Monday, April 18, 2005

Trailer Queens

Yesterday I went to a small car display down in the outskirts of Sydney at Penrith. It was combined Ford/GM (Holden) day and there were some nice cars.

One of the disappointments for me were some of the cars that were "over restored" and those "trailer queens" brought in by trailer and wheeled off without firing the motor. For example there were some Ford GT's complete with original Dunlop Aquatread tyres that have been out of production for thirty odd years. There were cars that had these tyres and had chrome plating on nut and bolts etc that were never on an the original from-the-factory model. Still with a $80,000 asking price for a early 70's Ford XY GT I can sort of understand.

I'm in the "classic cars should be driven and enjoyed" camp. I own an oldish '74 Benz and have restored it over the years using factory original parts mostly from e-bay and through the car club. Some parts I've had to get from the MB factory parts division and they've supplied the most minute part no problems.

I drive it, it gets dirty, it leaks oil, it gets bugs on the radiator, I don't put it in shows.

There were a couple of reasons I bought and old Benz, one was Daimler Chrysler's recognition and support of those who look after their past pieces of engineering. They have accomplished this by forming the Daimler Chrysler Classic division, which recognises their past.If you want a part for one of their original 1896 buggies they can still supply it. The Daimler Chrysler classic director, Stefan Roehrig takes the attitude that classic cars should be driven, not stored in museums gathering dust. He's also dead against the over restoration bug that I saw yesterday and sees some cars appearing "better" than when they left the factory. I like this attitude.

They put this into practice too. Recently Daimler Chrysler Classic brought a rare 300SLS roadster downunder to take pasrt in a classic rally. A couple of other like minded owners brought some 300SL Gullwings.

Anyway my old girl is getting prepared for a rally In Adelaide in September. I'm driving it 1000 miles just for a 70 kilometer trip, it should be fun.


  • have fun, looks to be a blast!
    here in reno they have a week long car show called 'hot august nights'. it is held sometime in august, i think. the whole city has the most amazing classic autos from all over the country, i mean thousands of them. it is like a car mardi gras, the place has classics filling every casino parking lot, the city goes into lock-down mode and the media sucks it all up.
    we try to avoid the hotspots, but even a ride to the store is very interesting.
    we won't see this in new orleans as cars live about five yrs then fall apart.

    By Blogger sleepybomb, at 2:08 pm  

  • I must be gettin' old. I had a 64 220Sb for a year, back in the early seventies. She was a honey, beautiful red leather seats that went all the way back (very useful feature, hard to find these days). It replaced my 64 Pontiac Bonneville, a very comfortable boat! If you ever make it to LA, a bit of a secret is this place, but I wouldn't miss it.

    By Blogger Peter (the other), at 2:32 pm  

  • I'm thinking of getting an older benz or maybe a new TDI VW and run it off BioDiesel. I have a 1964 Chevy Corvair Monza (4 door). It is gathering dust in my garage. I really need to restore it, but who has the time?

    By Blogger tetricus, at 2:49 pm  

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