Monday, July 10, 2006

She's back

Here's a pic of me in the old girl last year. Perhaps travelling over the speed limit? What this picture DOESN'T show is the puff of smoke that was just beginning to rear its ugly head. She's just had a MAJOR engine job done after finding an intolerable oil leak which was spraying oil all over the exhaust. Blue smoke followed me like the hero escaping the bad guys in a bad James Bond movie . It was horrendous.

These early 450SLC s are a great alternative for fans of V8 coupes. Much smoother with some great engineering, pre smog(mines a 74) which means 240+ horsepower at the rear and redline at 6250RPM. Lovely nimble smooth revving motors that come alive when pushed to the upper limits, down low they are good for going into little old lady mode to putter and burble around town. The old ones now are either getting scrapped or restored which means their value is on the up. The good ones have been fairly well looked after by sympathetic owners, the bad ones have been let go by those who can't afford the repairs. Much the same as E-type jags and other classics.

There were actually two seals that required replacing, the rear main seal and the sump gasket which required the motor being pulled out. I asked the mechanic to check the cams and the head whilst the motor was out. The head was skimmed, all valves were replaced and some newer cams. New valve guides and some rust cut out of the firewall. She goes even more like a rocket with the uprated compression and is blissfully smoke free.

First trip down the mountain was in the wet, I'd forgotten some of the little quirks... mainly old rubber window and door seals which require replacing, there's a lot of wind whistling about. The old solution was to turn the stereo up to drown out the wind, the latest solution is going to involve some rubber replacement, including the rear tyres which not able to handle the newfound power in the wet as they are so solid and hard.

It was at the mechanics for about three months. And when I got it back, smelled like the garage. So I've re-dressed all that gorgeous Nappa leather, given it a good vacuum and sprayed the inside with some Jaguar cologne. (yes it's an opponents brand, but its rather good.....lots of cedar and spruce).

Going to have some happy motoring this Spring. Might even go on another road trip and add to my other blog Benz across oz.


    (your link is missing an "s").

    Glad you got your Benz back. I have my heart set on some flavor of a slant six, if I ever can find one.

    By Blogger J Alva Scruggs, at 10:37 pm  

  • Like a Dodge Dart Scruggsy? I had a 64 convertabile that I used to drive about circa 79 (didn't have the button shifter though, a manual shift). Talk about blue smoke! I did my own head pull, which only made matters worse.

    Johnno, there are plenty of 450 lovers around here, and I have to say, they are a classic.

    By Blogger Peter (the other), at 1:11 am  

  • Scruggs: Fixed the link thanks. Slant sixes are popular down here too, easy to work on with quite a bit of "poke". Lots of space to work around.

    My grandmother had one of those pushbutton numbers Peter. An old Chrysler Valiant.... I think. She hit the R button by mistake one day, totalled the transmission.

    By Blogger Johnno, at 10:45 pm  

  • Chrysler would make the same car and badge them either Dodge or Chrysler, such as the Valiant and Dart (I thinks, if I remember rightly). I did treat that old Dart miserably though. Left the top down for a winter at the beach. Couldn't kill her. I don't remember what I sold her for, but I think it was to a "roadie" named Radar (as in MASH).

    By Blogger Peter (the other), at 1:30 am  

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