Remember our failed attempt to sell a Mercedes-Benz 200 – W115 flavour - at Techno Classica Essen last year? Well, naysayers be silenced, because the old smoker is still going strong in the hands of new owner (and C&SC reader) Simon Stokes.
Simon recently got in touch with an update on the car’s progress, including a trip back across the Channel last summer.
Stokes takes up the story: “The Merc had a shakedown run to Norfolk for my mum’s birthday, a 250-mile round trip or thereabouts, and performed faultlessly. Just as well, too, because it was going to France a few weeks later. I figured that you all took it to Essen and it got there and back... so what could possibly go wrong?
“The destination was a fantastic little gite on a farm in the village of Saint-Aignan-sur-Ry, near Ry in the Seine-Maritime department, itself part of the Haute-Normandie region.
"We were about 25km from Rouen, a fantastic medieval city with distinctive cathedral. Rouen was always an overnight stop for me as a kid, heading to somewhere else in France with my parents.
"Not the brightest day, with a bit of drizzle – I keep a sponge in the car for the leaks… On the way to the riverbank we attracted a fair bit of attention, a truck driver down at the docks hanging out of his cab to give us a "Wahay!" and the thumbs-up.
"Attracting attention was the theme for the holiday, whether fighting our way through the busy market hoards in Buchy, visiting local chateaux to attending a medieval festival – and being the only English people there (me, partner Hayley and Georgia, 9). At least the 'W' suffix didn't cause any confusion over there.
"The car accommodated everyone and their luggage fine, but I must get some new rubber bushes because it sits a little low at the back. Then the exhaust started to blow, and now the tailpipe is somewhat detached. Must weld that up…
"Which reminds me: the will need some tlc soon, mainly around to the boot and back panel. Before I left I’d make a cover for the inside, with an old carpet discovered in the shed duly cut into shape – not to protect the boot, but to protect the luggage from its sharp edges. Plus adapting the boot lock to fit the key was an amusing 12:30am finish one worknight the preceding week.
"What’s left to do? Well, I think the previous owner [Ahem, prior to C&SC… Ed] had done their best to hide some of the issues, mainly rust, but it is a solid thing in most of the right places. I am unfazed by what rot there is, and will keep getting onto these bits and eventually end up at the front, where the bulkhead is thankfully solid apart from a few pinholes. Not sure about the pop riveted wheelarch repair on the left, or the hole I discovered in the passenger footwell. I suspect all of that lovingly splashed on underseal was done for a reason!
"But, I wouldn’t change it, even if it isn't that fast, is in the lowly spec, and has the odd issue still to attend to. It’s quite a charming thing, and I like the fact that I go a little slower everywhere. It suited the trip perfectly, so if I can get it sorted for another one this year I will."