Mercedes Benz Concourse
9th August 2009

Ormiston House was again the backdrop for the annual Mercedes Benz Club of Queensland’s concourse. Shifty, Mudge and I headed to the bay early on Sunday morning to check out some old Benzes.

Not part of the concourse, but lined up along the driveway was this 220SE cabriolet.

It has a striking red on white scheme and the woodwork was quite well preserved.

From the old to the last of the good looking Mercedes SLs. The 1990 500SL was last car to carry a sports light badge that still looked like a Mercedes Benz.

As with each Benz Club concourse, Mercedes Benz has on display a few of the latest models. For 2009, the buzz was all about the ugly, err... new E-Class. This is the coupe.

If you look closely, you will notice that the new E’s simply the R-Class people mover after it has been run over by someone in a Volvo.

The back of the E350 two-door was again not all that well executed. The car’s trying to look like a Lexus GS without achieving the latter’s tough looking stance.

The inside was very plasticky but was inoffensive nevertheless. Oh, and it will cost extra to have the steering wheel bent out of shape like that. They must have found that the average E-Class buyer has thighs big enough to rub against the steering wheel.

Now, I know that the E-Class range also featured a four door sedan, but without the AMG filler bits, it was an eyesore.

From the trivial, we moved on to the serious. This would have been the quickest car at the meet, an AMG SL65 V12.

There’s a real engine underneath all that plastic and fake carbon fibre. It was a shame that we couldn’t see it.

Oh, that V12 also had two turbos.

Moving back in a time a little, we hit the 170. This car was based on a Nazi-era design but got the company moving again after the end of WWII.

D’ya like the fog lamps?

From the ’40s we hit the ’50s with a pair of roundies. This one was a two door 220.

The interior was just magnificent.

The second car was the 180 Ponton I think, but it must be a newer one given it’s indicator light positions and lack of front vents between the headlights and the grille.

Instantly recognizable- the tyres on the SLK were it’s best feature.

This car was quite different. It’s a 300SE with mahogany woodwork and airbag suspension. The 3 litre engine features mechanical injection.

How low can you go?

Occasionally you stumble across something amazing. This 21-year old W126 420SEL has only clocked about 60,000km since new.

Cautious owners may make up the bulk of the club members, but you do get the odd bogan as well- this poor S-Class has had its roof chopped off by someone crazy.

Speed holes.

A 1962 Unimog which was put to service in a military application.

The ’Mog’s build details.

Slightly less luxuriously appointed in contrast with the rest of the cars that day.

The drive to the wheels are engineered to allow sufficient headroom for kids to convert the space under the truck into a cubby house.

The Unimog might have sufficed for the troops, but a self-respecing despot would need something better. Something more like the 600 Grosser.

It’s got hydraulics for everything.

The last good looking Mercedes coupe; the W126 500SEC of the ’80s.

This Pagoda had a stunning paintjob. The whitewall tyres further enhance the look.

Now, we move on to the Champion of Champions. Only three cars were eligible- two Pagodas and a 190SL.

The tobacco leather on this car is still fresh in my memory. This car took out the competition when I attended the 2007 event.

Beautifully designed engine bays need not be hidden under plastic.

My pick for the day was the 190SL. They are quite rare. I haven’t seen one on the road ever and they are pushing 50 years in age now.

No headrests here to spoil the clean lines of the car.

I thought that the last word should go to Uncle Billy...


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