Merc 600 kicks off week of frustration

| 14 Jun 2011

Finally got stuck into my Mercedes 600 book last week. I love the feeling of immersing myself in a project like this. I lost myself in a world of dictators, pricey parts and general M100 lore. Reed Hitchcock who formerly Lodestar (the American M100 Club mag) has promised me some material but there’s so much to do the prospect is rather overwhelming and in the meantime I’ve got to earn a living.

It seems that the Mercedes 230TE engine isn’t terminal, as I had originally thought, but I have had no word as top whether it’s back together yet. Plan is to smoke it for a while (if it reappears in one piece, that it) but otherwise I’ve been blasting about in my Fiat 130 with new front discs and wheel bearings, which required the mother of all sockets and an oversize bar to undo. A four-speed auto ’box conversion kit is on order from Australia and I need to find someone who will rebuild the front dampers.

Been chasing the rear bumper of the Lagonda Rapide which has been away TWO YEARS being re-chromed. However the electronic ignition turned up, as promised, and may be going on this week, although finishing off the Humber Super Snipe Estate and making a start on the Vauxhall Viscount (below) will probably come first.

Another long term project has been a Fulvia Zagato with engine problems. I popped in to see it today and apparently the head’s likely to be warped but it should still be running in a few days. I’ve taken my eye off the ball with this but will be having a serious sense of humour failure if it is not on its back in Stroud this time next week.

My friend Jon A the tube train driver must think I spend my life at the roadside with broken cars because that’s what happens whenever he rocks up. Taking the Super Snipe for new rubber it conked out halfway with fuel feed problems. It was one of those ‘what the hell am I doing this for/spit-my-dummy-out’ experiences but luckily John was following in his faithful 500SEL and the other John (John Stuart who does all the work) turned up and worked his magic in a lay-by. The car was looking quite good with posh new number plates, which was probably what made me trust it.