Dear fellow MBCA members,
For those of you interested, a one-off “Mercedes SL” magazine, serving as a resource for anyone interested in SL’s, has been published. From the creators of Mercedes Enthusiast magazine, as well as, Classic Mercedes magazine. For further information and to buy a copy directly, visit www.mercedesenthusiast.co.uk or tel +44(0) 1371 853633 Mercedes SL mail piece
Part 2 – Getting Started
It’s been just around three months now that I dropped of my 300SEL 6.3 for repainting. Since then, I visited Sheik at A2Z a couple of times to check on the progress.
Each time, I was accompanied by one or more of my fellow MBCA members Doug, John and Marcus.
When you start a project like this, you have to ask yourself some important questions upfront:
How thorough do you want the paint job to be? What about the engine compartment? Did you want to go into the extend to remove it for a full engine bay repaint? Same with the trunk. Does it need repainting? What if you detect further problems on the car? Can things get damaged while being removed/handled?
For example, if the front &rear winds come out (they should in a proper paint job), anticipate that they may not come out easily. The glass, together with the rubber seals easily gets damaged even when extremely careful. Obviously, now would be the time to replace any other damaged items. So find out if replacement parts are readily available. How much would they cost in case needed?
Rubber doors seals. Should you replace them? Are they available? Were these costs taken into consideration? Did you provide the paint shop with instructions and/or replacement parts?
Do you want a Euro version or a US version? Meaning, do you want to have the side markers, signal lights, headlights etc. modified? In the 60s, Mercedes-Benz cars were often delivered in Germany to US customers but in a Euro version, driven overseas for some time, exported to the US and only then modified to US specs. What version do you want the car to represent? Do your homework and have all parts available to finish one or the other version. How much are you prepared to have your budget increase by some late change of heart?
Keep these all in your mind when you boldly go ahead.
Taking the car apart
It is mandatory you and the paint shop discuss the extent the car is supposed to be dismantled to get painted. Ideal – from the painter’s point of view- is to have the whole car in pieces. This way, painting will be fast and thorough. BUT unless you have a car worth a 6-digit number, this may be cost prohibitive.
In my case, we decided to take the hood, trunk lid front fenders off. All of these parts, the rear fenders, doors and roof were then sanded and primed. With the car apart, now is the best time to address any visual and looming mechanical deficiencies.
Note: One option to proceed is to dismantle the car yourself. The reasons are a) to save money, b) avoid damage by an inexperienced paint shop. In my case a) was debatable, as transporting a dismantled car would have its own cost and challenges and b) was not of concern – see Part 1.
After the dismantling, some small rust dots were discovered on the rear wheel arches and repaired. Contrary to an earlier plan, the 4 doors were not removed for painting. This was an executive decision by Sheik as he felt there is not much to gain painting wise, as the arches and the pillars could be accessed easily with the doors left in place. On the other side, removing and resetting door poses a certain alignment risk.
As mentioned earlier, even before starting a paint job you should give some thought and discuss of all things that potentially need to be addressed/fixed. Including anticipated problems along the way such as sourcing rare parts. For years, I had collected a by now fairly large stack of spare parts for my 6.3 and set aside to be replaced/installed during just this occasion. I had brought them along in some large boxes when we stated. For example, I had what I thought a full set of rubber door seals. Unfortunately, one rubber door seal was missing. I forgot, that I had never acquired one. The large windshield rubber that I had saved turned out to be for the rear window not the front as I had thought.
My research discovered that the car spent the first year in Euro trim before being converted to US spec. That conversion was done fairly crudely by cutting openings into the side of the fenders to install the side markers. I now switched the car from US specs back to Euro Specs and the side markers were shaved. I also deleted the bullet style front signal lights. All indicating is now from within the front light housing.
BTW, Even the Euro model of the 300SEL 6.3 always had the double headlight, not the single light design of the basic W108 model.
Here some more pictures from the two visits.
What Library, you may ask? Yes, we have one. At least now that George Morita’s has been kind enough to donate his entire collection of 30 years of THE STAR magazine. That’s about 120 magazines in three boxes.
Here is George on the very left at one of our Tours.
George is a founding member of the Toronto Section and he and his lovely wife Marilyn are still actively participants at our events. Thank-you George.
BTW, any other old (or new) books & magazines are welcome. I will gladly add them to The Library.
I am also interested in archiving and documenting my inventory of Mercedes-Benz and automotive related books. If anybody is interested, I could use some help.
You won’t need a library card to visit, brows or borrow any magazines or book. Just contact Harald – the librarian.
After a one year hiatus, the Toronto Section will again be part of the Canadian Historic Grand Prix activities. On Sunday, June 21, we will hold our STARS OF THE AUTOBAHN alongside the Field of Dreams car show @ Mosport racetrack centerfield.
In addition to the car show, the MBCA Toronto Section has partnered with the CHGP organizers to bring you an exciting selection of additional events you can participate in.
- Spectate various historic races all day with original race cars from the 50s to the 90s – see http://www.canadianhistoricgrandprix.com/ for more details
- Stars of the Autobahn Mercedes-Benz & Field of Dreams All-Makes Car Show Mosport centerfield, corner 8 – FREE ENTRY to the show – requires grounds admission $20.00/car – dedicated Mercedes-Benz section
- Grounds open Sunday, 9:00 AM – arrive early. Judging this year will be by Popular Vote only
- Star Parade – Open to Stars of the Autobahn participants – $10.00/car
- Touring/Lapping Sessions – Brisk, but controlled lapping will provide a “Seat-of-the Pants” driving experience of the twists and turns of Mosport’s undulating tarmac. Each session is 3 laps on the track, preceded by a short “chalk talk” delivered by veteran drivers that know every inch of the course. One passenger is allowed. Register onsite Sunday, noon. 2 available sessions $40 each
2015 Canadian Historic Grand Prix
The Vintage Automobile Racing Association of Canada (VARAC) is gearing up for what promises to be the biggest, most exciting and best-attended event in its history. The Canadian Historic Grand Prix is one of the most prestigious events on the Vintage and Historic Racing Calendar in North America and it is the largest and most popular event of its kind in Canada and counted as a “Major Spectator Event” at Mosport since 1999.
Racers from across Canada and the United States will descend on Canadian Tire Motorsport Park just north of Bowmanville, Ontario with their Formula Fords, MGs, Triumphs, Jaguars, Porsches, Alfa Romeos, Lotus, Minis, Corvettes and more to challenge the world famous Mosport Grand Prix Circuit. Mosport is one of only three true historic Grand Prix tracks in North America along with Le Circuit Mont Tremblant in Quebec and Watkins Glen in upstate New York. Mosport is an awesome, technically demanding, fast 2.459 mile track with challenging corners and impressive elevation changes. It is the current and former host to world-class racing such as ALMS, the NASCAR Truck Series and the Formula One Grand Prix of Canada, Can-Am, Trans-Am and Formula 5000. Moreover, it is a place for cars, drivers and race fans to come home to.
Open-Wheel Formula Ford Racers will be the “Featured Marque” for 2015 and will compete for the Oliver Clubine Trophy in honour of Ollie Clubine, a champion and pioneer of Canadian Road Racing.
It was therefore decided that it would be best to postpone the course.
Date: April 18, 2015
Time: 9:00 – 12:00
Location: Mercedes-Benz Logistic Centre and Training Academy 7380 Bren Road, Unit 2 Mississauga, Ontario L4T 1H4
- Welcome and Introductions
- Technical Presentations
- Break with Complimentary Coffee, Pretzels & Strudel
- Video Presentations