2018 OzBenz National Meet

The OzBenz forum is one of the online resources I use to maintain my Mercedes-Benz’s.   The forum has evolved over a 15 year period, starting with the Mercedes Veterans mailing list, branching off to the OzVets mailing list.   This became the OzVets forum and then later the OzBenz forum.    I joined very early on and found this a great set of resources to attempt small jobs on my then 230E W123.   This included things like troubleshooting the central locking myself, quite a saving as a university student.    Over the time I got to know a bunch of people, some of which I have met over the years and some I have not.

This Saturday, John Green, proprietor of MB Spares & Service and one of the original instigators of these websites arranged a national meetup in Canberra.  I was quite keen to go after participating in the forums for so long.  The event coincided with the ACT Mercedes Concours on the Sunday, which I was unable to attend.        The plan was to attend the lunch and cruise Saturday afternoon, then head over to MB Spares for the dinner event before driving back to Sydney that evening.

I was able to join up in a convoy from MBCNSW, which was a nice way of heading down.    I took the 250SE as it was a while I had taken it on an extended road-trip.    It was a lovely day and I was able to drive all the way down with the top down.


We were accompanied by a W108 280SE 3.5, a W123 230E, and W126 420SEL and 560SECs.      We also saw a W111 230S going down at the same time but that driver did not seem to be interested in convoying with us and was really flying.  This was a nice selection of cars for the drive.   My favorite was probably the 280SE 3.5.

The drive down was uneventful and the 250SE performed well.  One thing I did notice is that it is probably getting time for a steering box rebuild as the steering wanders at freeway speeds.   After an estimated 450,000km  it is probably due.   We took our time on the drive and made a couple of stops which made the drive more enjoyable, bit it did cause us to miss the start of the OzBenz cruise!    The upside was that it gave us time to have a break before the BBQ at MB Spares.

I had never visited the workshop, even though the 250SE carries its share of parts from the recently closed parts side of the business.   The workshop was a lot bigger than I imagined and it was good to see some of the major restoration projects under way.  Amongst them was a brake booster change for John’s 280SE Coupe.   I saw this car a couple of years ago at the 2015 ACT Show.   This car was likely the motor show car of that year and would look great next to my 250SE Cabriolet.   Sadly (for me) the owner is rather attached to it and is not going to send it up to my home for wayward Benz’s.

280SE Coupe

I parked next to an immaculate 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet and it was good to compare the two cars.    The 280 was white with red leather and had some great period accessories.

Pair of Cabriolets

At the workshop we were also able to see some other great cars including a few being prepped for historic rally duty – a W123 with a v8 and a 250/8.    It was also interesting to compare two almost identical W123 230Es, one from Victoria and one from NSW.  They had both travelled for the OzBenz meetup.  As well as the W123’s there was a 250SL from Queensland, a 250SE Coupe, a nice 450SLC and more.   230E's

It was then time to return back to Sydney, and the 250SE performed well on the return journey as well.   It did manage to pick up its own fair share of the insect life on the way back.   I was lucky the 250SE has a loud horn as I was almost forced off the road by white van man!


Overall it was a great trip and I would do it again if I could.   It also proves what great cruising cars these 60’s Mercedes are and what a shame it is that more of them don’t get as much use.   I know there are a reasonable number of W111 Coupe/Cabriolet in Australia but it always seems like comparatively few get active use.

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