Wheels 2022 Queanbeyan

Today I attended the Wheels 2022 event in Queanbeyan.   This is a large car show open to car clubs affiliated with the ACT Council of Motor Clubs.   In some ways it is quite similar in concept to the Eastern Creek event I attend in Sydney.   The Mercedes-Benz club ACT planned to put on a special display – and invited members of the NSW club and other to participate.    The goal of the display was to have a Mercedes-Benz to represent each year from 1951 to 2001.

Wheels 2022

Not only was it fun to go down and be part of the Wheels 2022 display, it turned out to be a great shakedown run for my 450SLC.   I’m planning to taking the car on a 4,000km road trip for the Mercedes-Benz clubs national rally next month.  COVID restrictions have meant few opportunities for longer drives, to make sure there is nothing I need to attend to before the rally.

In addition, the Wheels 2022 event, the Rolls Royce Owners club was holding their federal rally close by.   It was only a 10 minute walk to go and check out the display.

As I was in my 450SLC, I was representing 1977.    I was also joined by a friend from the NSW club who happened to be representing the next year, 1978.  I drove down to Canberra Friday evening to visit family before the event.  In the last couple of weeks, the east coast of Australia has been hit pretty hard with storms.   This weekend was no exception the the only two nights out of the year I had to park the car outside it bucketed down with rain.   I ended up with some minor leakage, presumably from the windscreen, but nothing too serious.    We were very lucky with the show itself – the rain held off all morning.

While the Mercedes-Benz display was really strong, numbers were down in the areas for the other clubs.   I suspect the rain kept them away.   A pity, it would have been good to see more of those cars.    I really liked the idea from the MBCACT for Wheels 2022.   I’ve been to a few of their events now, and I always find them well organized.    Just parking the cars together in their ‘eras’ is a great idea.

The 50’s.

The 50’s display was really strong.   There are not so many of these cars still on the road, so to get so many out was a big achievement.    As you would expect the Roundie (Ponton) models dominated this display, however there was a really nice 170Da, a 300b Adenauer and a couple of the four cylinder models.   The later one even having a full length Webasto sunroof.

Wheels 2022

 

  • 1951: 170Da (136)
  • 1952: – (1:18 scale model)
  • 1953: 300b (186)
  • 1954: 180D (120)
  • 1955: 220a (180)
  • 1956: 220S (180)
  • 1957: 220S (180)
  • 1958: 220S (180)
  • 1959: 220S (180)
  • 1960: 190b or 190Db (121)

If I had been able to pick one to take home, I think it would have been the blue 220S representing 1956.  1952 was missing, so it was a nice touch that the club provided a 1:18 scale model of a 300SL.

The 60’s.

The 1960’s display was a very nice mix of models available in that era.   1962 was missing, but was represented by a model of a W112.   The display was also a nice mix of survivors to best in show concours winners.   The W110 190 was a real barn find, delivered to its new owner on the day and still with many interesting early W110 touches.   My favorite is obviously the 220SE Cabriolet, produced earlier the same year as my car.   Excluding that, I liked the 300SEL representing 1968.

Wheels 2022

  • 1961: 220S or 220b (111)
  • 1962: – (1:18 scale model)
  • 1963: 230SL (113)
  • 1964: 220SE Cabriolet (111)
  • 1965: 190 (110)
  • 1966: 250SE Coupe (111)
  • 1967: 200 (110)
  • 1968: 300SEL 2.8 (109)
  • 1969: 280SL (113)
  • 1970: 300SEL 3.5 (109)

The 70’s.

The 70’s display was another really good mix of cars.  It also showed clearly how quickly the styling modernized from the earlier cars to the late.   I was part of this display representing 1977.   Given how popular they are in club circles, I was surprised there were no R107s in the lineup, but it was nice to see some of the other cars from this era.   Had I been given the opportunity to swap my car for something else in the line, was much as there were some very nice cars, I think I would have still been driving home in my SLC.      The 280SE representing 1971 was an interesting car as it appeared to be equipped with leather upholstery.   Very unusual for W108 in Australia.

Wheels 2022

  • 1971: 280SE (108)
  • 1972: 280SE 3.5 (108)
  • 1973: 230 (114)
  • 1974: 450SEL (116)
  • 1975: 280E (114)
  • 1976: 280CE (114)
  • 1977: 450SLC (107)
  • 1978: 280CE (123)
  • 1979: 280SEL (116)
  • 1980: 300D (123)

The 80’s.

The 1980’s display highlighted that while the top of the line models were rarest when sold new, these days they outnumber the standard models.   Especially in the early 80s, the exclusive coupe models dominated the display.    It was quite interesting to compare the two late 280CE’s with the 70’s 280CE models.   While some things had changed, quite a lot had not.

I think I would have taken the 500SL home had I the chance.

Wheels 2022

  • 1981: 380SEC (126)
  • 1982: 280SL (107)
  • 1983: 380SEC (126)
  • 1984: 280CE (123)
  • 1985: 280CE (123)
  • 1986: 300SE (126)
  • 1987: 190E 2.6 (201)
  • 1988: 500SL (107)
  • 1989: 420SEL (126)
  • 1990: 300CE-24 (124)

The 90’s.

The 90’s display was dominated my the high end W124 models, particular the cabriolet.   The star of this line up was the original AMG coupe, but the convertibles are pretty impressive too.   I didn’t quite catch the model numbers of some of the later cars. I would have taken the AMG coupe from this era.

wheels 2022After all the COVID restrictions of 2020 and 2021 it was great to go to a real car show again.   The MBCACT outdid themselves with the Wheels 2022 event.   I hope to be back again, and if they do the yearly display again, maybe representing another year.

The displays from the other marques added a lot of variety to the show, and hopefully next year numbers will be back up, if the weather holds.

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