September 2020 night drive

A few friends in the Mercedes Club and I have been trying to get a monthly night drive going.    Last night was the third one and yet again we had a great drive.   This time we met up in Kirrawee and the drive was through the national park to Bulli.

We started out with 5 cars and based on the cars that participated, it was a celebration of the Mercedes M116 and M117 V8.    There was at least one of every generation represented.    We had a 280SE 3.5 with the original iteration of the M116 – in 3.5 liter form with the D-Jetronic fuel injection.    Then there was my 450SLC with the second generation of this engine, a K-Jetronic 4.5 liter M117.    For the third generation we had a 380SEC with the 3.8 liter M116 – the first of the Alloy engines.    Finally we had a pair of 420SELs sporting the fourth and final generation of the M116 with the CIS-E fuel injection.    Interestingly all of these cars have pretty much identical peak power figures of around 200hp, although the torque figures and gearing vary greatly.

The M116 was Mercedes first mass production V8 and ran from 1969-1991.    The M100 came first but it was always a low production, specialty engine.    The M117 is identical for each year other than a longer stroke and hence larger capacity.   
Mercedes V8s - M116/M117We then proceeded towards waterfall before entering the national park for a nice windy drive to Bulli – taking in the sea-cliff bridge along the way.    At Waterfall we managed to corral a BMW 735iL (E32) along the way.    I’ve done that road a few times, but never at night.    Doing the road at night is a totally different experience, less traffic and more concentration on the road.

Mercedes V8s - M116/M117  We met up at Bulli before coming back via the motorway.   The motorway was completely empty on the way back.    My 450SLC performed well for most of the drive, especially on the twisty bits and the motorway.   The new injectors have really made a huge difference and they will probably pay for themselves pretty quickly with the vastly better fuel consumption I am now getting from the car.

For the second time on these night drives I had car trouble on the way back.   I had to stop suddenly suddenly when I was going through Ramsgate.  After that I had a very spongy pedeal.   My cars are dropping like files and the only one I have available to use now is my 1986 300SE.     I won’t be driving the 450SLC until I can investigate further.     I hope to have the 560SEC ready for next month’s night drive.

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