Friday, May 17, 2013

Redesigned S-Class Coupe to Join Sedan for 2014


The modern day heir to the "Grosser" Benz title, the company's flagship W222 S-Class sedan that was recently unveiled to the world, will receive it's commensurate 2-door variation in short order.

Spy shots have revealed a stunning low slung coupe that seems to share not only the elegant lines of it's stablemate, but appears to one-up the already sumptuous cruiser with even more refined styling in line with tradition for the top-tier gentleman's express. Insiders expect the coupe, formerly badged as the "CL", to come in a variety of flavors to match the sedan to include a twin-turbo V8 in both S550 and S63 guise. While not officially verified by Mercedes-Benz at the corporate level, rumors persist that the new range-topping cars could not only replace the slow-selling and dated Maybach range, but also potentially incorporate cabriolet drop-top versions of both the 2 and 4-door cars.

2014 S-Class sedan. Photo: Mercedes-Benz USA
 See the full gallery of images on Autoblog.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

RIP: Legendary NASCAR Driver Dick Trickle Dead at 71

Copyright Kevin York Photography

Retired 71-year old NASCAR driver Dick Trickle has apparently died from a single, self-inflicted gunshot would.

The Sheriff's dispatch for Lincoln County, North Carolina received a call from a person they believe was Trickle stating "there would be a dead body and it would be his". It is believed Trickle then shot himself on the grounds of the Forest Lawn Cemetery where his body was soon found by authorities laying next to his own pickup truck.

Trickle claimed 15 top-five finishes in Sprint Cup racing and won two Nationwide Series races before his retirement in 2002. By the time he turned 50 he had already won over 1,200 stock car competitions in 33+ years of racing.

In a public statement NASCAR CEO Brian France remembered Trickle as "a legend in the short-track racing community, particularly in his home state of Wisconsin, and he was a true fan favorite."

Thursday, May 9, 2013

You Asked, We Listened: W111 Coupe Facebook Group

Portland, OR "Cars in the Park" 2011
 With the start of the warm-weather driving season upon us, we've been receiving an uptick of questions from W111 coupe owners mainly on the topics of fuel issues and how to bring their cars out of winter storage. Rather than continuing to answer questions only through one-on-one private email conversations, we decided to create the W111/W112 Coupe and Cabriolet group on Facebook so that other owners can join the conversation by asking questions, sharing tips and generally expanding the communal knowledge base for these finest of Mercedes-Benz automobiles.

Within the first 24-hours of going live we had already accumulated 15-members and enthusiasts. That's a great start and we look forward to seeing some familiar faces while making new friends as well. The group is free to join and you don't even need to own a Mercedes to be a member, we welcome all enthusiasts. Simply log in to your Facebook account, then navigate to our page and hit the "like" button, and you're a member!

W111 Cabriolet at Forest Grove Concours 2012

W111 Coupe at Forest Grove Concours 2012

W112 Cabriolet with sedan cousin in the foreground at the Forest Grove Concours 2012

Our MotoArigato Project Car in it's first test drive in October 2011. You know the rest!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Johnny Cash Bus Exhibit Returns Later This Month

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio is now the permanent home to Johnny Cash's iconic black-and-silver tour bus, the only one he ever personally owned. Those embarking on summer cross-country tours or seeking a Midwestern road trip might want to consider adding this stop to their itinerary and taking a few photos for the scrapbook. You may remember our previous article about the legendary JC Unit One, and if you haven't had the chance to see it in person, the on-board tour is informative, accurate and something you and your family likely won't soon forget. The museum has done a terrific job in collecting the various stories and anecdotes associated with the bus and preserving them as part of it's legacy. This is the most personal tribute we could imagine for the Man In Black, and one that's more meaningful than any plaque or statue ever could be given it's unique and significant contributions to music history.

The JC Unit One is a seasonal exhibit due to being displayed outdoors during the warmer months, and while the museum promises to have the vehicle available to the public by the end of the month, it's advised to call ahead to avoid any disappointment. According to the museum, exhibit tickets are included with purchase of regular museum admission.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

MotoArigato Project Car Part 3: Springtime Prep

With the arrival of fair weather driving season in much of the country, you may be wondering what's new with our project car, the 1962 220SE W111 Coupe we purchased locally.
Aside from some general maintenance items we have recently updated the entire front end trim with all new, or nearly new parts, many of which are still available through the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Irvine, CA.

Here's a quick list of what we replaced and where to get it.
Headlight doors (the main chrome bezel that surrounds the stacked lights): New from Classic Center
Headlight door triangle lenses: New from Classic Center
Bullet indicator lenses: Retired by Mercedes, new reproductions available online.
Bullet indicator rubber gasket seal: Retired, sourced from parts car.
Grille surround (the main chrome outer part): Retired, sourced from parts car.
Grille insert (the mesh inside piece): New from Classic Center
Grille chrome trim bars (vertical and horzontal bars): New from Classic Center
Grille trim bar clips: New from Classic Center
Grille badge: New from Classic Center
Headlight H4 halogen conversion (brighter and safer lighting): New available from Hella

Old sealed beam bulb on top left of photo, H4 conversion on top right. Courtesy

You can read a tutorial about replacing your old sealed beam headlights with upgraded modern H4 bulbs here at MarrsCars.

We also added a Pertronix coil and a new ballast resistor to replace the 51-year old Bosch originals after we happily discovered that the distributor unit had already been replaced with a Pertronix electronic ignition installed by the car's previous (and original) owner.  We also replaced the starter that was sticking in cold weather with a new unit, put in an electric fuel pump to replace the original mechanical one, and for peace of mind (and to prevent a frustrating stall we were encountering) we had the fuel tank screen replaced and took the opportunity to have the tank itself cleaned and fully resealed inside to prevent any further corrosion.

We now use Sta-bil Ethanol Treatment, which is different from their fuel stabilizer product in that it prevents the phase-separation that occurs in Ethanol fuel where the water eventually separates out from the fuel and often causes starting or running problems. We don't have cars that run on water... yet! By encapsulating the water that modern Ethanol-type (alcohol) fuel naturally absorbs, and thus allowing it to be burnt off by the normal combustion process, you no longer need to worry about your tank becoming contaminated with water and causing problems.

We are still unsure how much of the original patina we want to leave intact and how much "rolling restoration" we want to perform, but most likely we will be addressing some interior issues and eventually either touching up the flaws in the paint of our thankfully rust-free car, or giving it a full respray in the future. To date we have focused primarily on the mechanical elements of the car to ensure reliable travels as we take her out to local events and weekend touring. 

If you see us around town, give a wave!

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