MBCNSW November 2022 night drive to Bilpin

Last night was the now annual night drive to Bilpin.    On this drive, we start in Windsor and then up Bells Line of road to the Bilpin Apple Pie Cottage.    The owner is a club member with a R107 and he opens up for us and serves apple pies and coffees.

The night drives are always more popular as we head into summer, and the night drive to Bilpin in particular is one people find fun, despite the very late night.

night drive to BilpinOn the drive, we had all classics this time, plus a Mazda!   Surprisingly, W116’s led the charge with three cars, two 450SEs and my 280SE.   There was also a very nice W108 280SE, a pair of W124s, an R107 500SL and a US spec W126 300SE.

For the drive from Windsor to Bilpin, the owner of the Silver Green 450SE and I swapped cars.   Both our cars are 1979 cars, mine a 280SE imported six months later and sold in Sydney, and his sold originally in Melbourne.    It was interesting to get out of a 280SE and straight into a same year 450SE.    Both cars should have new front shocks fitted, so they were pretty even in the suspension and ride category.    The 450 having the slight edge due to the anti-squat feature which is very nice.

The 450 obviously has a lot more torque than the 280, and that torque comes in much lower on the rev range.   Wheras on the 280 you need to keep the revs high and its usual to pull back a gear going up hills, the 450 had the torque to do what it needed in top (3rd).    Both engines make a great sound, but different.   The V8 is a grunty rumble, vs on the 280 you can hear the twin cam top end as you rev the car up to its 6,500RPM redline.    The 280 is lighter and more nimble up front and you can tell the difference.    While they are both great drivetrains, I think the 450 has the edge.

Overall the 280 is probably in better cosmetic condition, inside and out than the 450.  Where the 450 stood out is that leather is a nicer material to sit on that MB-TEX.   As I have fixed the springs on the 280 seat, The 280 was a bit more comfortable.    I think the 450 probably has one broken spring, not two that the 280 had on purchase.

night drive to BilpinThe 450 has just had a lot of work done on it, as it is a car that was rarely used for some years.   These cars don’t respond well to sitting.   Its running very well, and the engine is smooth and has real urgency.   Probably the two next things for the owner to do is address a vibration while braking, and look at why the car was running at 100C on a cool evening just cruising along.   It’s a great car and I expect to see it continually improve.

On the night drive to Bilpin, we took the scenic route to Bells Line of Road.   On the way we managed to find a group of lost Kangaroos.  Normally the Roos are active at dusk and are not seen this late.   This group managed to hop onto the road and put a scratch on the door of the R107 500SL.   We were very lucky it wasn’t worse.

The rest of the drive up to Bilpin was uneventful and we all had a good evening eating apple pies before returning home.   It’s a two hour drive for me to get home from Bilpin, so it was pretty late when I finally arrived, but worth it.

night drive to Bilpin

2 comments to MBCNSW November 2022 night drive to Bilpin

  • […] One of my friends in the Mercedes Club recently bought a nice original Mercedes-Benz 450SE. Is a 1979 model in Silver-Green metallic with date leather. It is equipped with a sunroof, which is surprisingly rare on an Australian delivered 450SE. The cars came well equipped with standard leather seats, self-leveling rear suspension, AC, power windows etc. The two features that they surprisingly didn’t have for such an expensive car is the sunroof and rear headrests. Both could be optioned. This car has the colour matched hubcaps that I prefer to the wheels. I was able to drive this car at a recent MBCNSW Night drive. […]

  • […] has flown by, as it doesn’t seem all that long ago that we did the last Bilpin night drive.   On that drive, I swapped cars with a friend and drove his 450SE up to to Bilpin while he drove my 280SE.    […]

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>