Landing another Stuttgart saloon

| 2 Dec 2011

My latest acquisition is a Mercedes 300SE of the W108/W109 generation. It’s got 39,000 from new, black leather very sound bodywork and, apart from manky carpets, a superb interior.The good news is that it doesn’t have air suspension and it does have great service history. The bad news is it won’t start. Well it does, but it only fires on three cylinders.There’s trouble with the delivery pump on the side of the engine, which is effectively a 300SL-type straight-six, but with a wet sump and with a block sitting upright rather than canted over. There’s a new fuel pump on it plus another new-looking one in the boot. We’ll see, but I’m very taken with the car, which more than makes up for the departure of the XJ-S. I bought it off a curious character in London called Nutty who turned up in a Ford Transit and told me that he, “did a bit of this and that,” but that he had “trouble with his ches”.It seems clear that the garage it was retrieved from didn’t want to get involved with the notoriously tricky and expensive-to-fix injection pump and he lost his bottle with this otherwise lovely car. I can see myself wafting around in this thing. It’s got 190bhp so it should go well.

I missed another Range Rover two-door on eBay. Again it was in bonny,rusty Scotland and would have cost almost as much to repatriate to these parts as it would to buy. Think I might have bagged myself another one; will keep you informed.

The funniest event of the week was the e-mail rant I was told about by a friend. I’m not sure how it started, but it was all to do with whether there was a hyphen between the ‘XJ’ and the ‘S’ after a certain date on the aforementioned Jaguar’s boot-lid.

Hardly life or death stuff, yet it degenerated into a colossal tit-for-tat argument where the seemingly more unhinged of the two protagonists compared the other to his ‘nasty spiteful vindictive witch of a mother’. I can hear the sign over Bates Motel creaking from here