 1970s Mercedes-Benz 450SL sitting outside with grass growing up around it… It was clear, even from a distance, that it was rusted out in all the usual places, not much more than a parts car today.
When I got of my car the owner greeted me, like every Craigslist transaction, you’re never quite sure what to expect. Was I lured to the next Ed Gein compound where I would end up in the freezer only to be found years later once the police caught on? Thankfully, the guy who met me was perfectly normal… as perfectly normal as an old Porsche aficionado could be anyway.
He mentioned that he had just sold his vintage Porsche 912 to his mailman and he recently purchased the BMW Z4 that was sitting next to the house. It was time to clear out some of his old cars. I walked into the concrete floored steel building, the whole rear corner was stacked to the ceiling with bales of hay, for their horses. There, in the middle of the room was the lemon yellow Porsche 911 Targa.
As soon as I saw it I decided it looked better than I expected. It is a completely stock vehicle, except for the period BBS wheels, which I rather like, and the added fiberglass whale tail. The paint is of exceptional quality and looks to be original, all the way around, I opened the doors and hood, engine compartment, I looked everywhere and I couldn’t find any tape marks, over spray or any evident of body or paintwork.
I took out my flashlight, the most important tool you could have for a job like this. It’s important to look in all the hard to reach places to look for rust or evidence of accident damage or poor repairs performed many years ago. The engine compartment was dirty and full of cobwebs, but everything looked to be there. There was some oil under the engine, but that is to be expected, as seals dry up and crack allowing the fluids inside to leak out over time. There were enough very old cobwebs going from the bottom of the car to the floor to convince me that this car probably had been sitting in this same spot for 5 years as the seller claimed.
One of my big concerns was pest damage… it’s not uncommon for a car like this to house multiple generations of mice, especially when stored in a barn like this for so long. While inspecting the interior I noticed some very old evidence of mice… just some droppings and seed shells under the carpet on the passenger’s side. I would have been surprised not to have found something like that, but that seemed to be the extent of the infestation. I looked long and hard in the front trunk compartment and in the vent tubes for mouse nests, but found nothing.
I was very pleased to see completely original, solid floors on both sides of the car when I lifted up the interior carpets… rusty floors on vintage 911s are very typical and would have been a deal breaker. You can fix mechanical things.. engine, transmission, etc. easily, but body work is just so expensive and time consuming, and never as good as the original, you have to just walk away from rusty cars.
After my long inspection I texted my brother and asked him to give me a call… I had seen the car. He called me right back and we chatted… no rust, floors look good, the paint, amazingly, looks original, no serious rodent infestation, largely original, etc. etc.
I handed the phone to the owner so Sean could talk to him and let him know how we’d be putting the deal together. I would leave a deposit on the spot until Sean could send me a wire transfer with the balance of the purchase price, once I had the money I would return in a few days with a trailer and tow vehicle to haul the Porsche away and take it to a storage facility until we can ship the car to Sean in Sweden.
So, that was that… As I was leaving the farm I wondered how many other cars like this are hidden away… it’s not like this is a rare car, it’s not… but how many other interesting cars are sitting in barns and sheds in these rural areas that won’t see the light of day for many years? When there is no lack of space somewhere, when people can just park another car outside next to the barn (like the Mercedes) they often stack up, the sad part is, that unless the cars are inside, like this Porsche was, they will quickly deteriorate to something only fit for the scrap heap.
I imagine this will be a great car for my brother, I hope it is… and I wish I could be there when his daughter, my niece, sees it for the first time. She absolutely loves his red 1978 911… what will she think when a bright yellow one shows up?
This low mile, one owner 2008 Mercedes McLaren SLR Roadster in Crystal Galaxite Black with Silver Arrow 300SL Red Leather interior with black stitching and trim was just listed on eBay. Click this link to go right to the eBay auction. My motivation behind listing the car on eBay… as usual, is an attempt to reach the widest audience possible. Over the past year or so I’ve shipped cars to Brazil, Peru, England, Germany, the Czech Republic not to mention countless cities across the United States. I’m secretly hoping this one gets shipped off to Dubai or the UAE where a 17 year old kid might enjoy street racing it against his friends in their Lamborghinis and Bugattis… I guess we’ll see
This example of the rare SLR Roadster has just 943 one owner miles on its odometer, originally from California, Sears Imports acquired this car from an online dealer auction, it had previously been in the car of Symbolic Motor Car Company in La Jolla, CA.
As you can see by this piece of the original window sticker, this is a highly optioned SLR Roadster, the special red leather interior is itself a $9,950 option. This SLR, like the others, has body panels constructed entirely of carbon fiber… it’s almost as much spy plane as it is super car. The 5.5 liter supercharged engine built by AMG pumps out 617 horsepower and more toque than most people will know what to do with… legally anyway.
The doors of the McLaren SLR might be the most recognizable feature of the car, while not ‘Gullwing’ doors like the 300SL cars of the 50s or the newer SLS AMG cars, the ‘scissor’ type doors on the SLR attract a lot of attention when you open them up, they aren’t like doors on a Lamborghini, they have a mechanism all their own, only found on the McLaren SLR.
This is a used 2010 Audi A5 Cabriolet with just over 14,000 one owner miles. Color is white with brown leather and a dark brown top. This A5 has the 2.0 liter Turbo engine and the Premium Plus Package, the transmission is an automatic.
We purchased this vehicle from a dealer friend of ours in the north shore area of Chicago, Highland Park to be exact. This is a super clean, non smoker vehicle that we just serviced and inspected, it is ready to roll today.
I’ve already had three calls on this vehicle since it was listed on our website.. two of them came in before the car had even arrived on the truck from Chicago. These A5s are fairly sought after cars and there aren’t too many on the market at any one time.
This car is ready to roll and priced to sell today for $40,900. Sears Imports stock#20422, call me today for more info.
On Wednesday of this week I drove 3 1/2 hours from Minneapolis to The Dells, WI… about the halfway point between Minneapolis and Chicago, to meet the new owner of this lightly used (just over 5,000 miles) 2012 model Mercedes Benz SL550. It’s the longest single stint I’ve put in behind the wheel of an R230 series Mercedes-Benz SL (2003 – 2012). The 2012 model is the last of that series, the most highly evolved of that series, and an absolute joy to drive. Click the YouTube screenshot above or think link to watch the Road Trip Video! (commentary begins at about second 20).
Despite what some people say, what might be printed in the marketing material, these aren’t really ‘sports’ cars in the true sense of the word, not like a Porsche 911 is a sports car or a Ferrari 360 Modena is a ‘sports’ car… sports cars are brutal, uncomfortable things, impractical for every day use, but absolute perfection on a race track. The Mercedes-Benz SL is a grand touring car… it handles beautifully and has plenty of power, but it’s a much more civilized machine. You can get in this car and tool around town at 25 – 35 mph comfortably or you can get on the highway and cruise at 75 mph all day in complete comfort.
You can adjust the Active Body Control suspension to be extremely tight and responsive if you want to really take to the twisties, you can use the steering wheel mounted shifter paddles if you want to decide when to shift gears (even though you’ll never be as quick or smooth as the computer controlled automatic transmission in Sport mode). This is a car to throw an overnight bag in the back of and cruise to a vineyard, the lake house or wherever else you might want to go.. the further away, the better.
The 3 1/2 hours I had behind the wheel of this car were comfortable and fun. I tried to find excuses to get off the highway, just to have another chance to apply the gas, liberally, as I cruised up the on ramp to re-join traffic. I kept the cruise control set at 74mph the whole time, a brisk pace, but I certainly wasn’t the driving faster than everyone on the highway. As I would cruise up on someone going slower, in the fast lane, they would see this low slung, black car with huge the huge three pointed star in the grille, bi-xenon headlamps on and immediately get over in the right lane… even though I was only going a couple of miles per hour faster, I think the car is perceived by other drivers to be going a lot faster than it really is. It is certainly capable of a lot faster… it just looks fast when you see it, but it’s the smoothness of the car that’s so amazing. Heavy and steady as you cruise down the highway.
Starting with the 2009 model year, SL class cars got all the latest electronics from Mercedes-Benz along with a cosmetic refresh. Sitting in the driver’s seat of a 2009 and newer you can’t help but notice the bulges in the aluminum hood, they do add a mystique to the view out the front windshield, and, I suppose, do something for the airflow over the hood, as Mercedes-Benz engineers never do anything without a real functional purpose behind it.
Interior enhancements for 2009 and newer cars include the hard drive based system that runs the navigation, music register, iPod connector, voice control… all the latest stuff, so, I hooked up my iPod, put on some Bob Marley, activated the Harmon/Kardon Logic7 Surround Sound system and daydreamed about green little Caribbean islands, I just watched a great documentary on PBS about the history of Reggae in Jamaica, so I have been on a bit of a Marley kick the past few weeks.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about this SL road trip was that I was easily achieving just shy of 25mpg with the cruise control set at 74mph. The 382HP engine was much more fuel efficient than I expected in real life. The EPA window sticker says you’ll get considerably less than 25mpg on the highway in this car. While going through a couple of construction zones I reset the cruise control to 60mph… average fuel economy went to 26.2 mpg at that point… so decent gas mileage is certainly possible.
So, I met my customer from Highland Park, IL at a McDonald’s restaurant in The Dells, WI where he bought me a cup of coffee and I laid out the paperwork for the transaction. He signed everything, gave me his check and the keys to the 2009 Mercedes-Benz GL450 he was trading in… this was my ride back home to Minneapolis. The GL450 is certainly a comfortable ride, safe, great visibility… but it’s quite a change from teh fighter plane like handling and low seating position of the SL…. it took some getting used to on the return trip.
We have already seen the first of the R230 cars fall below the $30,000 mark on the used car market. Since the 2013 models have already been release, the new body style, we will soon see the R230s drop in price even further from where they are today. They are very modern cars, light years ahead of the R107 models and much more advanced than even the R129 series SLs from the 1990s and early 2000s. As my customer and new found friend from Highland Park left the McDonald’s parking lot with a wave and a smile I thought… everyone ought to own a Mercedes-Benz SL at some point in their lives… and if you’re going to get one… the R230 series are some of the best.
New August 2012 Sales Programs from Mercedes-Benz were released yesterday and I’m happy to announce that the Mercedes Benz Competitor Conquest Certificate Program incentives have been extended to new 2013 models arriving in dealer showrooms right now! I’ve included a photo of the new 2013 model GLK350 here… it is ELIGIBLE for the incentive
We just got our first shipment of 2013 models, we now have 2013 C class, E class, GLK class and CLS class vehicles in stock. There aren’t many of them.. but they’re beginning to arrive.
The chart above clearly illustrates which models are eligible for the Competitor Conquest Certificate Program discounts… an have a look, 2012 models remain on the list, with deep incentives for the last remaining 2012 E class cars in our inventory… $3,000 per E class! C and M class cars remain at $1,000. Most 2013 models are eligible for the discounts.