Well, it's official, she is mine. Met with the current owner over the weekend, exchanged money for title and a set of keys. Had a flatbed tow her the 8 miles to her new home at my Dad's house. I think she would have made the trip, but it was 106 degrees and I didn't want to risk a breakdown. She hasn't been driven regularly in 7 years or so, and I didn't want her maiden voyage to be in 106 degree heat without me having had a chance to go through and check her systems.
So, now that I've had a few hours with her, here are some things I now know:
- Solex carb will need to be rebuilt or replaced. Have to use starting fluid to start it if it sits for more than a few days.
- Diver's seat will need restuffing, and possibly spring repair. It's very saggy compared to passenger seat.
- Speedometer does not read true. When car is going 60mph, speedo indicates somewhere around 46mph
- Some rust in trunk under rubber mat, as some had predicted I would find. Not too bad though,
- Will need to replace both front and rear windshield/window seals. Both are dry-rotted and cracking.
- Will need new tires. Current tires are Bridgestones with really good tread, but the date stamp indicates they were manufactured in 1994.
- Transmission linkage may need adjustment. For the car to be in DRIVE, the lever actually is positioned more towards the next selection (2?)
- Headliner is loose above the rear window, and partway down the sides of the rear window. May just need retucking into new window seal.
Things I don't know for sure yet, but the seller told me:
- Supposedly the A/C works fine, but the system is leaking out the Freon. He stated that he had a shop do a dye test, but they could not find the leak.
It was just too hot and nasty to really start into some of the mechanical work I need to do on the car, but I did take a few hours to see if the paint was recoverable. I used my Porter-Cable 7424 dual action polisher and some 3M rubbing compound. The roof came out pretty nice, with just a few blemishes left. The trunk and hood did not. Still lot's of dull paint. I think next step might be to break out a little more aggressive tool, a single action high speed buffer with a sheepskin pad. I'll try that next time.
BTW, discovered that the dark blue paint is not the original color. In the door jambs you can see the original blue was what I think is MB color 903
My handicap is that I'm only going to be able to work on the car for a few hours at a time, and those times will be once or twice a month. I live in GA, but the car is now, and will continue to reside, at my fathers house in VA. I already have too many project vehicles here at my house in GA, so for now, the Benz will wait it's turn in VA.
My first big decision is going to be the carb. Do I rebuild the Solex, or switch to another carb. I know Peachparts still sells the Weber DGAS conversion kit, but I've read mixed reviews on the Weber. Common wisdom seems to be that when the Solex is working right, it's the best match to the car, but keeping it working right is the problem.
Oh well, I'm in. Looking forward to working on it, hoping to keep it as close to original as possible as I restore it.
Oh, and, by the way, it's actually a 73, not a 72. Or at least the title says 73.