Mercedes Club drive to Peats Ridge

The Mercedes Club organized a joint drive with the Rolls Royce Owners club to the Corrugated Cafe in Peats Ridge.   Peats Ridge is about 90km north of Sydney.   This was one of the first drives after the COVOID19 restrictions were eased.   A couple of the members of the club were trying to organize a line up of W126s at the event.   The event seemed like a good opportunity to see some Rolls Royces and give the 560SEL a good long drive after I got the car back from some preventative maintenance.

Taking the 560SEL also gave an opportunity to take two of my kids along and see if they enjoyed the day.   They are not yet old enough to travel in the W111 due to lack of lap/sash seatbelts and child seat anchor points.

The lineup of W126’s was quite impressive.   It was also a good illustration of the sort of cars that get preserved, and the sort that (sadly) don’t.   On display were 8 W126 cars.  Of those cars, all by one were V8s, all but one were long wheelbase, and all but one were second series.  There were 5 420SELs showing the popularity of that model in club circles, my 560SEL, a 300SEL and a first generation 500SE.   This is pretty typical in classic cars that were produced in reasonable volumes.  Most of the cars saved are the later and high specification models.  Of these, there was about a 400,00km difference in the odometer readings from the lowest to highest model.   You would never know by looking at the cars.

W126 Line Up

If you assembled 8 W126 models based on the most commonly sold variants, and only included those original offered for sale in Australia, your line up would be rather different.   Two 280SEs, Two 300SEs, and one each of the 300SEL, 380SE, 420SEL and 560SEL.

As well as the W126 line up there were some other lovely cars.   From the Mercedes Club that included a 190SL, 280SL Pagoda, 280SE 3.5 W108, Adenauer, W116,  450SLC and more.   The SLC was a recent purchase up from country Victoria and it looked great.   There were also a pair of A124s, quite unusual to see two at the same time.

Of the Rolls Royces, there were some nice Silver Shadows, Silver Spirits (and derivatives).  There was also one older model, perhaps a Silver Dawn?

The drive up the old Pacific Highway to Peats Ridge is always enjoyable.   Being a Sunday it was pretty busy and there were cyclists and highway patrol aplenty.   The food at the corrugated cafe was good, and the route back was through Central Mangrove over Wisemans Ferry.   I take regular late night drives up the old highway and I have never thought to come back that way.

I was happy with how the 560SEL performed after its service.  The new thermostat kept the temperature right where it needed to be, the new motor mounts smoothed the ride and the good used steering wheel is much nicer to hold.   I also start the car with impunity now the guides have been replaced.   The previous owner spent good money having the chain and tensioner done about 25,000km but inexplicably the guides and sprockets were not replaced as a matter of course.   It’s the guides that are the main problem in these engines.   I also had the camshaft oiler fittings replaced at the same time.

There are still a few more things I plan to do to this car, but chief among them is to re-instate the self-leveling rear suspension.   The ride from the rear is unpleasant on all but the smoothest roads.   My other option would be to remove the pedders springs and shocks and put in Mercedes springs and shocks.  If I am going to this trouble I might as well do it properly and put the self-leveling back.

Overall it was a good drive and the kids were not too bored!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>