Shall we have a look then? It's a 1986 230TE Auto. I've been half looking out for one for a while and quickly came to the realisation that I was going to have to adjust my expectations price wise. These are no longer £1000 shitters (even though by rights this one should be!) - there's one currently on ebay which looks similar to this, may be a little better for £3650 but with no MOT. A ropey 280TE also made similar money last week.
I should say first off, I did actually go and look at it pre-auction so I did know sort of what I was buying, the vid on their website showed it running and it passed an MOT in April which gave me some amount of reassurance. I was hoping for a lovely wadge of paperwork upon collection, but I got the new keeper's section of the logbook and err...an MOT. That's my lot. I get the impression that someone has picked it up cheap off an old boy, done some work for the MOT and flipped it on. Oh, this is the key situation..
I assume that's the valet/emergency key? Whatever, it's the only key I've got, which is a bit of an issue as the driver's door lock is dodgy and sometimes jams solid, which makes extracting the key extremely difficult when 95% of it disappears into the lock. Still, should be easy to get copied. T'other one is for the boot which must have had a lock change. On the subject of locks, like most old Mercs, this has vacuum powered central locking and like most old Mercs it now doesn't work properly. There's a vacuum leak, meaning locking has to be done immediately after switching off, otherwise there ain't enough vacuum for it to work so it will only lock the driver's door and the rest will not lock on their own. Conversely, once centrally locked, the doors other than the driver's only open when the car is started and it's got some vacuum again. This is a somewhat major faff, so I'll be looking into that. OK let's go explore
Majestic isn't it; elderly Merc on gravel drive. Hmm? What do you mean, rough?...
Oh that, no, that's what's referred to in the trade as a 'hooked nose latch'. It's a very period adjustment and adds to its authentic appeal
As one can see, it has not become the victim of over-restoration below bonnet and retains all of its workaday usability
Mercedes designed the rocker cover of the mighty, fuel injected 230 power plant to emit a fine mist of oil, all over every component in its immediate proximity in order to bolster their already legendary longevity. This particular unit appears to have had a professional repair to the exhaust manifold, eschewing the outdated gasket sealing arrangement forthe modern, paste jointing compound, sikaflex; a fabled solution on this model to those in the know.
The cooling system has been maintained to the highest order and displays the desirable 'elephant's arse' patination along with the unrecreateable 'glass blower's cheek' bulges
Window seals are characterful and appear to maintain a successful moisture screen. Except in times of rain.
Intrigue has been added to the otherwise barren flanks of the vehicle by charming, naive repairs creating the effect often referred to as 'tetrosyl wave'
The rear Holophane light lenses display only minimal cracking and bumper brightwork reveals a wonderful story of use
A rear wheelarch would benefit from a minor repair. Something to occupy those lazy lockdown days
Whereas the opposite side comes ready repaired, a quality job with the local wob artisan actually taking inspiration from a different model altogether if the crease line is considered. Rarity indeeed.
Internally, the model is resplendant in scrotal vein blue and provides whispers of a life lived. Mercedes' coveted, mattress sprung seating has held up well and in no way has the driver's seat base collapsed, meaning it's like sitting on a collapsing ironing board
The seat back benefits from an invisible reapir to the often problematic side bolster
This being the 'T' model (standing for Tourismus and Transport), load capacity is simply unrivalled. There is a very slight colour difference to the boot floor panel, however this in no way detracts from the sheer 'hewn from granite' quality
A root around its nether regions unearthed some extremely interesting finds. A period 'Renault' paper decal, indicating a French soujourn, backed up by an equally period set of headlamp aim adjusters. Contintenal cruising could not be simpler. However, the piece de resistance was yet to come...
Now how often does a find like this come along? A complete, unmarked Mercedes craftsman's implement wallet with ruched cotton oversleeve. Presented entirely 'as found' and believed to be culturing the potential cure for Covid 19.
I'm sure you'll agree, a fine purchase all round and a cast iron investment. Certainly when looked upon a day later, enthusiasm for the decision to purchase can only grow.
1. Have a poke about underneath and try not to slit my wrists.
2. Give it a PROPER clean inside becuase it really is minging
3. Depending on the outcome of 1., order a new door actuator, replace the coolant hoses, replace rocker cover
4. In no way attempt to sort the cosmetics. If you see me doing this, slap me because I'll be better off just buying a straighter one.
5. Take loads of things to the tip
I may have a look at that exhaust manifold but I don't think it's actually leaking so then again, I might not. I did notice before that what I presume is the fuel pump at the back is letting out a right racket, squealing away. Are they meant to be loud?
booked trip at easter
due to the south telling everyone not to travel and the 14 day isolation thing could happen
trip to da nort'
only 7 euro to change boat to felbast
gov.ie said come into ireland self isolate - apart from coming from the north
Thanks again to @Ohdearme for delivering the Arosa door. When I saw how much of the back of his car it filled I realised he'd taken a chance using that size car for such a task. But the gamble paid off. Where there is hope there is a way etc..
Idler pulley was found to be the noise issue. Pulley and belt changed and noise is now FUCKED OFF. The arch liner was held in with 6 different type and length self tappers, some of which needed to be drilled out so I'm glad I didn't have a crack myself. It's all popped back together with correct fasteners now. *thumbs*
While in under the strut brace and air box an induction mod was discovered. The OEM airbox is adjusted to run a cold air pipe onto a K&N cone. That would explain the induction noise on power then.
It was looking a bit manky so was blown out with a compressor and squirted with a bit oil.
The mod is well regarded in r53 circles but I doubt it creates anything but noise (which I don't really mind).
All in all a good result and worth a trip out to the bay.
Back in the '80's my mates mum had a mini automatic with a hand operated brake and a left foot accelerator. Both of these things were a professional conversion but nothing you couldn't have whipped up with some box section and a mig in an afternoon. We used to try driving it, even the left foot throttle took some getting used to, smooth driving using both controls was very difficult, although his mum managed it well.