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4rd QUARTER 2011 www.mbca.org/NYC-Long_Island
Alternatives For Kids Rally October 22
The NYC - Long Island Section of the MBCAHoliday Partyfor 2011!
The Board of Directors wishes all our members a very Joyous Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!
Few single events in a club's year epitomize the style, class and solid core of participation than a Holiday Party. President Oliver Seligman could not have said it better - these people are well-oiled machines like the cars we, as a club, represent.
Front and center was the venue itself. When talking about elegant eateries, The Inn at New Hyde Park oft mentioned as one of the top restaurants on Long Island. The menu included a lavish cold display of fruit, cheese, mushrooms and passed Hors d' oeuvres.
Nancy Palumbo Wins Door Prize
Dinner was Shrimp Oreganata, Filet Mignon, Grilled Salmon, Chicken Princess, and a sixth choice by special request! "The Inn at New Hyde Park specialty" Sauerbraten mit Rot Kraut (Red Cabbage) and Kartoffel Kloes (Potato Dumpling).
Your 2012 Board of Directors! (L to R) John Mc Auliffe, Lou Palumbo, Jerry Shapiro, Jan van der Baan, President Oliver Seligman, John Anaischik, and John Weigel, missing Vinny Milo.
Jerry Shapiro "Member of the Year"
President Oliver, while being unmercifully heckled by his team, handled your Board of Directors presentation superbly. New Board Member JohnMc Auliffe, wasintroduced to the festive gathering and then a surprise presentation had BOD and former President Jerry Shapiro with few words, but a heart felt "thank you".
For the rest of the afternoon, the comedy team of John & Jan hijacked the party. The cutest ticket picker at any party, four year old, Zuriana assisted Elie. The jokes were a mix of German plus English and started with a call of 'good luck' in several languages.
Mary-Ann Coklo and a feastive gathering!
Rudy Rosenberg wins a raffle!
With umbrella in hand, fleet stepping John Weigel crooned, a cappella "Singing in the Rain" or was it "Marry Poppins", but the jokes continued.
Calling raffle numbers, singing, and dancing their way into our hearts, the party
making team included the newly dubbed the "Boardettes" (by Jan). The helpers were the wives of the Board Members, Elie, Diane, Gloria, Susan and Linda. A big thank you dear ladies!
As we have for the past 5 years, attendees made donations of toys for underprivileged Long Island children. In the spirit of the holiday season - giving is always as important as receiving. A thank you letter will be shared with you from the John Theissen Children's Foundation (JTCF).
Thank you Linda and Jerry for the pictures.
Dear (Contact First Name),
Keeping Your Mercedes-Benz Fit
1902 MB Simplex 40PS
This is the behind the scene story about keeping your car on the road. You may like to believe that all the luxury, quality, fit and finish just happened for you alone. The history behind this quality brand could only be described as the internet boom of it's day. Established persons in business, politics and personality literately drove the future of personal transportation with demand for more power and speed. Even the three spokes on the star emblem was to denote the conquest of the motoring public on land, on water and in the air.
1901 Mercedes 35PS
Specialized training and workmanship are taught to the technicians who work on our fine cars. That is the type of information you get through membership. Owners informing owners about the best tires, fuels, Detail shop, replacement parts, besides restaurants and places they took their 'Baby'.
One of our BOD members reported having owned MB's for over ten years before joining the club. After meeting Lou at Gullwing and seeing an example of the pride behind the Star Brand he realized the value of Mercedes-Benz. A Tech session hosted at Gullwing will impart inside information about your vehicle that only fellow drivers can share.
You will also witness the love and pride that is exhibited by Lou and his son, Steve. They have a visible reverence for each car brought in. That was evident to me when, after our early fall Nor'easter hail storm, a pock marked Mercedes was repaired by Steve one dent at a time.
Steve went to a special school in California to learn their system, but it takes skill and art to perfect the technique he learned there.
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300B
Rudy Rosenberg is a NYC-LI section member. He participated in Second Annual Cradle of Aviation Museum Car Show held on September 25, 2011.
As it was one of only 57 made, one of the top head-turners among the foreign-built entrants was a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300B four-door Cabriolet attractively-finished in Robins Egg Blue. The owner, Rudy Rosenberg of Williston Park, N.Y., recalled he'd paid just $2,250 to purchase this car from its first owner in 1963: "I don't remember his name, but he was a TWA pilot who lived in Old Brookville and used to fly to Europe about once a week. He'd park it at Idlewild Airport" - now known better as John F. Kennedy International - "and the car was always vandalized when he came back. When I got it after 8 years, the star on the grille was hanging miserably." After adding that "I borrowed the money to buy this car from my boss when he saw in my eyes that he couldn't talk me out of it," Rosenberg offered the truly-surprising revelation that he was a Holocaust survivor who had spent a year-and-a-half hiding in an Occupied Brussels basement with his mother. "I'd always wanted a Mercedes-Benz," he asserted nonetheless, "and the fact this car is finished in the same shade of blue as the Luftwaffe's uniforms made this my personal revenge on Hermann Göring."
Reprinted with permission by By Dennis Adler and Scott Grundfor
Every so often something truly amazing comes along in the automotive world. In 1954 it was the Mercedes-Benz 300SL, a sports car so strikingly advanced that it became the symbol of Mercedes' postwar renaissance.
Among countless Americans moved by the 300SL's design was Bob Doehler, a senior stylist at Studebaker-Packard, the South Bend, Indiana, automaker that would soon become the American distributor for Mercedes-Benz. Doehler's position ultimately allowed him to do something that no one had ever done before- purchase a 300SL part by part!
Doehler appreciated fine automotive design, but the one he considered perfect and the most beautiful was the 300SL "Gullwing." Remembered by friends and associates as a perfectionist, almost obsessively so, Doehler felt that a 300SL off the showroom floor wasn't good enough. He wanted a perfect car, and the only way he felt that he would get it was to make it himself.
"The idea developed in his mind that if he could buy all the component parts, then he would be able to translate this idea of perfection into reality, combining what he considered to be his skills as a craftsman, his eye for lines and symmetry, and fit and finish, along with the design of Mercedes-Benz," says restorer Scott Grundfor.
In the Beginning Since Studebaker-Packard then distributed Mercedes-Benz cars and parts in the U.S., Doehler had access to the parent company in Germany, and in 1958 he visited Stuttgart and met Rudolf Uhlenhaut and Karl Wilfert, the men most responsible for the creation of the 300SL. With Uhlenhaut, Doehler discussed various points of design, as both were engineers and designers. He also ran his idea by Uhlenhaut about buying a car in pieces through the parts department. Perhaps intrigued by the idea, Uhlenhaut authorized Bob Doehler's project.
Thousands and thousands of individual pieces make up a 300SL. Mercedes-Benz provided a completely welded body shell and chassis plus an assembled and tested motor that at the time served as a display engine in Chicago. It was understood that upon the car's completion, Mercedes-Benz would issue a proper chassis number for it
Back in South Bend, using the factory spare parts book, Doehler compiled a list of every individual part and component necessary to build a 300SL. In 1960 he started to order his car piece by piece through the Studebaker-Packard parts department. By then the 300SL coupe was out of production, so he devised a system for keeping track of all the parts, Using color coding to identify whether a part was in stock or backordered, the condition of the part when it arrived, and whether it was acceptable or not. In keeping with his commitment to build the best possible car, Doehler sometimes returned parts because their condition was not up to his standards. When Scott Grundfor inventoried all of the parts before buying the car, he discovered as many as four of the same part, still in their original blue and white factory packaging.
Within 18-months Doehler was able to acquire 90 to 95 percent of the components, and had Studebaker-Packard not failed, assembly might have proceeded as planned. When the doors closed in South Bend, Doehler moved to Milwaukee and bought an old coachbuilding company, which he referred to at the time as "having assets that included two winos and a bending brake." He subsequently turned this into one of the premier, if not the premier, restoration shops in the Milwaukee area, which, notes Scott Grundfor, trained some of the better restorers to come out of that area.
Later... "Bob was characterized by good friends as being a perfectionist and a procrastinator, so he never quite got around to finishing the 300SL," says Grundfor. "He seemed happy to discuss the nuances of the body design or the engineering peculiarities of the car but never seemed motivated enough to complete it."
Grundfor met Bob Doehler in 1988 when he came to Scott Restorations in California to find a few parts that he had been unable to obtain over the intervening 25 years. "I had heard a rumor about an eccentric man who owned a body shop in the Midwest who had a brand new Gullwing hidden away in pieces. Of course, I considered this a folk tale, not believing that anybody could possibly purchase a 300SL in parts. It turned out to be true. After introducing himself, he showed me photos of the project, and we discussed a lot of different topics."
At the time Scott was involved in two fascinating Mercedes-Benz projects, a W194 300SL prototype and a Pininfarina-bodied 1954 300b Coupe. "We needed technical information and drawings regarding the body and chassis on both cars, and Bob offered to check through his literature when he got back to Milwaukee. Several weeks later I received a factory blueprint for the W194 car that had been given to him by Rudolf Uhlenhaut back in 1958. The blueprint detailed the body shape and chassis design of the W194. Even Mercedes-Benz had said they did not have this drawing when I visited them earlier to research the car. He also sent a folder which he had put together delineating four different versions of the 300b as shown on Pininfarina's stand at four international auto shows in 1954 and 1955. He also included his own drawing synthesizing what he thought was the most appropriate elements of all four designs. We subsequently used this in our restoration of that car."
Making the Deal At the time of his visit, Doehler had mentioned selling the 300SL for a price in the high six figures-if he were to sell it. That was the last Scott ever heard from him. "I just lost track of him until l heard of his death in 1994. I was subsequently contacted by a representative of his estate saying that the car would be sold along with a half dozen other cars and literature. I went to Milwaukee in 1994 to inspect it ant' was astounded at the completeness and the number of parts that Bob had assembled. All of the pieces were in their original factory boxes or packages and in new condition. The body had been set down on the chassis, and the engine and transmission had been put into the car but not plumbed up or installed completely. I was also able to inspect all of the pieces, which Bob had placed in a very organized fashion on storage racks. It seems that Bob enjoyed having this oddity, this car in pieces, and sharing it with friends and surprising newcomers, more than actually owning a completed 300SL."
The car was offered to Scott, but he never received a response to his bid. "Six or eight months later I was contacted by an agent in Florida who had bought the car and was offering it for resale. This began four months of difficult negotiations-on again, off again situations where a saner person might have just thrown up their hands and given up, but I was determined to, if at all possible, buy this car and assemble it. This was a very significant and unusual project."
It turned out that the "agent" in Florida really was an agent, ex-CIA. After months of negotiations, they finally arrived at a price, then just as the deal was about to close, Scott was told that a competing group, which the agent referred to only as "the Germans," had swooped in and purchased the car. Money for the deal had been transferred from Germany to a representative in Florida, but, along with $200,000 of it, he disappeared. "Until recently I tended to doubt that there ever were any Germans involved," says Scott. "This broker was just using them as a foil to try to pique my interest, bump up the price, and conclude the deal. Several months ago I met "the Germans" at a car auction. I was talking to a broker, and he mentioned that he thought I had bought his car. He said, 'Yes, I'm the gentleman that sent the $200,000 to Florida, but it was stolen by my representative there.' So the story was true!"
Final Completion Assembling this vehicle, or what you might call conservation and assembly, was different than any other project that Scott had ever attempted. He and Michael Warner, Triangle Section, the client who eventually bought the car, discussed the best approach. Says Scott, "Restored vehicles today tend toward perfection, sometimes ignoring the original quality, going far beyond what the manufacturer did-making the surfaces better, the paint shinier, sometimes chroming parts that were never chromed. We felt a responsibility to assemble the car to original specifications, preserving as closely as possible anything that was original in finish. So the chrome plating, which was excellent but perhaps not as perfect as it would be if it were prepared for show, was left as is. We merely cleaned up those pieces, all of the gauges and trim pieces, and so on. We didn't try to restore them or make them better. They were mint original, and we left them that way."
The engine compartment was also left intact, with nothing repainted or replaced. This was no traditional restoration. "The engine had been sitting assembled in the chassis for 30 years, so a certain amount of oxidation, dust, and grime had accumulated on the bare metal and painted pieces of the engine. The challenge was to try and return these castings and painted pieces to their original look without disturbing the finish or having to refinish it."
In a total restoration, Scott notes that you are faced with similar concerns, but you approach it more aggressively, for example, using a sandblaster to clean up the aluminum intake manifold. "We didn't want a restored look. We wanted an original look, so we used soft brushes, very mild soaps and cleaners, and occasionally a mild acidic solution to remove oxidation from the bare metal casting."
The assembled and finished engine compartment doesn't look the same as a 100-point restoration, but since these are the original finishes, it probably has the most authentic look of any 300SL in the world.
Doehler had purchased a complete replacement body and already fitted the hood, trunk, and doors; all it really needed was priming and painting. The interior was complete except for the cloth and vinyl covering. Scott decided that the most appropriate color combination would be a silver exterior with a blue plaid interior. What DaimlerBenz sometimes referred to as the standard gullwing colors, these were also the firm's traditional racing colors.
"The only concern we had was that this car had never been put together," recalls Scott. "When you restore a vehicle, you're generally talking about a car that was assembled and running for a number of years and is more or less worn. Here we had all the pieces-the doors, the latches, the engine-all as new and never before assembled, so we were a little nervous as to how these parts would all go together. As it turned out, they fit very nicely."
The First Time
Total assembly and finishing took nearly 1,500 hours over about a year at Scott's shop in Kalamazoo, Michigan. "It was exciting when we finally got around to starting the engine. This was a completely assembled factory motor, probably intended as a replacement engine, tested on the dyno and run-in 30 years earlier. We thought about disassembling and inspecting it, but it appeared that at the factory the engine had been put up for storage. We just drained the fluids, checked the adjustments, and replaced all the oil and fluids, carefully turning the motor over to make sure that it was free and had oil pressure. We hooked up the ignition, and after a couple of cranks it fired right off. It's amazing how smooth and quiet this motor is, perhaps the smoothest 300SL engine I've ever heard, a testament to the fact that it has zero miles on it. It's probably in the best condition of any 300SL engine in the world."
To ensure the mechanical integrity of the car, Scott made a very short test run. "It was quite a thrill to have the experience of driving a brand new 300SL-what it must have been like when a person purchased one of these cars brand new-the thrill of actually driving it for the first time and feeling the quality and precision. I don't think that sensation can ever be quite captured when a car is restored. No matter how extensive the restoration is, the parts are still stressed, old, and rebuilt," says Grundfor.
"Recently a friend told me about a Johnny Cash song called 'One Piece at a Time,' and it reminded me of the 300SL. It told the story of a General Motors worker in the Cadillac Division who built himself a car 'one piece at a time' by taking parts home in his lunch pail."
It's hard to believe that this year is quickly drawing to a close. Your board has already outlined a list of events for 2012 that promise to make it an exciting one. In January in conjunction with the Porsche Club we will be participating in the Snowflake Rally, hopefully without the snowflakes. In March we are planning a "President's New Member Welcome" at Exotic Classic in Syosset where there are over 100 cars, some for sale, keep a close eye on your wallet, and others in storage. In April, there will be a tech session at Gullwing motors in Mineola. And in June there is the June Jamboree in Montvale, New Jersey. The details will follow in our weekly, Wednesday, e-mail blasts.
One of our most important functions as a car club, is to communicate openly with our members. Our newest board member, John Mc Auliffe has made it feel easy to reach out to you. He is not only our e-mail blaster, but is also our Star-Gazer editor. He takes over from Jerry Shapiro, our former President, who so capably edited the Star-Gazer the past several years. Jerry is now the membership chair and already there has been a sharp increase in memberships. For the first time in many years our membership has topped 600! It is actually 617 an increase of more than 10% over last year. One of our goals for this year is to further increase that number. We will be reaching out to dealers. Do you have a favorite dealer? Please let us know. We need your help.
Owning a Mercedes Benz is one of life's great joys. There is not a better car to be found anywhere. The same is true of your board which is composed of John Anaischik, John McAuliffe, Vinny Milo, Lou Palumbo, Jerry Shapiro, Jan van der Baan, John Weigel and myself. We function as a team. We are always looking for ways to improve just as Mercedes Benz automobiles have done the past 125 years.
I hope to see you at our events next year.
Best holiday wishes to all. And a happy healthy and prosperous New Year!
Lou and Steve wish all of you the best of
Holidays this Season and for 2012
Click ad to visit Gullwing Motors
It was 1988 that I first saw my - to be Mistress - a stunning European model.
As you would expect, when I first was introduced I was in awe, and it was love at first glance. While she was older than I would ever have dreamed of getting involved with, there still was an inner beauty that caught my eye. I knew nothing about her, but still decided to pursue the idea.
John's 230SL at Old Westbury Gardens October 16
Years later, we are still together, and now she is more stunning than ever. In the beginning, I didn't know how to care for her, how to treasure and pamper her or even what made her happy.
How did I learn the right things to do? I'll explain
I am not a car guy, or a motor head who knows all things mechanical. I simply appreciate fine things. So, to care for my new love, I joined MBCA and what was called the Sea Level Section at that time.
With the help, camaraderie and knowledge of the many people I have met, all willing to share their stories and technical assistance, my 1965 230 SL Euro Version beauty is as happy as can be. Sadie and I have tried rallies together, attended many technical sessions where I learned numerous mechanical hints and participated in many car shows where I acquired various tips and secrets in keeping a forty-five+ year old beauty in tip top shape.
Take advantage of MBCA in all that it offers. If you're not sure about joining, renewing or getting involved in our local section, I'll introduce you to Sadie. She'll let you know that you should and show you why!
MB AT THE ALTERNATIVES FOR CHILDREN
ALTERNATIVES FOR CHILDREN
15th Annual Classic Car Rally
This rally benefits the Programs and Services for Children (6 weeks to 6 years) with Special Needs. They now have six schools.
Under a beautiful sunny sky, the NYC-LI club joined forty great cars. The running of the 15th annual rally for children was a great success. The rally showcased the beauty of Long Island, and ended at the pavilion on the beach at Sunken Meadow Park. All enjoyed a wonderful lunch with a great view of the Sound.
Our own John Anescheck, acting both as driver and navigator, brought us honor by winning the rally's third place trophy.
In the Mercedes-Benz class, participating were 13 cars, the prize winners were:
1st place - John Annescheck
2nd place - Oliver Seligman
3rd place - Vinny Milo
By Vinny Milo
Old Westbury Gardens
LEGENDS OF THE AUTOBAHN
300SL GULLWING 1955 - Ed Boyd
The club banner, gleaming concours cars, companionship and a made to order beautiful day in Old Westbury Gardens, welcomed over 50 MBCA Members and guests. The stately Phipps Estate in the background seemed to approve of the hundreds of German cars on the Great Lawn. With over 25 cars representing the M-B brand, Judges were hard pressed to make final decisions. Even the popular car class tally was close. Truly, the spectators were the winners. Congratulations to all. The winners of NYC-LI Section MBCA were:
1st: 300SL GULLWING 1955 - Ed Boyd
2nd: 230SL 1965 - John Betsch
3rd: 200D 1966 - Lester Ayars Tied with a new member 230SL 1965 - Lenny Hummel.
John Betsch - 1965 230SL
230SL 1965 - Lenny Hummel
NYC-LI SECTION VISITS MANHATTAN
MERCEDES - BENZ'S NEW FACILITY
Vinny Milo, MBCA NYC- LI Section & Barbara Fiedler, MBCA-NEPA.
Organized through Vinny Milo on October 15th, the tour was visited by 40 MBCA members.
Discount off Mercedes-Benz Parts, Service & Accessories (Call your local dealership)
List Mercedes-Benz cars For Sale here. Members list for free, Non- members fee is $25.00 per quarter year. Details are listed in the -Cars For Sale- Section.
2012 SCHEDULED EVENTS
(Details will be in Your
Weekly Email Updates)
January 29 - Snowflake 56!
The Drivers Rally!
A time x speed = distance event about 150 miles. Details TBA
March - Exotic Classic in Syosset. This will also be known as "The Annual President's - New Member Welcome Meeting" be sure to stay tuned for details about this event.
April - Spring Tech Session at Gullwing motors in Mineola. Details TBA
June - June Jamboree in Montvale, New Jersey. Details TBA
Thank you for your continued interest and support of the NYC-Long Island MBCA charitable activities.
Thank you for joining
Visiting The MBCA
in Colorado Springs
Friday, October 28, I visited the MBCA HQ in Colorado Springs. Lisa Juhl gave me a grand tour and introduced me to the stars behind the "The Star".
From left to right: Daniel "Hauss" Cartwright, Web & Social Media Content Coordinator; Geni Wallen, Membership Services Coordinator; Renee Herbert, Membership Manager; Lisa Juhl, Director of Marketing; Karen Hilborn, Club Store Manager and Cindy Tumbleson, Executive Assistant. Not shown: Doug Truitt, Executive Director; Gayle Divine, Marketing & Membership Liaison
The Garden of The Gods with Pike's Peak in the background.
The National Business Office has a spectacular view of Pike's Peak. Garden of the Gods is a popular place to have your car photographed, a very picturesque location. It is a "must visit" if you are in the Colorado Springs area.
Fireworks, Apple Pie, and a 500SEL
That's right, that's how it happened. On July 4th 1998 a friend called. He sounded a little frantic. He said his wife is sick of that Mercedes in the garage and wants it gone today! At first I thought I could never afford a car like that? Then he said "five thousand and she's yours". Wow, the chance of a lifetime, a 500SEL. A quick road test, a check for five grand and she was ours! The first of what was to be four hundred coats of wax quickly followed. Boy, were we proud. The talk of the block.
Then disaster struck. She stalled on the LIE service road. Then on Searington Road. And then again. Now I'm no novice to the workings of an automobile, being a truck mechanic for forty years. But when I looked under the hood of that car, I stood in awe. This was not my father's Chevy. After a few sleepless nights and asking my wife, Michelle, why did we buy this headache for, reality set in. Get a manual. Ask questions and fix it. And sure as can be, a clogged fuel filter and a lack of tlc was the only problem. Today, after learning about all there is to know about 500SEL's there's no car I'd rather maintain. And when I see her at Montvale or any club event I'm still proud to own her!
And after I finish this oil change and clean some fuse contacts, I think I'll give her another coat of wax.
By Member David Lamm
-CARS FOR SALE-
2003 E500 - Sport Pkg. Harman Kardon Sound. Pewter metallic, charcoal heated seats/black maple wood. 82000 miles, perfect condition. all maintenance records since new. The car has upgraded suspension, upgraded Eisenmann exhaust - glossy paint, everything works asking $17500 (with extra wheels/snow tires included). Please e-mail Dan at email@example.com or call (718)263-1460
Fabulous condition 1970 280SL.
Impeccably restored and maintained. European headlamps and fog lights. New Automatic transmission. Ivory exterior and black leather interior. Matching ivory steering wheel. Two tops. New everything: convertible top, tires, interior wood trim, re-built engine, exhaust system, etc. Non-smoking summer use car only. 86,000 miles. Detailed service records. New radio/CD player, but original Blaupunkt also available. $42,000 OBO.
1968 250 SL California Special Hard Top Covertible.
This is an extremely rare automobile. Metallic Red with tan interior 6 cyl fuel injected engine. 4 speed rebuilt automatic transmission. Power Brakes & Power Steering. New 4 wheel discs & tires. New radio/cd player. Wooden steering. Restored interior. Custom floor mats. New exhaust. Rebuilt front end. Complete Orig Tool Kit & Manuals & Service records. Remember the odometer reads in km/hr, NOT mph, so 22249 km is approximately 13795 miles. $35,500 - Contact Gullwing Motors for more info & photos.(516)742-3320
1967 230 SL
1967 Mercedes 230 SL Roadster
Great Condition w/3rd Passenger Seat. Used by the current owner as a summer car, it is all original, all factory, except for the 4-year-old Custom Metallic Burgundy finish. This car comes with both Soft and Hard Tops. The interior is white, has driver & passenger MBZ mats and original wood trim around the dash. The odometer reads 50804 original KM (app. 31,500 miles). The 2.3 litre 6 cyl. engine and 4-speed manual transmission were overhauled and the clutch replaced approximately 2000 miles ago. The exhaust, muffler, seat covers and soft top were replaced around 4 years ago. The Goodyear Integrity tires are new. And just as important, this is a NO-SMOKING car. Asking $28,000 - Contact Gullwing Motors for more info & photos. (516)742-3320
Another Member Benefit: List your Mercedes -Benz Car for free. Non-Members can list a Mercedes-Benz for sale for a fee of $25 per quarter year, payable in advance to the Treasurer.
* Content and photos are the sole responsibility of the seller. The club will not be responsible for descriptions or photos of listed vehicles.
If you have a Change of Address, Email, Phone or other information to be updated - Please contact the MBCA National Business Office at