Tag Archives: Mercedes Benz Club

“Keels and Wheels” in Alexandria, MN! Speed Reunion Vintage Car Show and Chain of Lakes Classic Boat Show

2014 marks the third year for the ‘Speed Reunion’ vintage and exotic car show being held in conjunction with the ‘Chain of Lakes Classic Boat Show’ at the Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria, MN.

See vintage and exotic cars and a huge classic boat display. Classic wood and fiberglass boats will be displayed on land as well as in the water.

The event will be held Saturday, July 12 from 9:00am – 2:00pm see the flyer below for all the necessary info or DOWNLOAD a pdf version of the flyer to share with your car club!

All classic and exotic cars are welcome, all nationalities, all makes and models. The ‘featured marque’ for the 2014 event is Mercedes-Benz, so expect a good turn out and a showing of classic as well as modern Mercedes-Benz cars.

Please scroll all the way down to see the official event announcement and to see the map of the Arrowwood Resort so you can see the approach and car show parking area.

This is a FREE event! It’s free to show your car and it’s free to attend, so come join us!

Scroll down for more info and for photos of last year’s event!

Actual physical address of the Arrowwood Resort for mapping directions:
Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center
2100 Arrowwood Lane NW
Alexandria, MN 56308

Approach map for show cars…

Event photos from the Speed Reunion 2013:
Speed Reunion Car Show Alexandria





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1993 Mercedes 500E Purchased by Customer in Dallas, TX Arrives Safely, New Owner Happy with Service and Buying Experience


This 1993 Mercedes Benz 500E sedan was traded in here at Sears Imports about a month ago. It was placed on eBay twice, it was posted to Autotrader.com, cars.com, even Craigslist here in Minneapolis. This is a very rare car as you may know, a join venture between Mercedes-Benz and Porsche and good for a little over 160mph when it was new back in 1993. It would be an understatement to say there was a lot of ‘action’ on this car while it was here in the Sears Imports inventory.

My phone rang off the hook with interested parties, my email inbox was constantly filling up with inquiries from across the country. While most people I spoke with just wanted to talk about the car and then explain how they’d love to buy it, but their wife wouldn’t let them, or they had nowhere to store it… a handful of real players were interested in the car and were ready to put their money where their mouth was.
sears imports mercedes 500E

The one thing  holding most people back from actually purchasing the car, and understandably, was the lack of any service records with the car, older cars like this are often times sold by their records.

Thankfully, the night before the auction ended I got a call from the independent shop owner who serviced and maintained this car for its previous owner after he saw it on eBay. He was able to tell me all the work he did to the car over the last 4 years or so… receipts added up to almost $13,000. While it was almost too late for anyone to use this information for their eBay bidding, some eBayers did see the updated description and several of them called me.

Within a few minutes of the eBay auction ending I got a call from a gentleman who had a few questions about the car. We talked, discussed other cars he owns and is interested in, I told him about some of the cars I’ve had over the years. We were just two car guys, albeit with very different budgets and amounts of disposable income for our car hobby, I’ll tell you that much! In a few minutes we put a deal together on the 500E. There was another 500E on the market at the same time, a green one in California, which I had seen for sale and heard all about, everyone who called about our silver car made it known they were also looking at “a green one in California.” In the end… the guy who purchased our silver car also bought the green one in California, I couldn’t be happier for him and I’m glad they’re going to a very good home, somewhere where they will both be appreciated and well cared for.

In the end, our car sold between $11,000 and $12,000… an absolute steal according to the mechanic that maintained the car over the past few years, but the market is what it is and in late December of 2011, that is the market value, the amount someone will actually pull out of their wallet and fork over for this particular 500E. My guess is, that in 10 years, even 5 years, we’ll look back on this purchase and think it was a good deal.

I was happy to receive the survey (posted below) that everyone who purchases a Mercedes-Benz vehicle from a Mercedes-Benz dealership gets via email, filled out and offering praise for the car, purchased sight unseen, and the buying experience here at Sears Imports.

Classic Mercedes 450SLC

SOLD! Mercedes Benz Young Classic 1978 450SLC Exceptional Condition and Ready for Cruising!

Classic Mercedes 450SLC

This 450SLC was purchased by Sears Imports from an older gentleman who was making some room in his garage, he is a long time Sears Imported Autos customer. This 1978 450SLC is in exceptional condition, inside and out. It is metallic brown (sort of a dark copper color) on the outside, it has cognac interior which is original and in excellent condition. More expensive than an SL Roadster when new, these are fairly rare cars today. There were lots made… about 63,000 in this body style from late 1971 until 1981 when the SLC was replaced by the W126 sedan based 500SEC… but few good, survivor cars still exist today.

The Sears Imports body shop performed a very high quality repaint on this car, in the original color. It was extremely well done. It is a dry car.. there was no rust or rust repair, the paint was just ready to be done after more than 30 years. The interior upholstery and carpet is all original and, frankly, in better condition than some of our other SLs that are 10 year newer than this car.

The 3 speed automatic transmission shifts easily, no clunking or jerking. I’ve driven a number of cars like this one and owned several similar cars with the same drive train and this, very honestly, is one of the nicest I’ve driven. Everything works… the electric windows, electric passenger’s side mirror (driver’s side is still manual), electric sunroof, even the clock on the dash. There are no dash cracks in this car, it’s just an honest, original car. It has just over 89,000 original miles on its odometer and is ready for another 89,000 more.

classic mercedes 450SLC

Get in today, turn the key and get on the road. Priced to move at $8,995, Sears Imports stock#19873. Give me a call, come on in, drive it, make an offer, we’re looking to move this vintage cruiser before the end of the Summer.

Dave Knows Cars Road Trip to Texas! Keels and Wheels Vintage Car and Boat Show, Seabrook, Texas

I went on a roadtrip over the past week, to the Keels and Wheels Concours d’Elegance for vintage cars and boats held at the Seabrook Yacht Club in Seabrook, TX each year. My friend from the Mercedes-Benz Club, Dave Bortner, owner of Freedom Boat Service, a company that restores, maintains and brokers the sale of vintage wood boats, invited me to go along with him.

The trip started Wednesday afternoon April 27th. It was a 20 hour drive from Minneapolis to Seabrook, just South-East of Houston on the gulf coast. We towed Dave’s 1961 21′ Century Coronado “Endangered Species” the whole way… we had one flat tire on the boat trailer along the way, in Oklahoma (see photo of where we changed the flat far below) other than that, it was a long, but uneventful drive.

The show itself was wonderful, the weather was warm and sunny most of the time. The quality of the cars and boats on display was extremely good. The cars and boats on display were there from all over the country, but mainly from the South and Southwest. The food was good, the company was better. We met some new friends and had an exceptional time. There were plenty of Mercedes about, only a couple in the show surprisingly, but a handful in the World Wide Group’s collector car auction held on Saturday afternoon.

I was happy to have met and spoken with the publisher of my all time favorite collector car magazine, Keith Martin, of Sports Car Market Magazine and host of the HD Theater show “What’s My Car Worth?.” We had a nice chat as he walked briskly to the auction tent where he was to act as Master of Ceremonies for the distribution of the awards to the car show winners. A nice, gracious guy and a car guy through and through.

It was a great time. I must thank my friend Dave Bortner for asking me to go along, I logged more hours behind the wheel of a vehicle towing a boat than ever before in my life, I eventually go used to it, a 3/4 ton Suburban with Quadrasteer is a great tow vehicle. If you’re even remotely interested in nice things… cars, boats, people, etc. I suggest you put this event on the calendar! While it was 39 degrees and rainy in Minneapolis, we enjoyed sunny weather in the high 80s on the Gulf Coast, a great place to escape for a few days during the early Spring in the North. Enjoy the photos below!

A beautiful Aston Martin DB4 from Mexico.

Dave Tobin relaxing in 'Endangered Species' 1961 Century Coronado.

Dave Bortner driving 'Endangered Species'

Keels and Wheels Seabrook, TX vintage boats in the water, cars on the shore.

Bortner in the Coronado.

This Mercedes-Benz 250SL won "Best Mercedes".

Interior of a 1971 Mercedes Benz 280SE Cabriolet.

The Mercedes 280SE Cabriolet, a very nice example.

1961 Mercedes Benz 300SL Roadster from the "Driver Source" in Houston.

Inside the World Wide Group auction tent. Pierce Arrow, Mercedes 190, Jaguar XKE, some nice cars.

Captain Dave Bortner with his Century Coronado at Keels and Wheels Seabrook, TX 2011

We changed a flat trailer tire in the shade at this defunct gas station in Oklahoma.

Twin Cities Mercedes Benz Club Spring 2011 Newsletter the “Northern Star” Available for Download!

If you want a glimpse into the interests and events of the local Section of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America have a look at the online version of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America’s Twin Cities Section news letter, “The Northern Star”. Click the photo of the cover to see the Spring 2011 issue.

This is a quarterly publication which is mailed to all local Twin Cities Section members. In addition to “The Northern Star” club members also receive the national Mercedes-Benz Club’s magazine, “The Star” on a quarterly basis.

Click this link to visit the Twin Cities Section website for more info about Mercedes-Benz and the local club and its activities.

Twin Cities Section Mercedes-Benz Club of America “Vino in the Valley Rally” a Success!

8 cars and 16 people participated, a nice selection of cars, and people.

I attended and participated in a very casual scavenger rally that the Twin Cities Section of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America put on last weekend, Sunday, August 8th. I was teamed up with club member and REAL car guy, Warren Rauch for the event. The summary of the event below was put together by Jim Walrath, one of our Twin City Section members who lives over the border in Wisconsin. So I’ll leave most of the explanation of the event to him… it’s really just an excuse to get out and go for a drive in the country, whether you’ve got an old sedan, SL roadster or newer, more modern Mercedes-Benz vehicle. As usual, good cars, good fun,  good people.

Thanks really must go to the organizers of the event, Ken Arneson and Julie Winger. It takes two champions like this to decide on a fun event and go about setting everything up, scouting the course to be driven, talking to the business owners where the rallyers will stop. They did a fantastic job and put together a fun event in a beautiful setting that everyone enjoyed.

While Warren and I drove along the very scenic “County Road A” (speed limit 25 mph) we lamented at the low speed of the affair and that it might have been a bit more exciting if we were doing 140 mph in a Mercedes-Benz SLR… but we settled in for a fun afternoon drive never the less, At least we could dream that I was Sterling Moss and he was Ab Jenkins. Warren and I talked cars pretty much the whole time. We’d crane our necks if there was something interesting parked next to a farm house and tell a story about how we “knew a guy with one of those” years ago, or in Warren’s case, how he probably owned “one of those” at some point.

It was a fun day to take in a couple of wineries, a candy store, and a cheese factory while cruising in a 25 year old S class that’s just as comfortable today as it was in the mid 1980s, thank goodness the A/C was ice cold, we had it cranked all day.

There was a lot of talk about another “Vino in the Valley Rally” next year, there are plenty of other winding country roads to explore over that way,I hope we have an even bigger turn out next year.

Here is Jim Walrath’s summary of the event (lots of photos below):

On a beautiful, warm, muggy day August 8th members of the Twin Cities Section inaugurated the Scavenger Rally!  The headquarters were at Vino in the Valley, Maiden Rock, WI in a very pretty setting in Western Wisconsin, itself worthy of a destination drive.  The Rally is a low competition rally to several nearby businesses to check out the business and its products.  Stops were made at the Crazy Cat Candy Shoppe (Stockholm, owned by member participants Ryan Pool and Deb Albardo), Nelson Cheese Factory (Nelson), Dockside Mercantile (Pepin), and Maiden Rock Winery and Cidery (on the bluff above Stockholm).  At each location the Ralleyers obtained verification of their stop, with all four verifications giving participants eligibility for a prizes drawing.  Lunch was a salad bar and delicious brick oven pizza made on site.  Ken Arneson and Julie Winger, Host and Hostess, arranged this to be a very special event, and the consensus was that it was a great time!

Event Hosts Ken Arneson and Julie Winger.

Vino in the Valley acted as rally H.Q. and a good place to eat lunch.

Ken and Julie in their CLK heading out of Stockholm, WI.

Ryan Pool and Deb Albardo, MBCA members, rally participants, and owners of The Crazy Cat Candy Shop treated rally participants to truffles and other chocolates upon their arrival in Stockhom, WI, absolutely worth a visit!

Inside the Crazy Cat, Stockhom, WI.

The 380SL of Gabriele Dellanave and Cindy Wright in front of the 420 SEL of Dave Tobin and Warren Rauch.

The business end of Dave Bortner's 450 SEL 6.9 liter sedan in front of the Dosckside Mercantile, Lake Peppin, WI.

The "rare" Mercedes-Benz C42 wagon of Ryan Pool and Deb Albardo.

The group, starting with front left: Kara Arne, Dave Tobin, Warren Rauch, Deb Albardo, Gabriele Dellanave, Dale Werth, (mostly hidden) Susan Roherer, Ken Arneson (host), Julie Winger (hostess), Cindy Wright, Ryan Pool, Jim Walrath, Mary Walrath, Ursula Lamprecht, Rudi Lamprecht, Dave Bortner.

I Just Renewed My Mercedes-Benz Club Membership and Why YOU Should Join Today

I just renewed my Mercedes-Benz Club membership last night. While I’ve been going year by year I finally decided to re-up for three year in advance. The Mercedes-Benz Club, and any car club for that matter, is one of the best resources for an owner of that brand. As I’ve said before, most of the guys I know in the Mercedes-Benz Club Twin Cities Section have probably already forgotten more than I will ever know about Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Link to the nation MB Club : www.mbca.org – Link to the Twin Cities Section MB Club: www.mbca-tc.org

People often think the club is just for people with old Mercedes-Benz vehicles. While a lot of members have older Mercedes, many club members have multiple cars, some new, some old. Some people don’t have a Mercedes yet, perhaps their looking, maybe they joined to tap intot he vast knowledge base of the club and it’s membership.

People at work, customers, always ask what to they get if they join? It’s $45 for a year long membership. The key is joining the club early, as if you’ve been a member in good standing for 12 consecutive months and you buy a new Mercedes-Benz from a franchised dealer you are eligible to receive a $1500 gift card from Mercedes-Benz good at any Mercedes-Benz dealer service or parts department or for anything from the Mercedes-Benz Collection (the big gift shop / catalog full of MB merchandise). If you buy a Pre Owned Mercedes from a Mercedes-Benz dealer you are eligible for a $750 gift card.

In addition to all that money you get a subscription to the national Mercedes-Benz Club publication “The Star” magazine, and it’s a real magazine, published quarterly, covering Mercedes-Benz care, activities, new models, old models, all sorts of stuff. You’ll also get your regional newsletter. I recently took over editor responsibilities for the Twin Cities section newsletter, “The Northern Star”. It’s got local event news, tech articles, classifieds, the local club calendar and other info for our local members.

You don’t have to do anything once you’re a member, you can be as involved as you want to be. Some people just join to get the publications and loyalty program gift cards which is fine, but it can be a lot of fun to come out to a car show or two in the Summer time or a social event throughout the year.

I’ve pasted a bunch of stuff from the national Mercedes-Benz Club website below “Benefits of MB Club membership” there are links to more info for each section.

People always seem to be focused on what they get for joining… I would adjust JFK’s famous line and say… “Ask not what your car club can do for you, but what you can do for your car club.” In the end, it’s the PEOPLE behind a car club that make it what it is, not the cars. The cars are the initial common draw to the organization, but as you get to know people and make friends, it becomes clear that it’s the people and friends you make that keep you coming back. 

SLs at the Twin Cities Section MBCA German Car Fest 2010.

As a member of MBCA, you will be able to attend all sorts of events from car shows and concours to driving schools and rallies. For the social butterflies, you can enjoy events like wine tours, holiday parties, music theater and barbeques. National events include StarFest, Trips to Germany, StarTech, Concours d’Elegance, Tri-O-Rama, and more.more

As a member, you may be eligible to receive a gift card valued up to $1,500 toward parts, service, personal accessories, or vehicle accessories at any Mercedes-Benz dealer. Eligibility is based on the purchase or lease of a new or pre-owned Mercedes-Benz vehicle from an authorized U.S. Mercedes-Benz dealership or the purchase of any pre-owned Mercedes-Benz vehicle from a licensed independent dealer and your membership (of at least one year) in MBCA.2009

Your membership includes a subscription to our bi-monthly national magazine, The Star. Each issue is packed with in-depth information including news from Mercedes-Benz USA, club events, articles on restorations, and new-car road tests. There’s also an expansive classified section, as well as advertisements from those providing products and services for your Mercedes. Combined with its beautiful photography and rich, glossy look, The Star is the kind of magazine you’ll not just read once, but one you will treasure for years to come.more

Mercedes-Benz Quality & Service
Because MBCA continues to receive letters from its members concerning quality and service issues with recent Mercedes-Benz models, the club has developed a special resolution process for its members. more

At least yearly, MBCA holds a raffle for members.  Members purchase tickets for a chance to win great prizes.more

After joining, most sections will provide a local section newsletter, informing you of the ?local events and meetings where you can share experiences with other like-minded enthusiasts. Programs include new-car introductions, technical meetings, tours, car shows, defensive driving courses and timed driving events.

Besides becoming a member as a whole, you may also choose to participate in many of the individual groups within the MBCA. Enthusiasts groups range from the Gull Wing and Ponton groups to the SL and W124 groups, and many more. The choice is yours!more

Members are given the ability to ask questions or have discussions on a wide variety of topics from technical questions to general discussions or vintage talks. Club members can be helpful on a wide range of topics.more

Members are allowed two free ads per month both online and in The Star magazine. Ads online will appear as soon as they are approved. The Star ads are pulled a month before print.more

The club’s technical director is available to assist members with their technical questions. He is furnished with technical manuals and bulletins from MBNA. If he is unable to answer a specific question, he will request assistance from the technical staff of MBNA.

MBCA also has reprints of articles from The Star magazine, local section newsletters, and articles written for the web Technical Library. more

Some Mercedes-Benz dealers and vendors have chosen to offer discounts to members. It never hurts to ask when making purchases. Just make sure you have your membership card handy.