BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Dec 2008
Vehicle: 1965 W111 Coupe (with a twist).
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Having owned the car for a month or two now, and having made some changes and improvements I thought I'd share my impressions of the car.
I love the car's look - which except for the wide chrome Bundts is essentially stock. The pale blue metallic body with the silver roof works really well. The dark blue interior with pale grey carpet is very classy.
When I purchased the car (in Los Angeles), it had a blacked out grill, euro headlights and large orange turn lamps. I found a good used grill center and changed to US lights, with the turn lamps on the outsides and the parking lights on the insides. I swapped out the orange turn lamps for driving lights (operated from the original switch). It all works as it should and I am very happy with how it looks.
I fitted a passenger side mirror, it's pretty small, but does help.
Windows and locks were all gone over and cleaned and greased, and a number of small items fixed: one heater was valve stuck on, new tubes to allow air to exit the little round vents on the dash, lights in the modified tach, various electrical oddities sorted out, wiring harness rewrapped, PRND indicator tweaked so it reflects the actual gear we are in. License plate lamps repaired and wired up.
One of the rear handbrake mountings had pulled out of the floor so I welded that up, replaced the center support rubber insulator and greased the center bearing. This improved the ride a lot.
I changed out two dry rotted tires and had all the wheels balanced - this allowed me to get the car up to over 100mph without all the disconcerting vibrations that it previously had.
The motor was retimed and the distributor connected to the correct vacuum port(!).
I fitted an aftermarket reversing light switch to the transmission . The car currently does not have a neutral safety switch, so can be started in any gear. This is obviously not ideal, and I plan to try and work out a solution to that issue.
One pump on the gas and the 5.7L motor starts up immediately from cold. The gear reduction starter is a nice addition.
The car fast idles at around 1500 rpm until warm, when the idle drops to around 700. Engine note is muted V8 burble. Car has a single exhaust.
Engaging the GM 700R4 4 speed overdrive transmission while on fast idle can chirp the tires if the brakes are not firmly applied. Brakes are disks front and rear.
The car pulls strongly from rest, tho still with a slight vibration, that I think is caused by just having too much power (around 300HP at the flywheel) for the rather soft center rubber support. I wonder if I could just go with a one piece drive shaft, as that would simplify things and remove the wimpy rubber from the equation. Or perhaps someone makes a firmer rubber support?
Once rolling the car is smooth with good acceleration thru the gears. The trans will change up to overdrive fourth if the car is not being driven hard and it cruses at around 80 mph at just under 3000 rpm.
The motor sound is muted, unless you put the boot in and then the trans shifts down, the car leaps forward and this glorious V8 scream begins and just gets better and better and better as you get up to 5000RPM. Awesome! Red line for this motor is 5500RPM.
It really is like two cars. A quiet, dignified, yet powerful cruiser, and a hairy chested rocket.
The straight line performance is quite impressive, but it's let down by the cornering, which feels loose and imprecise. Increasing the tire pressures to 40PSI did improve the feel a lot. The car has the original power assisted steering which is rather vague, and probably needs to be rebuilt, also I think the rubber bushes that connect the front cross member to the body also could do with replacing.
Overall the car is a real blast to drive, and starts, stops and goes very well. It is stylish, comfortable and has a real presence on the road. It does need some help with smoothing out the initial power delivery, and in cornering/steering feel, but overall I am delighted with this US/German mash up.
I would be interested in hearing if anyone else has a similar car, and their thoughts on it/this one.