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280" Concourse; Diary of a layman

Started by floyd111, 09 March 2015, 04:44 AM


I think I may have succeeded in recreating the 1978/79 showroom brochure cabinet.. finally.
I wasn't going to pay 25-75 bucks per catalog, and more often those are the prices these days.
So, it took quite a bit of time and effort to complete the lot in an affordable fashion.
I think I'm complete. All the booklets are actually printed in 78/79, and in German.
I don't think I'll go as far as getting all the "Sales Arguments" brochures for each model, coz that's more of an internal use booklet.
These are the main W123 brochures to boot.
I'll post the w116, The G and the R107's batches later.


And the last W123-specific brochure, the turbo-booklet.
There are, off course things like Fire truck and Ambulance booklets, but those are not booklets -or customers- you'd find in a German countryside MB dealership in 1978.
There's also all the option booklets and such, but those aren't W123 specific and I'll list those in a different section later.


Seems we're up and running again!

this is the second batch of catalogs, the W116 specific.
Need to add that germany in 78-79 had changed the cover of their 70's car catalogs, and they didn t have the 1-car-oer catalog system like f.e the gorgeous W116 ones from the UK.


G-Model 1979.  Just the one. Not even sure whether it actually made it to the showrooms the year of this catalog, but it was  announced, for sure.


Incomprehensible, but MB never bothered to revamp their R107 brochures in Germany. The SL's and the SLC's in the showrooms were all, what could be called the pre-78 look. They only released a separate, new-type one for the 450SLC 5.0


Downstairs things have started moving a little, finally. My wife has taken an interest in sorting, cleaning and numbering the many parts that have been partially in cupboards, or partially heaped in groups on the floor.
It's mostly chrome and vinyl parts, and there's a lot of it.
Since the PMR and Arthritis stop me from crouching, kneeling and sitting on hard floors myself anymore,, I am happy that she is doing it.
Removing all the stickers, glue and dirt from the NOS chrome parts is a monk's job. She seems well into it.
At some point all of the NOS chrome is going to the anodizer for a new coat, together with some 2nd hand trim, some of it still on the parts cars in front of the door.
The vinyl is getting a baking soda and soap cleaning, and after sorting through 5 sets of interior, The best 2 sets will be selected and primed for re-spraying with the spray cans I smuggled in the boot of a friends car in a container from Bulgaria to Taiwan, a few years ago.
Once the working floor is empty, I can proceed ordering the exhibition cabinets, and start decorating the place, turn it into a museum, decorated like a functional 1978 MB garage.

The loss of so much material in the robbery has taken a bad toll on me, and besides promises and paperwork about getting compensated 2 years from now, it's been a tough time.
Insomnia, anxiety disorder, and a pharmaceutical quagmire.
To kick myself into butt, and boost my dopamine levels, I have bought 2 professional go karts and I have taken up racing. One 30hp long wheel base 125/2 stroke for me, and one 7hp/2 stroke short wheel base for my wife and 9yr old son, who seems to be a natural.
The physical beating that comes with trying to compete with racers, 2, 3 times younger than me, in a kart with no suspension, going 120km/hr through the bumpy corners, is impressive.
2x 8 minutes of it required 3 days of rest and healing. The second time I did 5x8 minutes, and I am looking at bruised ribs and blue spots all over. This time around it might take 10 days before I can race again!
It's the most painful mid life crisis one could come up with.Even laughing hurts.

I am now waiting for the workshop to get moving again. The chassis is done, but the aluminium bonnet and trunk have not been done yet. No pictures for a while now, so I take it they have been doing other things the last month.
Guess I will have to pressure them again, so all of it can be finally be shipped here and I can finally be in charge of things myself again.

On the museum front, the exhibition/collection is still growing at a nice speed. Lots of people in Germany and Austria have way more time on their hands now, cleaning out attics and basements, and I have been on top of all of it, snapping up item after item, sometimes several per day. but in general, it's a couple every week. Nearly all new purchases are still sent to Thomas in Germany. That pile is slowly becoming a pallet. I can foresee a new adventure there, moving all of that to Taiwan. But maybe I'll be lucky!
BTW, my FB page gives a good impression of what the museum will be like:


It's 2021.. Another year into this project.
What to report? These are the silent days, for sure. Developments seem frozen in time.
My restored chassis is still in storage, but at least the workshop boss has dropped by and assured me he'd refund the amount in losses I asked for. -in a little while.
Well, considering he had to drive 600km to tell me in person is a positive, I hope.

Slow is also the movement towards regular flights. Until then, no UK mechanic, and no assembling the W116.

Slow seems to be the word since Covid. Even on eBay, where either everyone is too depressed to bother listing stuff or I have indeed managed to corner the market for vintage Mercedes customer gifts.
Whatever the case, eBay feels  like there's a war on. Me, I definetly have been hit by ebay fatigue.
First time in 8 years I have suddenly taken distance from the incessant, obsessive collecting that was easily taking up a third of my life.
Fair to say it's time for another stage. Since there's no mechanic for some time still, the W116 thing is on hold, but the little museum-thing need not be.
in a few days my workers will be available again.  The weather being great,I am looking forward to some movement there. Decorative panels with 70's wallpaper, tacky lighting, a giant mirror cube as a pedestal for the w116 suitcase set. Double B3 technical catalog pic blow-ups on the walls. Orange waiting room seats, orange phones, orange mechanical vacuum cleaner, orange phone call timer, blue desks, blue beams, blue flags with the old white star. Still looking for an orange 1978 hifi set. But, we have the obligatory German ceramic billboards and warning signs, the 1978 MB brochure cabinet, the 2 large oval display cabinets with all the '75-80 MB Accessories and Car Options.

In the end it all fits in that small garage with room to spare, even though well displayed. It makes me wonder.. all that work and effort?

But, all of the above is just museum decoration. The actual museum consists of a collection of some 500 avant-garde gadgets that Benz, Daimler and Mercedes-Benz gave away to German customers between 1900 and 1986
i kind of calculated i was going to fit it IN and around the garage, that would firstly be an active workshop and waiting room. The museum stuff would be tucked away in dead corners. That kind of idea.
Imagine my surprise when I did the math with real numbers, and found out i'd be needing nearly 50 tall showcase cabinets, or I'd be stuffing the cabinets.
Brief, that is an issue! The cost of that many cupboards will be a shock, but will not compare to the space they will take up. There'll be no room for an active workshop with 50 cabinets taking up all the floor space.
So, that 50 cupboard design needs revision, but even if the number is cut in half to 25 units, the secondary problem remains unsolved.

Now, I can add a metal wing to the building, just long and wide enough for 2 w116's side by side. Any bigger and i might draw attention. So that s about it.
With the parts storage already being taken care off and the parts-wash cabin as well, do you think one could properly assemble a w116 in a garage twice the size of the car? Would it hold all the required tools?
(must not forget ceiling height vs lift height during design)
Your opinions are welcome as usual.


A few first glimpse of where I am with the museum.  Still have a long way to go, but at least it starts to look like we might arrive one day.




Maybe, in a few days, the doorman's desk and the customer desk should be done. For now it's scrubbing tiles, lots and lots of tiles, splattered with decades-old paint, grease and dirt.


I am now looking for a suitable brochure cabinet and tv-table, one that suits the 1973 Sinodyne Xantos from Italy, a TV that was years ahead of it's time, but does not seem to work.


You maniac, Stan :)
Congrats on the progress! It's coming along.

So will this be open to the public eventually?
1993 "Pearl Blue" W124 280TE
1988 "Arctic White" W124 200T
1979 "Icon Gold" W116 450SE


Hello Stan,

I am like Homer Simpson salivating over your museum collection!

I can appreciate the time and effort spent in gathering this collection.

Well done.

Cheers Bram


Yeah, I am happy with the progress as well, be it that all of this is still part of the interior decoration, and there still isn't a single customer gift on display.
Nothing was supposed to take that long.  Passion is close to obsession and can easily can evolve in to a burn-out, as I have noticed.
However, not arriving at any goals, -despite an obsession- is worse.
I am sure there's a clinical expression for all that's wrong with my head :).

Yes, we'll be open to the public, but only by appointment. Neither the wife nor I would not want to run a  daily-type of business. Our present retirement status is already doubtful, considering we're still regularly involved with our supposedly out-sourced company.

Thus, I am thinking about a fixed fee to open our doors for a few hours, and in return I'll offer a custom-built lecture, depending on the visiting group. The character of all these customer gifts that were issued between 1900 and 1986 is such that are a range of angles is possible, each time using the same museum collection for different talking points.
Marketing students would receive a different version from industrial design people, different from economy, history, business or people that are just crazy about the brand.
Could do a "light" version for those with attention deficit issues and woke version for Millennials. ;D

Just like there are 1978-issued German Marks in the 1979-issued leather MB wallet in my 1979 W116's glove compartment -once all is done-, I was planning to play recordings of 1979 German public broadcasts on the 1973 TV in the 1978-style garage's waiting room, -if I can get that TV fixed.
I also thought of playing Kraftwerk and German schlagers over an obviously low-fi 70's hifi system in the garage.

But, this week I bumped into some rather mindblowing footage on Youtube that gave me all kinds of ideas.
We all have seen black and white footage that was later colored-in manually, or digitally.
Footage, filmed 75 to 120 years ago, B/W, no resolution to speak of, variable speeds, terrible lighting, damaged and withered over time, -but with some color. That isn't it.

What is new is that now there is technology to turn that ancient, archaic footage into HD.
If you haven't seen any of that, go check it out. It makes 1890 look like it's a place you can visit today. Zeppelins really looked like out-of-place CGI-designed alien ships . Hitler looks like an 'acceptable' madman that could decide to run for election next year. It all looks so real, and recent. So much more recent.
Brief, there is a lot of such HD remastered historic footage from Germany and other countries. I would imagine it would make for the eeriest experience to see that footage projected onto 1 or 2 walls in the museum, in or out of tandem with the lectured tour.

Have a look at this 1902 footage. the Flying Train in Wuppertal. How "out of place" is that?

There also is a 1902/2015 side by side video.


Congratulations a real achievement. There really is nothing like collecting.
1974 450SE silver green/bamboo velour/green vinyl roof