New guy in NW Washington
Greetings all, I've been lurking here for a while, and I suppose it's time I introduce myself. I'm originally from Montana, I'm a pilot, and I've been in NW Washington for a year and a half. I've loved Mercedes as long as I can remember, my parents bought a '78 300D when I was three years old, and it took a while, but I've found my way back to Benz.
My current MB is an '89 560SEC with 205K. I picked it up eight months ago with no more insight into its history than Carfax and my own two eyes could tell me. It'd sat a while, originally it was a California car, and according to the guy selling it the previous owner drove it until his health gave out (I don't have any way to verify that though). The seller didn't know too much about it, but he was a decent guy and seemed to be a hobbyist much like myself (he had a De Tomaso Pantera he was in the process of restoring - drool!). It started right up, ran fine except the common high idle, and almost everything worked. I poked and prodded and didn't find any major issues, so i brought it home. The good so far is that the engine runs solid and hasn't burned a drop of oil in around 4000 miles of driving, the transmission works great, no major collision repairs I can find, and I've yet to uncover any other screwball or cheapo repairs - even the AC appears original and works. The bad is pretty much the usual you expect to find: I've put in all new vacuum hoses and such, new injectors (the ones I pulled out looked original) and EHA, new accumulators in back, and I'm in the process of putting on new belts, hoses, timing chain, radiator, and various other small parts. I've already spent around twice the purchase price on parts, I'm not sure if I should be surprised that happened so quickly or not. But, the way I figure it, you can either search high and low for a pristine car with records and then hope the owner isn't holding out for what it was worth five years ago, or you can do what I did. It eats up your weekends and gets your hands scratched up and dirty, but when you get done it all seems worth it. Plus you learn a lot in the process, and you can't duplicate that connection with the car.
Anyway, my other vehicles (of which there are three - [ref a.]that's what happens when you're not married and you have some space) are a 1964 Ford Fairlane and a '97 F250. The Fairlane is my first car, I've had it ten years, and drove it until a year ago. It's pretty much a beater, but the basics are there, and some day it's going to get rebuilt from the ground up to be exactly what I think it should be. You can't duplicate the style of those cars, there's nothing like them; on the other hand, you wouldn't want to duplicate the handling or braking. The truck I bought because I wanted something to haul around my snowmobiles (see ref a.) and anything else I need to and just because I couldn't help myself. It's a 4x4, diesel, with a manual transmission (the one mistake Mercedes made on the SEC), and even has the off road package; basically, it's the sort of truck every 16-year-old Montana boy dreamed about.
So, that's me. If you haven't guessed it by now, I love talking about cars, and probably spend far too much time on them. This forum has been a godsend to me, 90% of my questions are answered with a quick search, and any time I'm lacking for ideas I can just peruse the forum and very quickly come up with more than I can possibly implement. Thanks, and I'll be around!