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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
Join the Mercedes Benz Club Twin Cities “Convoy to the InterMarque Spring Kick Off Car Show” in Osseo, MN…
This Saturday, May 12!
THE EVENT: One of the largest foreign car shows in the upper Midwest. A casual, easy, no pressure, event. From show cars to old drivers… bring a pre 1991 ‘Classic’ or a post 1991 ‘Modern Classic’ all foreign cars are welcome.
ADMISSION: FREE!But… the show organizers encourage a canned food donation as you pull in to show your car, pack a can of something, let’s help the local food shelf.
THE PLAN: If we arrive together, we’ll show our cars together as a big Mercedes Club group. Meet up with other Mercedes Club members to convoy to the show together.
MEET:Sears Imports in Minnetonka at 8:00am – 8:15, in the lot just WEST of the main Sears lot, near the big digital billboard. 13500 Wayzata Blvd in Minnetonka, Northwest corner of the intersection of I-394 and Plymouth Rd / Ridgedale Drive, across I-394 from Target Ridgedale.
DEPART: We’ll leave Sears about 8:30am to convoy North to downtown Osseo, MN. We will take Plymouth Rd / Xenium Lane all the way, about 20 – 25 minutes on leisurely back roads
Car placement begins at 9:00, show goes from 10:00am until 3:00pm, stay for an hour or stay all day, leave when you want.
CONTACT:Please RSVP to Dave Tobin via phone or email ASAP. (651) 216-1265 or dave(at)daveknowscars.com
The Twin Cities Section of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America one of the InterMarque Show Sponsors this year.
There are already 12 Mercedes Club member cars in the convoy… come join us!
The Mercedes-Benz Club Twin Cities Section will be holding a Spring Tech Event “The Art and Science of Paintless Dent Removal” hosted by Don Kavanagh at Dent Kraft in Wayzata.
The event will take place Saturday, April 14 at 10:00am. Coffee, doughnuts and light breakfast refreshments will be on hand.
Don will explain and demonstrate the art of paintless ding and dent removal for modern as well as classic vehicles. Whether a vehicle is the casualty of a hail storm or just had a few parking lot dings, paintless dent removal, when performed by an experience individual, can put a car back to its original state.
This past Saturday a customer, and long time Mercedes Benz Club member, came in to Sears Imports and traded in these two cars on a Mercedes-Benz S class. These are two of the more rare modern Mercedes-Benz models and both are in excellent condition. I looked them over closely and drove both cars today. They both run and drive very well, I took a bunch of photos of each car in preparation for eBay auctions later in the week. These two cars need to be presented to a national audience. I took the photos here as these cars were traded in. They have not been cleaned, washed, nothing, just parked behind the dealership after being traded in on Saturday afternoon.
Let’s look at each car individually…
1987 Mercedes Benz 190E 2.3-16
This is a very rare car, originally built to compete directly with the first BMW M3s of the 1980s. The 2.3 liter, 16 valve engine (2.3-16) was developed by Cosworth engineering for Mercedes-Benz. These cars were only offered in two different colors, Pearl Black and Smoke Silver, this car is the Pearl Black color. It is fitted with the original Recaro Sport seats. The car does appear to have been repainted in its original color at one point after my close inspection. It currently shows 187,064 miles.
This car has clearly been well cared for, but also driven. The suspension has been lowered making it an extremely good handling car. It drives straight and true, it accelerates and stops easily. The 5 speed manual transmission has the race layout you see in some high performance cars… 1st gear is down and to the left, leaving a simple “H” pattern for the other 4 gears. Call me for more info, or if you’d like to set up an appointment to come and see it.
1993 Mercedes Benz 500 E
Only 1,596 500 E models were built in 1993, they boasted 322 Horsepower and a top speed of 161 mph. This was the ultimate ‘Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’ according to the motoring press of the period. The 500 E was created in close cooperation with Porsche. Each 500 E was hand built by Porsche, being transported back and forth between the Mercedes plant and Porsche’s Rossle-Bau plant in Zuffenhausen, Germany during assembly. Each example of the 500 E took a full 18 days to complete.
This particular example is silver with a black interior, both of which are in original and very clean condition. This car runs and drives perfectly, the transmission shifts smoothly, no clunking of any kind. The suspension is tight yet comfortable. Acceleration is brisk. It’s a great driving car, as nice today, with 118,169 original miles as it was when new. Huge fender flares all the way around, AMG wheels and a Lorinser spoiler, anyone in the know will understand what you’ve got when you pull up in this ‘Young Classic’ Mercedes Benz muscle car.
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.
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.
Last Saturday, August 6th, members of the Twin Cities Section of the Mercedes-Benz Club got together for a casual ‘road rally’ known as “The Vino in the Valley Scavenger Rally”. The Event is based at “Vino in the Valley,” a vineyard and outdoor pavilion restaurant in Maiden Rock, WI. Our event hosts, for the second year in a row, were Ken Arenson and Julie Winger. They did a great job organizing this year’s event. (more photos below).
The event itself is very casual and, basically, a good excuse to get out and drive your Mercedes-Benz vehicle with friends, old and new, on the back roads of Minnesota and Wisconsin. There were a number of places, local businesses, each two person team had to navigate to. At each location you’d have someone from the business stamp or initial the rally form and off you’d go to the next place. It wasn’t a race of any kind… the first team back to Vino in the Valley just had to wait longer for lunch.
Stops included the Red Wing Shoe Company in Red Wing, MN, The Maiden Rock Winery and Cidery in Maiden Rock, WI, as well as the Crazy Cat Candy Shoppe in Stockholm, WI. Another fun stop was the Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery… THE place for all sorts of Wisconsin diary products including the best cheese curds on the planet!
There was a variety of Mercedes-Benz vehicles that participated in the rally… from an old Pagoda style 113 chassis SL to an SLK55 AMG, a CLK convertible, a 560 SEL sedan and several R107 body style SLs from the 70s through the 80s.
Vino in the Valley had a nice spread of Italian pasta, salad and all the trimmings for us when we got back from the rally for lunch at about 1:00.
One funny thing happened to my wife and I when we were doing the scavenger rally. We were headed into Re Wing, MN, back over the river from Wisconsin and the place was packed with traffic. We needed to stop on the main drag, at the Redwing Shoe Company outlet. What rally organizers hadn’t planned on was “The River Days” parade planned to go right through Red Wing at 1:00pm. We were there at about 10 minutes until 1:00, a lot of streets were blocked off… there were people lining the streets along the parade route, kids and their parents in law chairs, American flags everywhere.
Michele and I were leading in our C300, I had Bruce Kelly in his white SL320 behind me and Rob Berg in his 280SL Pagoda behind Bruce… SOMEHOW I managed to turn down the parade route, there were no barricades, I just took a right turn and there were were… completely empty street, no cars, but lined with people on either side..a real slice of Americana and we were crashing the party. We just waved, got some claps and a and took the next turn possible to get out of there! It was hilarious. We finally managed to stop at the shoe place… the driver’s stayed in the cars, the passengers (wives) jumped out and got the paper signed then we got out of Red Wing just before the parade started… whew!
It was a fun time and there was a good club turn out. If you’re interested in a fun, well organized event this is a great one. This was the second year we’ve done it and both events were a lot of fun… a good excuse to get out for a nice Sunday drive with friends in your Benz.
The Twin Cities 3M ChampionshipPGA Champions Tour is at the TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, MN this week and Sears Imported Autos is one of the event sponsors. Two new Mercedes-Benz vehicles are on display at the event. One is a new 2012 SLK350 roadster in Mars Red, the other is a 2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 4matic with the vinyl wrapped graphics showcasing many of the safety, technological and performance contributions Mercedes-Benz has pioneered over the lat 50 or so years.
PGA Tournament greats such as Fred Couples, Tom Watson, Nick Price and Tom Lehman are expected to be in attendance at the 3M Championship at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine this week. PGA Tour greats Arnold Palmer, Chi Chi Rodriguez and Lee Trevino are also in attendance this week. Where else are you going to see such a selection of golf greats in one place? While the weather is rainy and grey today, the weather for the rest of the week is expected to be better.
If you do go out to the TPC Twin Cities be sure to stop by and have a look at the great new Mercedes-Benz vehicles on display compliments of Sears Imported Autos in Minnetonka. We have several new 2012 SLK350 Roadsters in stock at the moment, please give me a call if you’re interested in stopping in for a viewing and test drive.
It’s finally here, this Friday, through the weekend… the Mercedes-Benz Club of America Twin Cities Section Caravan to Road America!*There have been several changes made to the event since the initial planning stages, read carefully below, see included graphics*
We have a modestly sized group currently signed up to make the trek to the Kohler International Challenge with Brian Redman this weekend, it should be a great weekend.
It looks like about 9 people in 4-5 vehicles… everything from a CL55 AMG to a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter based Pleasure-Way RV, a heck of a variety.
We’re going to meet at a Starbucks Coffee Shop in Hudson, WI between 9:00 and 9:30am on Friday, we should try to DRIVE OFF at 9:30. This location ensures no one is driving West in the Cities to meet up and then backtracking East to go to WI.
I will be leading the Caravan in my Palladium Silver C300… look for me in the parking lot of Starbucks, I’ll try to get there early.
The Caravan is certainly not a race, we’ll take our time and stop for bathroom breaks or the occasional photo opportunity.
We will take I-94 South for about three hours and have lunch at Culver’s in Mauston, WI. This is our turn off where we will leave I-94 and take St. Rt. 82 and several other back roads across Wisconsin for about 2 ½ hours, eventually arriving in Elkhart Lake at about 4:00pm giving us all time to get to our accommodations, check in at camp grounds or hotels, wherever you may be staying.
You’ll want to be back in downtown Elkhart Lake before 6:00pm to watch the race cars roll in from the track and park on the streets. They will take off a couple of hours later, just as it’s getting dark.
SATURDAY morning you will want to drive into the main gate of the track and turn LEFT… we will all park together in the area indicated on the original flyer (posted below), just outside of turn #14.
There have been some changes made to the initial event plan… based on the Milwaukee and Chicago Sections communication with us, they have decided to bring sub sandwiches from a place they know nearby (they say the subs are very good), instead of the grilling out idea, as nobody can fit a grill in their car as initially planned. The food and drinks will be provided, paid for by the club, no cost to Caravan participants.
Cars are on track from 8:00am until 6:00pm both Saturday and Sunday, practice, qualifying, racing… with vintage weekends every session looks like a race to me.. so, there’s always plenty of action no matter what’s happening ‘officially’ on track.
There is nothing planned officially for Sunday… just a day to explore the track and watch the races.
See the attached graphic included here for a map of the meeting point in Hudson and a general agenda. Also included here is the original PDF flyer… please note… there will be no Grills as stated on the original flyer, it will be a sub sandwich lunch, drinks will be provided.
Contact DAVE TOBIN (651) 216-1265 if you’d like to attend, it’s not too late!
The owner of this 1957 Mercedes Benz 190 SL roadster has decided to sell his wonderful car on to its next steward via eBay motors. He has owned it for about ten years and has enjoyed using the car as it was meant to be used… driving it often and over long distances. He regularly drove this car to the family vacation home on Minnesota’s north shore from Minneapolis and back during the mild Minnesota summers.
It is a driver quality car with an off white / putty colored exterior and a very nice red leather interior. The exterior has its share of paint chips and nicks, it presents well with plenty of patina. It drives flawlessly. It’s a manual transmission 4 cylinder engine equipped with dual Weber carburetors. It was restored in the mid 1980s and now has the honest, patinated look of a well loved, well used vintage Mercedes-Benz roadster. According to the owner you get 90% of the fun of a 300SL at about 1/5th the price!