2022 Fleet Update

With yet another year almost finished, time for an update on the Classic Jalopy fleet.   Similar to last year, I will go over what I did with each car, any issues, and future plans.   As with last year, I don’t own (or desire) a modern car, so these cars are used as a combination of hobby and everyday transport.   Last year I had a couple of months between jobs, so I had more time to drive the cars.   This year I did just under 14,000km across eight cars.   The cars are listed in order of how many miles they did in the year.

Highlights and lowlights

The big highlight of the year was the Mercedes Benz Clubs National Rally in Glenelg.   The rally itself was great, but it was really the drive there and back that was the highlight for me.   There were also some good cars shows I attended, including the two in Canberra (Wheels 2022 and the ACT German Car show), The eastern creek show and the JDCA cars and coffee.   Lowlight of the year was all the events that were cancelled or impacted by the torrential rain.

On the cars themselves, it was great to have the 280SE running so well by mid year that I could enjoy using it.   And I just managed to get it going for the 50 years of the W116 event.

Fleet Changes:

None this year, although the 280SE and 300SE are now for sale.   I’ve been talking about selling the 300SE since the COVID lockdowns and I stopped needing a ‘daily’, but I am finally going to do it now.  I need to make room for a couple of other cars I have my eye on.

1977 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC

I took the 450SLC on two major events this year, the National Rally and Wheels 2022.   I’ve owned this car almost 20 years and 50,000km and this year was the most mileage I’ve put on the car since I owned it.   The car did really well on both trips and it was a lot of fun.    I’m really enjoying the small modifications I’ve done to the car – the Nardi steering wheel and AMG Penta wheels.    People are finally now waking up to what I have known for 20 years, what a great car the C107 is.

  • KM Driven: 5,200
  • KM on Odometer: 310,000
  • Spend Level:  Medium
  • Availability: Excellent
  • Highlight:  National Rally 2022
  • Lowlight:  Finding out the genuine Mercedes-Benz engine mounts I had fitted only a couple of years ago are already collapsed.   They were not cheap.
  • Work this year:  Preparing for the National rally (Shocks, steering box adjustment etc), Fitting a Nardi wheel.
  • Plan for 2023: Refitting the Becker Mexico cassette.  Finally stopping the A/C condensate dripping on my feet.

2022 Fleet Update

1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

I drove the 560SEC a lot this year as everyday transport rather than big club events.    It’s a great combination of power and comfort.   The ECE version is so much better to drive than the Australian version.  This car with 220KW/455Nm is modern car fast.    It’s also great to have the proper Becker Radio installed in the car.

  • KM Driven: 2,100
  • KM on Odometer: 172,000 mi (277km)
  • Spend Level:  High
  • Availability:  Good
  • Highlight:  How well the car is driving after all the work done this year.   I’m also very happy with my Becker radio install.
  • Lowlight:   None really.   Was expensive this year but everything improved the car.
  • Work this year:   Had the front brake calipers rebuilt, fixed a few suspension issues including guide rod bushings and rear SLS.   Upgraded the A/C condenser for really cold air and installed a period Becker Cassette.
  • Plan for 2023: Fix the sunroof lifting arms.   Look at replacing the armrest cover.

2022 Fleet Update

1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL

After using this car a lot the last two years, this year I only drove it 1,500km.   I had planned to take it to the 2022 Sacco day, but that was cancelled.   Other than a slight wheel wobble at 110km/h the car drives really well now.  The final step was the new Bilstein front shocks that went in this year.    I should pass 340,000km next year.

  • KM Driven: 1,500
  • KM on Odometer: 337,500
  • Spend Level:  Low
  • Availability:  Good
  • Highlight:  ACT German Car show 2022.
  • Lowlight:   Having to turn back from the night drive with a sticky rear caliper.
  • Work this year:   Rebuilt rear calipers and new front shocks.
  • Plan for 2023: Fix wheel wobble and rear seat recline function.    Potentially fit the uprated A/C condenser I used on the SEC, should an A/C regas be required.

2022 Fleet Update

1965 Jaguar E-Type

It was a pretty uneventful year for the E-Type.   I took it on some nice drives, and had it serviced and tuned.   It had been a bit reluctant to accelerate in high gears.   The tune added some more fuel so its much better to drive now.    I had planned to take the car to the All British day.   That was cancelled due to wet fields so attended the JDCA cars and coffee event instead.

  • KM Driven: 1,100
  • KM on Odometer: Unknown, 70,000mi indicated.
  • Spend Level: Medium
  • Availability:  Excellent
  • Highlight:  JDCA cars and coffee.
  • Lowlight:  None
  • Work this year:   Tune, rear wheel bearings.
  • Plan for 2023:  Keep driving it.

2022 Fleet Update

1970 Citroen DS21

I had no real issues with the car this year.   I think all I ended up doing was a routine oil change.   I’ll have to do that again as its leaking, I suspect from the oil filter gasket.    Earlier in the year I took the car for a nice drive up to the blue mountains to see the Jensen National Rally display.   I also took it to a few cars and coffee events.    The ride is getting progressively worse, so I will need to have the spheres tested early 2023 and either regassed or rebuilt.

  • KM Driven: 1,100
  • KM on Odometer: Unknown
  • Spend Level: Negligible
  • Availability:  Excellent
  • Highlight:  Excellent
  • Lowlight:  Ride in the latter part of the year.
  • Work this year:   None
  • Plan for 2023:  Check spheres.

2022 Fleet Update

1965 Mercedes-Benz 250SE Cabriolet

It was a mixed year for the 250SE.   I’ve been having ongoing running issues with the car for the last 18 months.   After another tune it was much better in the second half of the year.    I also had all four brake calipers rebuilt after I had to abort a night drive with dragging brakes.    The weather this year was not very conducive to convertibles, but I was able to take it on a couple of night drives.     I’ve also had strange issues with my radio locking up.    I’m starting to suspect the rebuilt alternator I put on a few years ago, so I have a new one ready to go on.   Instead of the 35A alternator that was standard with the car, I plan to use a 55A from a 280SE.

I suspect the one that came out of the car was rebuilt with a higher capacity than standard even though it said 35A.   With a radio, the A/C etc, the 35A alternator is not really up to the job.    I’ve also got a few minor oil leaks to sort out next year and I suspect my subframe mounts may need a look.

  • KM Driven: 1,100
  • KM on Odometer: 282,500mi (455k KM)
  • Spend Level: Medium
  • Availability:  OK
  • Highlight:  MBCNSW Photo shoot
  • Lowlight:  Ongoing running issues
  • Work this year:   Tune, brake calipers
  • Plan for 2023:  Get the car back to the point where it is really nice to drive again

2022 Fleet Update

1979 Mercedes-Benz 280SE

At the start of the year the car hardly ran.   It had a collapsed drivers seat and an exhaust system made from swiss cheese.    Now, its reliable and great to drive.   However, I have my eye on something else so It will need to be sold.   I’ve enjoyed my year with a W116 280SE.

2022 Fleet Update

1986 Mercedes-Benz 300SE

I originally bought this car as a daily driver.   It served admirably in that role.   Since COVID I work from home a couple of times a week.  I also have a different job where I take the bus from close to my house, vs previously having to drive to a park and ride.   Based on all that, I just don’t use the car like I used to.   This year it was used once a week to take the kids to soccer and general errands.   That resulted in lots of logbook entries but not many miles.   Owning two other W126s mean this car doesn’t get enough use, which is a shame as its very nice.  Time to find it a new custodian.

  • KM Driven: 1,000
  • KM on Odometer: 298,000
  • Spend Level: Negligible
  • Availability:  Excellent
  • Highlight:  It’s been reliable and has cold A/C.  What more could you want?
  • Lowlight:  None
  • Work this year:   Routine maintenance such as oil change, transmission oil and filter change etc.
  • Plan for 2023:  Sell the car.

2022 Fleet Update

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