My 560SEL’s selling dealer

My 560SEL was sold new by West Orange Motors, in Orange NSW.   The original owner lived in Western Sydney, but had business in Orange and Dubbo.   While it was sold new in Orange, it was serviced at Marshalls in Parramatta until 230,000km.   Presumably, the car made a fair few trips up to Orange, Dubbo and the surrounding area over its life.   The original stamp from West Orange motors is still in the service book.   I can’t imagine that many 560SELs were sold outside the main dealers in Sydney, Sydney Eastern Suburbs, Melbourne City and suburbs like Toorak.   The original owner dealt in tractor spares, so he may have had a business relationship with this dealer.

The previous (and original) owner told me that at least one of the camshafts was replaced under some kind of recall in the first couple of years of the cars life.   Other than that, it had normal servicing at the dealer as you would expect of such a car.

I was out for a long drive yesterday.  When I got to Bathurst, I thought it would be interesting to see if the original selling dealer was still in the same location.    Mercedes helpfully provided a booklet of dealerships and service centres in the owners manual pouch.   I plugged in the 1987 address of West Orange Motors and set off.    A lot has changed in 33 years.  I thought that the chances were quite low that the Mercedes dealer was still in that exact spot.  Most likely there would be a different dealership, or that the site would have been redeveloped.

West Orange Motors

I was wrong, West Orange Motors are still there, in their 1987 location, still selling Mercedes-Benz.  They also sell Mitsubishi, Toyota, and a few more brands.   Plus have a dedicated truck entry.   I parked the car outside and took a few pictures.   The salesman even came out while I was doing so and had a chat.  He thought I might be trying to sell the car!

West Orange Motors

Its a little over 33 years and 330,000KM since the car was delivered new by that dealership.   I wonder how many of the other cars they sold in 1987 are still on the road and still in good condition?   Country cars are more likely to be, as highway driving is better than stop/start and there is less likelihood of rust.

Obviously, as my car has traveled 330,000KM over 33 years, it has averaged about 10,000km per year.   However, it reached 200,000KM in only 13 years and was generally averaging about 18,000km per year over this time.    For the next 10 years or so, it averaged about 7,000KM per year and since it has reached 300,000KM, 3500 per year.   I’ve already put 4,000KM since the purchase, so I am a bit ahead of recent trends.

West Orange MotorsThe 560SEL still remains an  excellent highway car.   It is comfortable, smooth, powerful and even somewhat efficient at highway speeds for a 5.5 litre v8 under the bonnet.   Even though my car has working cruise control, I never find the need to use it in a W126.   The long travel accelerator is comfortable to rest your foot on it and keep the speed where you want to, without getting tired.  The seats are supportive, without being so hard.

Contrast this to a modern car, Mercedes included and the accelerator pedal is so sensitive that you are pretty much obligated to use the cruise.   I always do when driving the 2007 E350 we own.

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