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Mercedes-Benz W196 offered at auction


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#51 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 22:42

Different car altogether, Mick...

Does anyone have a pic of the '54 inlet tract so we can compare with the one in Doug's shot?

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#52 jj2728

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 22:47

tattiness.....patina.......loverly.

#53 Doug Nye

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 23:19

As requested:

Posted Image

The top front chassis crossmember of these cars was fabricated to include an integral duct section through which a tract from the nose fed induction air clean through the cross member structure into the cylindrical manifold seen here, from which the individual induction pipes then rolled underneath into the inlet ports. The system with longer, straight pipes surviving on 'Triple-Oh O-Six' now in Bonhams' sympathetic hands passes above the top front cross-member, leaving the duct section fabricated into that cross-member redundant. The section can be seen painted black just beneath the right-hand inboard brake drum on the fourth photo from the top in Post 50 above. My apologies for this deplorable coverage.

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 20 March 2013 - 00:10.


#54 harbee

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 23:20

Here's a thought, would M.B. have raced one of their cars with flaking paintwork and cracked ally? As I said, just a thought on what actually constitutes originality. :confused:

#55 CiroMenotti

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 23:31

From where we are sitting in sunny Florida it looks a bargain :)

#56 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 23:44

Thanks, Doug...

They were experimenting with, probably with ideas of introducing for the '56 season, a variable intake length. This would have necessitated the straight run shown in the '55 layout, of course.

#57 seldo

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 00:03

As requested:

Posted Image

The top front chassis crossmember of these cars was fabricated to include an integral duct section through which a tract from the nose fed induction air clean through the cross member structure into the cylindrical manifold seen here, from which the individual induction pipes then rolled underneath into the inlet ports. The system with longer, straight pipes surviving on 'Triple-Oh O-Six' now in Bonhams' sympathetic hands passes above the top front cross-member, leaving the duct section fabricated into that cross-member redundant. The section can be seen painted black just beneath the right-hand inboard brake drum on the fourth photo from the top in the post 50 above. My apologies for this deplorable coverage.

DCN

Doug, your authority stretches far and wide to the other side of the globe....
http://finance.ninem...ction.slideshow

#58 Tony Matthews

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 00:11

Posted Image

Posted Image



#59 arttidesco

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 02:25

Thanks for the details Doug and Tony :up:

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#60 Doug Nye

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 06:56

Doug, your authority stretches far and wide to the other side of the globe....
http://finance.ninem...ction.slideshow


Poor misguided fools, indeed... :blush: - though this is undeniably a '50s icon of significance beyond mere motor sport. As to monetary value; as always the market will decide.

DCN


#61 Roger Clark

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 07:46

Poor misguided fools, indeed... :blush: - though this is undeniably a '50s icon of significance beyond mere motor sport. As to monetary value; as always the market will decide.

DCN

Indeed; one of the very few Crown Jewels of motor racing history and one that DSJ would rank as Original. Yet, I can't help hoping that Daimler AG will dip into their small change. These cars belong at home.

#62 Wirra

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 07:53

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day, or a GTO.

If a GTO can get 20m GBPs I can't see why this wouldn't do the same, if not more. One would think MB would be very interested and if I was the seller I would be thinking of a strategy to find out just how much.

#63 DanTra2858

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 08:21

Did any of the other W196 have a rear air duct on the tail as this one has ?????


#64 Alan Cox

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:13

A lovely piece of work, Tony, as we have come to expect :up:

#65 Peter Morley

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:17

Bonhams hope it could fetch £10m.

It also says there are nine exemplars of W196 around, which makes you think about the price of these cars, as it is comparable to the price of unique art masterpieces. The principle of demand and offer seems a bit too favourable to the cars, in this case.

Probably the other eight have been restored or are not in the same condition. Maybe an unrestored example is worth that much more. One has to be a bit sceptical.

Now, when one can afford those prices, he buys it and then what does he do, go round in circles with it at, say, Montecarlo with all the eight cylinders not firing? (I could advise a doctor)


Compared to something like a Ferrari California which is far less important you would think that £10M makes sense, but single seaters don't seem to attract the bidders in the same way.

Current GTO asking price apparently $40M and that certainly won't have the same unrestored look.



#66 Tony Matthews

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:24

A lovely piece of work, Tony, as we have come to expect :up:

Thanks Alan, that took me by surprise! Not one of my best, but if anyone is interested I'll post the whole hog.

#67 arttidesco

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:31

Thanks Alan, that took me by surprise! Not one of my best, but if anyone is interested I'll post the whole hog.


Hang the expense and don't be shy Tony :cool:

#68 Tony Matthews

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:53

Posted Image

As seen at Beaulieu in 1982, not '81 as I thought.

#69 Derwent Motorsport

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:57

I have a 1959 Motagu Motor Museum catalogue signed by Montagu and it has the Mercedes W196 as exhibit M5. "This is he actual car dirven by Fangio in which he won the 1954 and 1955 World Championships. Loaned by Daimler-Benz A.G."
No photos of course.

#70 Giraffe

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 10:25

It was #12 in 1981...


.....as seen when I visited Beaulieu in 1979, the catalogue at that time claiming ownership by the Trust (by default).



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#71 Peter Morley

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 10:29

I see, I'm only trying to understand and make sense of this kind of market. Probably at that level of affordability, sense starts to have a different meaning. $40m for a car which is not a unique piece, however small the series built, makes me think.

Also, the eventual buyer of this W196 doesn't really have a choice but keep the car in the current condition - unrestored - in order to maintain the investment he is making. Or maybe it is seen not as an investement, after all, but these cars - and this one in particular - change owner fairly often, so it is an issue to keep the value.


It seems that the most valuable cars are the ones where there is a reasonable number produced - GTOs, D-types, GT40s etc there are enough that all the major collectors might have the opportunity to buy one and when they do have them they can say mine is better than yours because... Even the best known one-off cars can make a lot of money but nothing like as much as production cars do.

Someone who can afford to buy such an expensive car isn't likely to need to make money out of it (e.g. they earn far more in the time they own it) so value isn't the only reason for buying it - e.g. with a GTO one attraction is to be able to go on the GTO rally.
We might think that restoring something like this Mercedes would be awful, unfortunately someone who doesn't have to worry about the money might think that winning a historic race or concours event is more important.

Maybe this car has changed hands a few times because the owners discover there is nothing they can do with it if they don't restore it and if they do restore it they destroy its originality, so all they can do is sit and look at it - I was going to say that is the same as buying a painting or statue but a big difference is that they can make money by lending artworks to galleries/museums.

#72 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 10:49

Maybe this car has changed hands a few times because the owners discover there is nothing they can do with it if they don't restore it and if they do restore it they destroy its originality, so all they can do is sit and look at it - I was going to say that is the same as buying a painting or statue but a big difference is that they can make money by lending artworks to galleries/museums.


True - not that every collector of mega-buck fine art lends out works for display. Rather a lot sit in vaults just accruing value as time passes - their apparent sole purpose.
As for the owners 'not needing' the money : No one who has made (as against inherited) a serious fortune ever seems to sit back, feeling comfortable, doing nothing and just enjoy spending their pile. They always want more. It seems an inherent character trait which is no doubt what made them very wealthy in the first place.

GTO/GT40/D-Type vs single seater values . Simple : You can't go and show off down the Kings Rd/Biarritz/Monaco in a single seater . You can in a GTO/GT40/D Type and you can also take your wife/mistress/business associates/famous people/mates along for a ride.... not all at once, but it must be so much more satisfying in the bragging-rights war than being at an empty track in your single seater while the people you brought along to watch just nod off in the pits?

#73 scags

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 11:04

Yes, I'm sure being able to use any car on the road without a police escort adds to the enjoyment.

#74 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 11:20

Posted Image

Tony, your pic does the car justice. No tatty bits there!

I am not sure of those brakes, an inboard drum behind the radiator will get far less air than out at the wheel. The only advantage is unsprung weight and that could be solved with alloy wheels and not those wire flywheels.

Though it is still a very innovative car, and a certain Argentinian gent did it justice.

The one he drove here at Sandown in the 80s defenitly looked far better than this one, and defenitly ran very well.Presented and preserved by MB. And Fangio gave it a fair serve too to the crowds delight. Pity it was so damned hot that day.
The blurb at the time is that MB had to get the special fuel and oils especially made.
So running this one will be a real challenge.

Otherwise it is just a museum piece. Race it? Probably not but to give it a spirited demonstration makes the car worth a lot more to me. Though my bid stops at 30k AUD. All I have to spare at the moment!

#75 Peter Morley

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 14:51

As for the owners 'not needing' the money : No one who has made (as against inherited) a serious fortune ever seems to sit back, feeling comfortable, doing nothing and just enjoy spending their pile. They always want more. It seems an inherent character trait which is no doubt what made them very wealthy in the first place.

GTO/GT40/D-Type vs single seater values . Simple : You can't go and show off down the Kings Rd/Biarritz/Monaco in a single seater . You can in a GTO/GT40/D Type and you can also take your wife/mistress/business associates/famous people/mates along for a ride.... not all at once, but it must be so much more satisfying in the bragging-rights war than being at an empty track in your single seater while the people you brought along to watch just nod off in the pits?


I agree - isn't it strange that very wealthy people don't seem to be able to afford jackets with pockets, or even wallets!

Apart from seeming to be more usable sports cars also appear to be perceived as safer to race, it seems that some people feel safer with covered wheels.

#76 kayemod

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 15:05

Apart from seeming to be more usable sports cars also appear to be perceived as safer to race, it seems that some people feel safer with covered wheels.


Very true, in my younger days I used to drive like a looney in Golf GTi and the like, but never owned a motorbike, far too dangerous!


#77 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 21:04

Originally posted by Lee Nicolle
.....I am not sure of those brakes, an inboard drum behind the radiator will get far less air than out at the wheel. The only advantage is unsprung weight and that could be solved with alloy wheels and not those wire flywheels.....


Lee, these brakes were 12" diameter and 5½" wide, they were probably so dimensioned for packaging within the chassis. The short chassis car, according to Moss in The Design and Behaviour of the Racing Car had 'normal' brakes in the wheels.

He describes the inboard brakes as having "...a smoother action than the normal brakes used on the short chassis car..." but complained about the smoke and smell in the cockpit when they were used hard.

Presumably the 'normal' brakes were of narrower drum width and greater diameter, but I feel quite sure that they got adequate airflow over the fins with the covers shown in the drawings which would have created a turbine-like draught.

#78 Doug Nye

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 21:38

Just in case anyone has missed seeing David Weguelin's 'Triple-Oh Oh-Six' 1954 movie edit. Wind up the volume and enjoy:

http://www.bonhams.com/video/13160/

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 20 March 2013 - 21:40.


#79 elansprint72

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 21:39

Reading what Leveson has to say about "expert witnesses" is rather illuminating.



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#80 arttidesco

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 00:35

"Tony, your pic does the car justice. No tatty bits there!"


x2v :up:

The blurb at the time is that MB had to get the special fuel and oils especially made.
So running this one will be a real challenge.


And this I believe is precisely where the co operation of MB will be required as Willie Green found out when he ran it with out MB's assistance in 1999.

The car never succeeded in firing on all eight cylinders for the whole weekend




#81 David Birchall

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 01:14

Phil Hill drove one of these at the Monterey Historics in 1978 or 79. It was brought over and maintained by the factory and it ran beautifully. The highlight of the weekend was on the practice day when the public were not present-Hill "did a doughnut" in the pit area and rocketed out onto the track to put on a beautiful display of driving--stirring stuff and the only time I have approved of the "doughnut" routine!
Anyone know which car that was?

#82 Gary C

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 03:45

John Surtees used to do some demo's for MB back when I was working for Formula 1. At one race (can't remember which) he demo'd the W196 on the Saturday afternoon after qualifying. I duly waited for him to enter the paddock after his run (I seem to remember I was the only person on the look out for him), waited for him to exit the car and asked him to autograph that days' qualifying sheet, which he happily did for me. I asked him how the car was. He looked me straight in the eye and said, 'Absolutely georgeous.'
Enough said.

#83 Pullman99

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 04:58

Until 1973 the car at Beaulieu was 014 which was then taken back by MB and 006 was given in exchange.
Story in the Sugahara book.


Correct, although I believe that the expectation was to actually exhibit the Stirling Moss Aintree winner. The museum's former Chief Engineer, Louis Giron, certainly drove the second car at a museum "Action Day" in 1980 (I think) along with the Porsche 804 and a Vanwall brought down on the Vanwall transporter from Maidenhead! All sounded glorious even when running in the very limited space of the museum's Arena.

Edited by Pullman99, 21 March 2013 - 07:21.


#84 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 06:34

Originally posted by David Birchall
Phil Hill drove one of these at the Monterey Historics in 1978 or 79. It was brought over and maintained by the factory and it ran beautifully.....
Anyone know which car that was?


Undoubtedly the same one that Fangio demonstrated so effectively at the Australian Grand Prix meeting at Sandown in 1978...

It was fitted with a 3-litre version of the desmodromic-valved straight 8, a sports car engine or (IIRC) as used in the Argentine for a race or two in 1955. Is that right?

#85 johnny yuma

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 08:13

A few points ;

I am led to believe Very Rich People hate paying tax,like having stuff that makes other people jealous,and enjoy gambling.
The perfect move,buy an historic car ! If your gamble succeeds ,you resell and make untaxed profit,people are impressed,
you get satisfaction.

Straight eights have central power or camshaft takeoffs to lessen timing aberrations as revs rise and torsional twist in crank
and cam get spark out of synch with pistons and valves.

I really wonder about the value which will remain in Old Cars in generation or two.We love them in a quite mysterious way,
we of a certain age.I don't think drawing an analogy of values with artworks which speak of the human condition are
sustainable... except to car tragics !

#86 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 10:01

Correct, although I believe that the expectation was to actually exhibit the Stirling Moss Aintree winner. The museum's former Chief Engineer, Louis Giron, certainly drove the second car at a museum "Action Day" in 1980 (I think) along with the Porsche 804 and a Vanwall brought down on the Vanwall transporter from Maidenhead! All sounded glorious even when running in the very limited space of the museum's Arena.


I remember seeing the Merc' and the Porsche being driven around the display arena sometime late 70s.
Must have been a different day as there was no Vanwall present (no chance of forgetting that!)

#87 karlcars

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 11:16

Just a quick note on the change in the inlet manifold from 1954 to 1955. They used straight ram pipes on the dynamometer when testing the engines so for '55 they adopted them for the car as well -- 300SLR also -- to be confident of direct correlation between performance on the bench and in the car. That's the only reason for the change.

Fangio's car at the 'Ring in 1954 was the only open-wheeled W196 to race with a special manifold air intake in 1954.

To be sure during 1955 they began experiments with a variable-length inlet manifold to improve the torque curve. This is pictured on pages 122 and 123 of my Iconografix book on the 300SLR, one of which had already been modified for 1956 to carry the manifold experimentally. This car is shown on page 125.

I'm sure Bonhams will pull up its socks and provide a better description and history of this car, unique in being out of captivity.

#88 Pullman99

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 14:18

I remember seeing the Merc' and the Porsche being driven around the display arena sometime late 70s. Must have been a different day as there was no Vanwall present (no chance of forgetting that!)


I think that several of the racing cars that were in the "old" museum were exercised in this way, and I am not sure in which year M. Giron died, but he was ythe only one entrusted with the W196 as far as I know. The museum organised a series of special "Museum in Action" days in the early 1980s always with a particular theme and I am pretty certain it was the 1980 event that featured the W196, etc. I remember that Michael Turner visited and was interviewed for South Today sitting in the W196 and talking about his work as a motor racing artist. He had just published a collection of his recent works (would have been about 1982).

There has been previous discussion on other threads on this Forum about the sale of this particular car and whether it was the correct course of action for a charitable trust museum. I am aware that, at the time, the Trust was facing some serious financial issues and was embarking on the construction of its new Trust building including expanding the storage area. The W196, although two separate chassis had been exhibited there, was considerably outside the scope of the museum's collecting policy (even though Mr Moss used one to win his first GP) and was clearly deemed to be the most appropriate car to sell. Whether or not the museum will expand on this and reveal the details of their transaction with Sir Anthony Bamford is up to them. As to the car's ownership at that time, there was clearly an acceptance from M-B that the car had been given to the National Motor Museum Trust. The sad thing is that the Trust did not fully benefit from the sale in view of Sir Anthony then selling it on within arelatively short time at a considerable profit. I note that several feature articles today - and well done the Bonhams PR machine - are quoting a pre-sale reserve of $40-50Million.

Edited by Pullman99, 21 March 2013 - 14:23.


#89 cabianca

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 04:50

It is my understanding that the vendor is a member of the Royal Family of Qatar. However, I would not be surprised to see a price of 20 mil US $. When Bamford sold it, it brought the price of multiple Ferrari GTOs.

Edited by cabianca, 22 March 2013 - 20:44.


#90 W154

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 13:21

Posted Image

As seen at Beaulieu in 1982, not '81 as I thought.

I thought that cutaway drawing looked familiar. Many years ago my wife was looking for a birthday present for me and came across three 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles of famous cars; 1957 Maserati 250F, 1962 Ferrari 250GTO and 1954 Mercedes W196, each puzzle being a Tony Mathews cutaway drawing. She couldn't decide which one to buy so being a good girl bought all three :clap: . The W196 puzzle was the above drawing.Thanks Tony.
I may not have the millions to buy the Bonham car, but on a good day I can "build" it from scratch in about 6-7 hours !
( OT I know, but used the search engine to find forum topic related to car jigsaw puzzles, but couldn't find one. Can anybody help with info? )

#91 Tim Murray

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 13:49

( OT I know, but used the search engine to find forum topic related to car jigsaw puzzles, but couldn't find one. Can anybody help with info? )

There's a fairly brief thread here:

Jigsaw puzzle nostalgia

#92 larryd

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 15:57

There's a fairly brief thread here:

Jigsaw puzzle nostalgia


There was a fourth KK jigsaw in that series - the BRM V16 - a Tony Matthews cutaway again.

I have all four, and still dig them out occasionally !

:cool:


#93 Rudernst

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 16:58

I still find the whole business deplorable.

The National Motor Museum were given or loaned the car to display to the British public.
Not to flog at their earliest convenience

Mercedes did not intend to to provide funding for building actitities of the museum.

I know that this has been settled in court.
A British court has ruled in favor of a National British Institiution against a German business, no surprise there

Still......


as to running it
the liners of the 2,5 and 3.0 litre in line 8 cylinder engines were honed with a very special tool.
i think it is called "randrierwerkzeug"
the surface is altered in a special pattern to aid lubrication through defined retention of oil in the bores

this tool has been lost
Mercedes themselves cant make any new liners
this is part of the reason why the Mille Winner SLR has been retired

on the other hand...
C&G can reengineer everything to run on modern fuels and lubricants

Rudolf

Edited by Rudernst, 22 March 2013 - 17:00.


#94 Guido22

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 19:11

It's fair to assume that this horse will probably not make the start stalls, and why should it when the north side of 25% is being pulled. Those folks with money know how to make it and keep it too.

#95 arttidesco

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 19:25

I know that this has been settled in court.

Still......


as to running it
the liners of the 2,5 and 3.0 litre in line 8 cylinder engines were honed with a very special tool.
i think it is called "randrierwerkzeug"
the surface is altered in a special pattern to aid lubrication through defined retention of oil in the bores

this tool has been lost
Mercedes themselves cant make any new liners
this is part of the reason why the Mille Winner SLR has been retired


Rudolf


Might explain why MB did not help with Willie Green's efforts to get the car running.

#96 Tony Matthews

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 21:19

There was a fourth KK jigsaw in that series - the BRM V16 - a Tony Matthews cutaway again.

I have all four, and still dig them out occasionally !

:cool:

So... you don't have the fifth? Interesting...

#97 W154

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 22:48

So... you don't have the fifth? Interesting...

Please tell me it was the Vanwall and the hunt for 4 and 5 will be on in earnest!

#98 Tony Matthews

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 07:25

It wasn't the Vanwall, I'm afraid - I wish it had been. It was the 'D' Type Jaguar, and sold in a tub, not a box. Jigsaws are very expensive to manufacture compared to prints and the 'D' Type was the swan-song. It made KK a little money and I got 10p for every one sold, which is why I now live in the Grand Cayman.

I photographed the W154 in order to do a cutaway, but it never happened...

#99 RA Historian

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 13:23

I still find the whole business deplorable.

The National Motor Museum were given or loaned the car to display to the British public.
Not to flog at their earliest convenience

Is this not similar to the Jaguar E2A? As I seem to recall, it was sold with the caveat that it not be raced. But almost as soon as it changed hands it was on the track. Am I right on that? If so, another instance of a lack of ethics, if not breach of contract.

Yes, I agree with Rudernst; deplorable.

Tom

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#100 W154

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 23:53

It wasn't the Vanwall, I'm afraid - I wish it had been. It was the 'D' Type Jaguar, and sold in a tub, not a box. Jigsaws are very expensive to manufacture compared to prints and the 'D' Type was the swan-song. It made KK a little money and I got 10p for every one sold, which is why I now live in the Grand Cayman.

I photographed the W154 in order to do a cutaway, but it never happened...

:cry: :cry: :cry: