Byron’s vows for 2022: an account worth publishing.

The report from a fortune teller or e-astrology website below, reveals some truths about me.

It so happens that my Parkinson’s Disease is deteriorating rapidly, with much frequent falls due to increasing instability, to the tune of one or more per day. Hence my well-being becomes an easy to understand statistic. I.e. one of these days I’m going to get hurt, either to the magnitude of becoming hospitalized from a broken hip bone, or worse to hurt my head so much or strongly, that I may become a vegetable or at the worst case scénario, to depart from this vain world of #pandemic or #covid19.

Let’s get to the point …

The first vow or resolution which I made for 2022, involved the desire to support in any way possible, a non-profit.org for fund raising and other involvements having to do with Parkinson’s Disease. In case that it would combine one of my favorite hobby, ie. #ClassicCarEvents, such would be quite rewarding to me🙏

It all started by browsing on the #Vimeo application, when I discovered the AlexDavidies of DF Media episodes #conversationsforacause. Inspired by these videos I made a Showcase with several of Alex’s videos; it is there that I discovered the www.drivetowardacure.org web.

One of the DRIVE-IN CHATS, with David McGirr
The Drive Toward a Cure video presentation
Continue reading “Byron’s vows for 2022: an account worth publishing.”
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Simon Says & Wishes

with “The Road Less Travelled”

A fantastic Seasonal video clip from the Maestro @Simon Kidston
With my favorite Greek wisdom added 👍🇬🇷
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It’s the 12th month of the odd year 2021 Stupid! Plus my story about the Barcode business

As of this week we have entered the last month of the odd Year 2021 Stupid! Hence I feel the need to make some comments about the past and the New Year 2022 dawning on us all on this threatened Blue Planet As for example: A famous slogan is made and https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04tjbtx

On the second subject, my story about the Barcode business, it’s a personal account of my 25+ years into this exciting field and the famiglia which was built there of, both in the domestic as well as the Italian and International fields.

First a quick review (from a personal standpoint) of the odd Year 2021.

Το γυρνάω στα Ελληνικά (όπου έντονα και υπογραμμισμένα είναι τα κύρια συμπτώματα μου), [foreign readers can use the translation feature]. Οι κοντινοί μου φίλοι και οικογένεια γνωρίζουν ότι έχω διαγνωστεί εδώ και περίπου 4 χρόνια με την Νόσο του Πάρκινσον [Parkinsons Disease] Η δίκη μου περίπτωση δεν παρουσιάζει Τρόμο (=τρέμουλο) αλλά σχεδόν όλες τις άλλες παθήσεις όπως περιγράφονται στην ιστοσελίδα της Ανάπλασης.

Η Νόσος Parkinson είναι μια χρόνια εκφυλιστική νόσος του Κεντρικού μας Νευρολογικού Συστήματος-ΚΝΣ. Κάθε χρόνο 1 στα 500 άτομα είναι ασθενείς με Νόσο Parkinson. H νόσος επηρεάζει πιο πολύ άνδρες από γυναίκες και η συμπτωματολογία της ξεκινά συνήθως σε ηλικία μεγαλύτερη των 50 ετών.

Η νόσος χαρακτηρίζεται από την απώλεια των ντοπαμινεργικών νευρώνων της μέλαινας ουσίας του εγκεφάλου. Αυτό έχει ως αποτέλεσμα την μείωση της ντοπαμίνης στον εγκέφαλο, ενός νευροδιαβιβαστή που σχετίζεται με τη ρύθμιση της κίνησης του σώματος.

Η νόσος χαρακτηρίζεται από 3 βασικά συμπτώματα:

  • Δυσκαμψίαa
  • Βραδυκινησία
  • Τρόμος ηρεμίας
Continue reading “It’s the 12th month of the odd year 2021 Stupid! Plus my story about the Barcode business”
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Summertime of 2021: among COVID-19, Lockdowns and P.D.

An aerial view of #KATEBATH 4, our Kéa Island house

It has been a ‘peculiar’ summer to say the least. I was lucky enough to have moved to our Kéa Island home since the 10th March ‘21 until the first days of September i.e.for a full 6 months period, with only two weekly interims for getting the Moderna Vaccination 💉 touching bases with my Neurologist, plus one more for participating to the #Sisoe Classics & Supercars Drive in early June. A most befitting clip would be the immortal performance of Summertime by Janis Joplin:

A most befitting clip would be the immortal performance of Summertime by Janis Joplin
Lying on the hot sand, sunbathing in a deserted beach is a favorite exercise Photo by Philip Warp on Pexels.com

On the other, dark side of the summertime comes this:

This summer has been a thriller for me, minly due to the deterioration of my Parkinson’s Disease 🦠 situation.

A short 6-month account of our life experiences in Kea of 2021

1. March 2021

We arrived on March 10th via F/B Macedon. But allow me to retract a bit. Five days earlier I was fortunate to be referred by my high school buddy Yanis Zirinis, to a Zimbabwean lady, Ms. Sabina Mutnhima, with the intention of hiring her as my companion, assistant, caregiver, maid and cook to say the least. The interview was successful and all of a sudden Sabina entered my life.
After settling in I started to teach her all about the house details, encouraging her to keep a scrapbook. I often compare the house as a sailing ⛵️ boat with all its complexities BUT without having to worry about dragging anchors 🤩…

On that month I experienced my first nasty fall. As the weather conditions were ‘wintery’ we had the central heating system on. One early morning around 06:30 🕡 I woke up feeling a bit chilly. Apparently the boiler furnace had stopped during the night. Hence I ventured outside using the back door, leading via a steep and narrow stairway to the boiler room. A managed to restart the furnace but on my ascent back, at he end of the hand railing, all of a sudden I lost my balance and summersaulted on the ground on the side of the stairway, sliding down uncontrollably among the various thorns of springtime…

Sabina could not hear me, nor did I have my iPHONE 📱 or my iWatch 🤬. Aside from the fact that I wasn’t seriously hurt, I couldn’t extract myself from he awkward position I was in. After a lot of effort I finally managed to get up. Just realized that one of my slippers had fallen aside into the rich vegetation of Spring. I just left it there and limped back inside the house and eventually dropped exhausted into my bed…

2. April

  April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.


The Waste Land,
by T.S. Elliot

That April in #Kea was a bit cruel. We had rain 🌧, cool temperatures, and lots of chores to take care of. One of these being the recommissioning of the pool. Due to the #Covid19Lockdown imposed from November 2020 up to February 2021, we could not visit our property since we left last September. At that time I was forced to leave 1/3 of the pool water 💧 with the intention to empty it at a later month into the cistern. Hence the water left untreated for six months, was murky, full of debris and algae…A task which I couldn’t undertake by myself even with Sabina’s assistance.
Enter Batsi [a local Albanian worker I have been using for several years].

Batsi Selfo Kuka undertakes to empty and clean the pool.
Μια σύντομη καταγραφή του χειμωνιάτικου τοπίου της Τζιάς
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Suzy Love ❤️ is running nicely and conquers 3+1 Greek islands👌🏁

Part III. Since I became the next keeper of this lovely 1960 Mercedes-Benz R121.020 |190SL [a.k.a. Suzy Love ❤️], during November of 2018, I have gradually embarked on a multi step restoration process. For my Car Guys & Gals friends 👫 I post here the stories as they unfold in her current timeline. For the introductory post of this historic vehicle click here: https://byronriginos.com/2018/12/06/my-dancing-with-the-best-or-nothing , plus for the follow up post on the restoration project click here: https://byronriginos.com/2019/06/30/the-restoration-project-of-suzy-love/

The #190SL is ready to depart the workshop of #MercedesBenzClassic of Papapanagiotou Bros.

So from here on, we commence the story of Part III.

The Wolf Intake Whistle, has been acquired from the Hellenic Motor Museum, and wanted to install it in the 1290SL since many months!

After several telephone calls with my chief mechanic Nikos, to ensure that the car would be ready, being already in Kea island at our summer home, I asked my pal Spilios to accompany me in the early ferry to Lavrion and then via taxi to Athens to pick up the R121, on the Thursday of 8th August 2019. We would drive the car back to Lavrion in time to catch the afternoon ferry back to Kea. Well as all good plans get a little sidetracked, upon our early morning arrival [ca. 08:30] at the shop, there were as anticipated a number of details to take care of before declaring the car fit for the road, especially with her planned venture to many islands, I had to be extra careful in my scrutinizing process, among them to ensure the safety of the car and that the new accessory of the vacuum operated Wolf horn was working properly. Time became our enemy that hot Agust morning in Athens, but we managed to push off in the early afternoon. 112

With the top down we had to venture to Kifissia, at our son Dimitris OK Market in view of a longish restocking list issued by my beloved spouse Ivi. The highlight of the photo being the Wow 🤩 expression on the face of the passerby ‼️
Clip departing from the OK Maket!

See also here about Classic Mercedes-Benz cars : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_Classic_Center

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Οικογενειακές μνήμες & εξιστορήσεις

Wow 🤩 μόνο μη μας σκοτώνεις το επίθετο Ρηγινός ❗️🙏

Ναι ο Αλέκος ήταν ο δευτερότοκος γιος του Βασιλείου και Σταυρίτσας, ενώ ο πατέρας μας Μανώλης ήταν ο πρώτος.. . (*) Η απάντηση μου σε μήνυμα της φίλης μας Ξένιας Πετσοπούλου, που πρόσφατα της χάρισαν το περίφημο «τσαντάκι της θείας Αντιγόνης» και που αποτέλεσε αφορμή για τη συγγραφή της εξιστόρησης αυτής. Thanks 🙏 Ms. Xenia 👏.

Το τσαντάκι της Θείας Αντιγόνης, συζύγου του Θείου Αλέκου!,

Όταν επέστρεψε μετά από 15 χρόνια εμιγκρές στις ΗΠΑ, την μαύρη περίοδο του κράχ της Αμερικής, γύρω στο 1930, έφερε την αντιπροσωπίαa της #AtwaterKent [μια μεγάλη κατασκευάστρια ραδιοφώνων και ηλεκτρικών συστημάτων ανάφλεξης αυτοκινήτων], στην Ελλάδα ξεκινώντας την Ελληνική Ραδιοφωνική Εταιρεία Α.Ε.

Μια από τις πρώτες διαφημιστικές καταχωρήσεις του πατέρα μας: Πιστός για χρόνια συνεργάτης της Πειραιώτικης διαφημιστικής οικογένειας Σκυλίτση-ΓΚΡΕΚΑ. Σηματοδότησε την ίδρυση της πρώτης οικογενειακής επιχείρησης των Αφών Ρηγινού, γύρω στο 1932.
Ο θείος Αλέκος στο μπροστινό φτερό, ο πατέρας μας Μανώλης στο τιμόνι και η θεία Κική (αδελφή τους) στο πίσω κάθισμα του 1929 Ford Model A Tudor με το λογότυπο της ATWATER KENT RADIO στις πόρτες 👌👍😍
Σπάνιο οικογενειακό ντοκουμέντο με την μεγάλη Billboard διαφήμιση της KENT ΡΑΔΙΟ (σε άγνωστο σημείο της Αθήνας) και με το 1929 Ford Model A Tudor παραδίπλα…

Και με τα 3 αδέλφια του να συμμετέχουν στη νεοσύστατη εταιρεία, δηλαδή εκτός από τους προαναφερθέντες, και με τους Κώστα και Γιώργο τον «Βενιαμίν», τον οποίο ο πατέρας μας είχε σπουδάσει με πτυχίο Ανώτατης Εμπορικής, τρέφοντας του παθολογική αδυναμία, η οποία εξελίχθηκε καταστροφική πολλά χρόνια αργότερα…

Ο πατέρας μας Μανώλης εξω από την έκθεση της #General Electric της οδού Παπαρρηγοπούλου 9.

Αυτό που θυμάμαι έντονα ήταν οι μυρωδιές της Έκθεσης: Ένα μείγμα από των λεγόμενων ‘White Goods’ δηλαδή των ψυγείων, κουζινων , πλυντηρίων κ.ο.κ., των πλακιδίων της #Armstrong (μια ακόμα επιτυχημένη αντιπροσωπεία του Μανώλη), που αποτέλεσε την αφορμή της σύστασης – δια του τρία νέας εταιρείας «Σωτήρης Θ. Βικόπουλος & Σια Α.Ε.» – δηλ. του αδελφού της γυναίκας (Θείας Καίτης) του Γιώργου «Θείου Σώτου+του Μανώλη+του Γιώργου. Το εταιρικό δαιμόνιο του Πάτερ Φαμίλια μας, αργότερα εμπλούτισε την εταιρεία που μετακόμισε από την αρχή της οδού Αμερικής, στη νεα έκθεση, άνετη και με πρεστίζ, της Λεωφόρου Αμαλίας 21, με δυό ακόμα αντιπροσωπείας των ΗΠΑ : της #Evinrude Outboard Motors Corp. & των Luxaflex Venitian Blinds.

Να σημειωθεί ότι ο κολοσσός Général Electric της Αμερικής κατά την τελευταία 15-ετιά περιέπεσε σε μεγάλες περιπέτειες: όλα τα στοιχεία με κλικ ΕΔΩ!

Αγαπητοί φίλοι, ας κάνουμε μια σύντομη παρέκκλιση σχετικά με την μεγάλη αγάπη του πατέρα μας [αλλά και του μικρού αδελφού Γιώργου], την Θάλασσα! Σε σημείο που έχει περάσει στο DNA των 4 αγοριών, Βασίλη, Νίκου, Βύρωνα & Πέτρου 🎏⛵🚤⚓ Σημ.: πατώντας σε κάθε όνομα ανοίγει η προσωπική Θαλασσινή ιστορία του καθενός μας. Highly recommended❗️🙏👍✅

Η «ΣΑΜΙΟΠΟΥΛΑ»|κατα την καθέλκυση της στο Πέραμα από το ναυπηγείο Αφών Κουταλίδη. Ήταν το,πρώτο σκάφος της Οικογένειας Εμμ. Ρηγινού. Έφερε μια βενζινοκίνητη μηχανή Greymarine
Το περίφημο Chris-Craft ‘ΔΕΛΦΙΝΙ’ ένα μικρό σκάφος plywood των 16 ποδιών, το οποίο έφερε σε κιτ ο Μανώλης από τις ΗΠΑ, αρχικά εξοπλισμένο με 2Χ18 Hp Evinrudes, αργότερα με την 50 Hp [bewitched model], για να καταλήξει στη φανταστική 75Hp Selecric !!! Οι περιπέτειες με το ταχύπλοο αυτό απαιτούν ένα ολόκληρο ξεχωριστό άρθρο 😉😜🔝🔜
Οι γονείς μας Μανώλης και Πίτσα Ρηγινού στο ΔΕΛΦΙΝΙ, με την 50-άρα εξωλέμβια της Evinrude
Μια διαφήμιση εποχής της Evinrude.
Με την αγαπημένη μας νταντά Bébé στο Κατραμονήσι της Βούλας με το βαρκάκι μας «ΒΥΡΩΝ» & με εξωλέμβιο 18 Hp Evinrude! [Grossly overpowered, μάλλον μια από τις 2 μηχανές του ΔΕΛΦΙΝΙ, η οποία σύντομα αντικαταστάθηκε απο πιο μοντέρνα και ελαφρύτερη των 6 Hp]

Ακολουθεί μια φωτοθήκη γεμάτη από Οικογενειακές αναμνήσεις 🥰

Continue reading “Οικογενειακές μνήμες & εξιστορήσεις”
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My 2005 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupé 997.1

A profile attempt follows: On May 7, 2004, Porsche announced that the new 911 generation will come in July as a 2005 model and will have two engine variants – the Carrera 3.6 and the Carrera S 3.8. The headlamps were round again, the body more curvaceous and the interior completely new. The Porsche Communication Management (PCM) screen became standard, but the navigation module was an extra. The new Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) was standard on the S version and optional for the base 911. Pressing the “sport” button made the PASM shock absorbers firmer. While the standard wheel size of the 996 Carrera was 17″ (although typically ordered with 18″), the 997 Carrera came with 18″ wheels (front 8″ with 235/40, rear 10″ with 265/40) and the 997 Carrera S with 19″ (front 8″ with 235/35, rear 11″ with 295/30). To improve active safety, the standard Porsche Stability Management (PSM) had two new functions: pre-filling the brake mechanism ensured more spontaneous deceleration when required, and the hydraulic brake power support helped to build up full brake pressure in emergencies.

2007 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe 6-Speed
The 911 Carrera Coupé model 997.1 of 2007.

The exterior is finished in Black Metallic and features a speed-activated rear spoiler, bi-xenon headlights, #288 Headlamp washers , #271 Driver side mirror aspherical, #071 EU country version, #098 Left-hand drive version and #402 18″ Carrera wheels.

2007 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe 6-Speed

The optional 18” Carrera wheels look great, with the Brembo brake calipers nicely visible and easier to clean through the large spoke openings. Also the extra wheel centers are fitted.

2007 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe 6-Speed
Wheel centers:
A Set of wheel centre caps with full- colour Porsche Crest are optionally fitted. The perfect finishing touch for the wheels of the 911!

About the 18-inch Carrera IV wheels if fitted with winter tires.
This five-spoke 18-inch Carrera IV wheel will charm you instantly, just like your Porsche. These wheels impress with their functional design and sporting elegance. With winter tyres they provide better traction in colder temperatures.

2007 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe 6-Speed
The Driver’s office! Features options #249 Tiptronic transmission, 5-speed, #432 Tiptronic buttons for steering wheel, #436 Grained leather steering wheel with triangular center design, #440 Windscreen antenna, #465 Rear fog-lamp, left, #476 PSM Porsche Stability Management, #490 Sound system A.S.K.,
#534 Alarm 433 MHz, #555 Black seat belts, #568 Windscreen without top-tint, #571 Activated charcoal filter, #573 Automatic air conditioning, #335 Rear seat belts, #369 2-way electrical basic seat, left and #370 2-way electrical basic seat, right.
2007 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe 6-Speed
The interior is trimmed in Beige leather with a matching dashboard, carpets, and door panels. Equipment includes the Power Seat Package as well as a Dynacom stereo head unit with navigation, Bluetooth, and a backup sensor with a beeper coming alive upon engaging reverse.

The three-spoke sport steering wheel frames a central 8k-rpm tachometer, a 200-mph speedometer, and gauges for coolant temperature, fuel level, oil pressure, and oil temperature. The digital odometer has only 45k miles.

2007 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe 6-Speed
The engine was serviced in June 2020.

The 3.6-liter flat-six features VarioCam Plus variable valve timing and was rated for 325 horsepower from the factory. Power is routed to the rear wheels through a five-speed automatic (Tiptronic) transaxle.

Watch this short video about The 997 series as presented by Porsche

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Από την Κική και την Κοκό ποιά να διαλέξω;

Η Κοκό [aka 1997 Mercedes-Benz E200CA Cabriolet Typ. W124.0] και η Κικίτσα [aka 2007 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupé Typ. 997.1]

The saga of an Earth-angel crossing my life at the height of the #COVID19

As recited by Byron66 😉👌🏁🇬🇷

Η ιστορία που θα σας πω είναι 100% αυθεντική! Στο εύλογο ερώτημα αν υπάρχουν Άγγελοι επι της Γης, ειδικότερα την εποχή του #COVID19 & την πρόσφατη απώλεια του Racing Legend Sir Sterling Moss, OBE, η απάντηση μου είναι : ΝΑΙ ❗️✅

Όμως ας πάρουμε τα πράγματα από την αρχή όπου εμπλέκονται 4 φίλοι, με χρονολογική σειρα:

  • Ο Σπήλιος με ένα τηλεφώνημα και σύσταση του…
  • Ο Αλέξανδρος (aka ο γιατρός των Jaguars)
  • Ο Αλέκος, εκλεκτός φίλος και βαθυστόχαστος συλλέκτης Ιστορικών Οχημάτων-Ι.Ο.
  • Ο Ηλίας, στο σπάνιο ρόλο του Earth-Angel 🙏😇

Ένα απόγευμα στα μέσα του Μαρτίου 2020 που βρίσκομαι στον αγαπημένο μου χώρο του Γκαράζ μου [aka www.3cg.gr ] χτυπά το κινητό μου. Βλέπω από την αναγνώριση κλήσης το όνομα του Αλεξάνδρου, με τον οποίο έχω να μιλήσω τουλάχιστον 2-3 χρόνια.

«Έλα βρε Αλέξανδρε, τι κάνεις, χρόνια και ζαμάνια έχουμε να τα πούμε!»

Εντυπωσιάζεται από την προσφώνηση μου 😉 οπότε του λέω με δόση χιούμορ «Εμ τι νόμισες ότι δεν σε εχω εμφακελομένο😜»

Το πρώτο τηλεφώνημα τρεις βδομάδες πριν
από τον Γιατρό των Jaguars 📲

Κάπως έτσι ξεκινά η επανασυγκολληση μας. Μου αναφέρει περί Σπήλιου, που με συνέστησε σαν τον «Μερσεντεσάκια» της παρέας, από τον οποίο έλαβε το κινητό μου σχετικά με μια ιστορική Mercedes-Benz W111 Coupé, με πρόσθετη αναφορά ότι ανήκε στον Βασιλέα Παύλο 🤫..

Κανονίζω να περάσω αργότερα από το σπίτι/έκθεση/Garage του στην Κηφισιά, οδηγώντας την δικιά μας Mercedes W116 350 SE 👌. Μου δείχνει την W111, σε fair project κατάσταση, αναφέροντας του ότι τα γνωρίζω καλά τα μοντέλα αυτά εφόσον πριν 7 χρόνια είχα προβεί σε ένα ground-up restoration project για την Πριγκίπισσα Μιχαέλα [όλη η ιστορία του ιδιαίτερου Ι.Ο. Εδώ] : https://byronriginos.com/category/byrons-cars/m-b-250se-coupe/

Η υπέροχη Mercedes-Benz 250SE Coupé W111.024 που ανήκε στον Πρίγκιπα Μιχάηλ [aka Michele de Gréce]

Κατά την επίσκεψη του Γιατρού των Jaguar βλέπει το Simca 8 Sport του 1950 και το ερωτεύεται αμέσως. Η υπόλοιπη κουβέντα μας περιστρέφεται γύρω από ένα άγονο negotiation για την πιθανή ανταλλαγή του Simca μου με την Mercedes W111 του Βασιλέα Παύλου.

Το Simca 8 Sport Coupé του 1950, υπήρξε ο καταλύτης της ιστορίας μας 👌

Εδώ καλό θα είναι να αναφέρω την ιστορία μας με τον Αλέξανδρο. Ξεκινά πριν τα 30 χρόνια. Την εποχή εκείνη οι τρεις καλοί φίλοι, ο Θανάσης, ο Σπήλιος και εγώ αγοράσαμε δια του 3 την Jaguar Mk VII του 1950. Την απέκτησα κατά 100% 20 χρόνια πριν ενώ την έχω ακόμα, αν και χρειάζεται κάποιες μικρές βελτιώσεις…

Continue reading “Από την Κική και την Κοκό ποιά να διαλέξω;”
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The restoration project of “Suzy Love ❤️”

Since I became the next keeper of this 1960 Mercedes-Benz R121.020 |190SL [a.k.a. Suzy Love ❤️], during November of 2018, I have gradually embarked on a multi step restoration process. For my Car Guys & Gals friends 👫 I post here the story as it unfolds in her timeline. For the introductory post of this historic vehicle click here: https://byronriginos.com/2018/12/06/my-dancing-with-the-best-or-nothing

I. Selecting the right partner for the mechanical jobs at hand

As an appetizer enjoy this short video 👏👌😍

Most of the suspension and engine mount rubbers needed replacement 😮

There was a positive talk within our www.3cg.gr ecosystem about the PAPAPANAGIOTOU Brothers, as being the good experts in all things Mercedes-Benz and classics in particular. Hence a visit to their establishment in Neos Kosmos was appropriate. Below some photos of our early encounters and getting to know each other (i.e. master mechanic and older brother Nikos, plus Vagias and Costas).

My SL during an early visit to PAPAPANAGIOTOU Brothers workshop
Another visiting time
Master mechanic Nikos PAPAPANAGIOTOU @work ✅🏁

II. Getting the jobs done

After a thorough inspection of the car, a list of spare parts was made. Flash back: Since my other “ground up” restoration project several years back, involving a 1967 Mercedes-Benz 250 SE Coupè [W111.020] , I had established a good relationship with one of Germany’s well known Mercedes spare parts supplier, the firm Niemöller . Hence sourcing spares for the R121.020 was not like rediscovering a wheel. To make a long story short, up to this writing ✍️, four Purchase Orders have been placed approximately for €4,500, not to mention about another €1,000 invested for spares and services from the local Greek market. Lest I forget, the €83 for the RetroSound accessories.

The bulk of these orders arrived just before Easter time while the pressure was on to have the car ready for our longtime planned adventure trip to Toscana, Italy 🇮🇹 commencing on 3rd May. More here: https://3cg.gr/2019/03/06/toscana-drive- may-2019/

One task which required immediate attention were the twin Solex carbs. Nikos required some fast & dirty solution, whereupon I asked an old friend and well known carb specialist to step in. John Palmos-The Motorman delivered the reconditioned carbs in a short notice and oversaw their refitting and final tuning 👏👌👍😎😍

The twin PHH Solex carbs before work is done ✅
The twin PHH Solex carbs before work is done ✅

The finished Solex’s refitted 👌😎

The twin PHH Solex carbs before work is done ✅
The finished Solex’s refitted 👌😎

After some negotiating with Nikos, we agreed that the car would be safe and reliable for the trip to Italy (added ca. 2,300 kilometers on the odometer, without a mechanical glitch), and upon my return the jobs would continue. Fast forward to today, the car is back in the shop for completion of the various jobs, which briefly include:

  • Front end, removal, reconditioning and fitting all new parts required
  • Rear end, removal, reconditioning and fitting all new parts required
  • Transmission, removal, reconditioning and fitting all new parts required
  • Propeller shaft, removal, reconditioning and fitting all new parts required
  • Differential, removal, reconditioning and fitting all new parts required
  • Realignment of the front end and checking the camber of the rear wheels
  • Fitting of the new & fun intake Wolf horn
The Wolf 🐺 whistle works on the vacuum that the engine creates. It’s a fun automotive accessory which I have installed in my 1931 Ford Model A 👍😉👌
  • Fitting of the new windshield rubber seals
  • Fitting of the new spark plug lead wires
  • Removing the corroded front cross tube and fitting a new part (see picture below).
  • Plus a number of other details…
    The front cross member (tube), a critical part which required a replacement.

    The corroded front cross member; one of the few nasty surprises of my 190SL ❗️

III. Some additional photos

All fittings are reconditioned and electrostatic-ally painted goldfish-yellow
A new set of Bilstein shock absorbers await their installation
Ready for refitting of the main front suspension member

The corroded front cross member tube 😢

The central anchoring point of the crossmember tube

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A 1962 VW Beetle joins the ‘family’

Preface

The story of the Volkswagen Beetle is well known; it was designed by Ferdinand Porsche to provide cheap transport for the hard working German masses, hence the name, the “People’s Car”. For the myriad other names given to this popular car click here! Initially they were built in very small numbers before and during World War II; later the Beetle literally rose from the ashes of Volkswagen’s bombed-out Wolfsburg factory to become an instant success across Europe, Britain, America and virtually every other country in the world.
The model evolved through various facelifts and numerous mechanical changes – there were more than 70,000 identifiable modifications – while it also provided a platform for other models, including military (such as the Kübelwagen and the remarkable Schwimmwagen), commercial vehicles (such as the Type 2 Bus) and sporting derivatives such as those by Karmann-Ghia. It was this constant development and attention to detail which allowed the Beetle to maintain its remarkable sales success , and as production raced past the 15,000,000 mark, the Beetle went on to be known as ‘The Best Selling’ car of all time. But this record was eventually superseded by the VW Golf.

My story

My old VW Beetle named Marlen, during College years (ca. 1972), here in Aspen, Colorado.

Readers of my Cars & More pages in this Blog may have noticed that while I was in Lake Forest College (during the early 70’s), I had obtained an old 1962 VW Beetle, into which later on had thrusted a rebuilt by-my-own-hands Porsche 356 engine in the back bay, turning the little car into a nondescript hot-rod; eventually converting the Bug into a wicked Autodynamics Deserter GT beach-buggy that accompanied me back home to Greece after graduation on board the super-liner SS Michelangelo.

The 1962 Beetle as I first encountered her in the Corinth storage of the ‘Smile of a Child’ Org.

I guess that the notion of re-living those long gone days of innocence and thirst for an adrenaline fueled life, was in the back of my head for some time. And out of the blue, the opportunity to acquire another 1962 Beetle came sometime in the spring of 2011. In April a bunch of car aficionados  had successfully formed the “Car Friends Close Group“, a small private Face Book Group of friends who share their passion and love about anything on wheels. We then organized an event with our cars showing in a private collector’s garage aiming to raise funds for ‘a good cause’ in support of the Smile of Child, a well known Greek NGO (http://www.hamogelo.gr). Since the President of the NGO is an ex colleague from the IT Business, he asked me to help him in selling some old cars that were donated few years ago to the organization. Arrangements were  made for me to visit the storage area in Corinth in order to take pictures and evaluate the cars on his behalf. Lo and behold, when the gates were opened I first encountered a 1973 R107 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL and right behind a 1962 Type 113 VW Beetle (aka Käfer) in anthracite color. Having myself bought just few months ago an immaculate R107 (see The Day I met “Princes Grace” post) I had no interest for yet another one in need of restoration. But the Beetle touched my soft spot; I had to rescue this neglected but quite original and in sound condition example. I must confess that among all my classic or modern cars, the Beetle, named Marlen II, currently commands the highest emotional charge! 😉

The “just arrived” Porsche 356 engine in a box!

Rewinding on the story a parenthesis is due; the idea of re-living my College year’s of owning an early 60’s  VW Beetle powered by a 356 Porsche engine, included a quest to source an appropriate unit for rebuilding and then fitting (a straight bolt on job) it to the newly acquired Beetle. Seeking such in Greece was unsuccessful; Enter in the picture a generous and noted Porsche cars collector, a Greek-American friend, Myron Vernis, who upon learning via e-mail exchanges of my quest, graciously offered to provide such a unit as a present to me! Ain’t that nice? Hence, after many arrangements done by my other close Greek car collector friend, Alex Vazeos, one September morning the 356 engine arrived at my garage in a crate, directly from Ohio, USA! I am most grateful about getting “a little help from my friends!” 🙂

Just about ready to unload the Bug on “Terra Attica” after its journey from Corinth.

Closing the parenthesis, back to present, making a longish story short, after negotiating with my ex colleague for a two car deal, I was able to get yet another Greek car collector friend of mine interested in the Merc R107; hence we concluded the purchase of both cars in late October 2011. I made arrangements for both to be loaded on a car transport truck and delivered to our respective workshops in Athens. I took delivery of Marlen II on Friday afternoon 18th of November at the premises of my trusted body shop, the A & B FOR CARS in Geraka (the friendly guys who did such a nice job on the “ground-up” restoration project of 2010 for my 1967 Mercedes-Benz W111 250 SE Coupé. Click here for the related stories). The drums of anticipation jumped gear thumping faster as I heard the truck’s diesel engine maneuvering outside the body shop’s gate. I had not inspected the car carefully while in its Corinthian storage, as there was not enough room nor had I the possibility to raise the car and examine at the undercarriage for rust spots. It was sort of a “blind date” purchase and now after several months of dreaming about the little car, I was going to face the truth, good or bad…

The relevant ‘Apocalypse Now!’ video clip is here-below; Manos’ expert eye confirms that the undercarriage is original, rust-free and unmolested. “Poly Kalo!” (Very Good! was his verdict). The car has not suffered any injuries from any serious crash accident and there would be little intervention to be done in her underbelly aside from a thorough steam cleaning and wax-oiling! A pleasant surprise 🙂

Engine Number: it turned out that this is indeed the original engine!

After some more documenting pictures were taken, I left the car there and headed for home (on the way I decided to offer Marlen II as a birthday present to my beloved wife Ivi, her anniversary being on Sunday 20th November)! Full of excitement about all that was eager and thirsty to hit the web and start researching about her birth date and many other Käfer related details.  Her chassis No. 4 725 111 revealed that the official model is “113, VW De Luxe Sedan”, manufactured in May 1962; in addition, the engine No. 6 766 861 means that it pumps out 34 DIN PS with a displacement of 1.2 Liter. For more details I would have to await the receipt of the official ‘Zertifikat’ applied for from the Stifung AutoMuseum Volkswagen, Schatzkammer der Marke.

On the following Saturday morning the primary task was to start the engine! Of course the 6 Volt battery was dead so I had to ‘borrow’ the one from our 1956 Citroen Traction Avant! Armed with a ‘light’ toolbox and the extracted battery plus a spray can of ether engine starter, I proceeded to A & B FOR CARS to do the honors.

VW engine key (aka key to happiness)!
The VW speedometer indicates some 80’s kilometrage…

After cleaning the battery terminals and positioning the fresh power source in its tray under the rear seat bench-(also not rusted), I removed the carb air cleaner and was ready to turn the ignition key. I asked one of the guys to assist by only squirting ether twice inside the carb barrel. Ready? Ignition: on the second cranking the air-cooled motor without much ado, spurted to life! I could not believe my eyes, ears and nose. All three senses acted in unison as a total recall to long forgotten but familiar VW Beetle sounds and smells. My new ’49-years old’ VW was purring, revving at higher idle as a cold engine should. No excessive smoke nor valve train clutter was noticed. The red indicator charging/oil pressure ‘idiot light’ on the speedometer instrument going out as it was supposed to. Good omens for an unusually warm and sunny late November Saturday morning. I was very happy indeed! 🙂 A time capsule? Who knows how long ago it was when the engine was last used? How many previous owners? Are the 81310 kilometers indicated in the odometer true and correct? Further inspection and getting to know my Marlen II would sooner or later piece together some of the puzzle pieces of her past life.

The first steam cleaning attempt of Marlen II was half done: the machine broke down! 😦

Next stop was at the cleaners! Unluckily my friendly Pakistani hot pressure water equipped car washer was not available, so I had to hunt in the neighborhood for an alternate. After several gas station stops, one had the right equipment and was willing to undertake the job. A lot of old grease and caked oil had accumulated in the rear engine and gear box area as well as in the front torsion bar suspension. While at it, his Karcher machine broke down… 😦 The job was half done and the bill was reduced. Oh well, Kumar will do it properly for me come Monday.

A more detailed picture album of the car can be viewed by clicking HERE!

Overhauling the brakes at Cabilis Performance ‘clean’ shop.

Next task was to change the vital juices: engine oil, gearbox oil, brake fluid. In addition to check on the road safety of the car in areas of steering, suspension, brakes, electrics (lights, turning indicators, horn, windshield wipers etc). These items were taken care of (the juices by Christos Economou VW Service) and the rest by Cabilis Performance, a VW specialist conveniently located only one block away from my garage! In between five new tires were fitted and the wheels dynamically balanced.

The mechanical repairs effected so far (Dec 2011) include:

  • Brakes overhaul (new master cylinder, wheel cylinders, linings, hoses, bleeders)
  • Front end (new steering damper, tie rod ends, wheel bearings cleaned & greased, new shock absorbers, travel end ‘stop’ rubbers)
  • Rear end (re-tuned torsion bars as the car was sitting too high, new shock absorbers, travel end ‘stop’ rubbers)
  • Engine (new distributor assembly, spark plugs and HT wires, valves adjusted, carb cleaned, fuel filter fitted in non-conspicuous spot, replaced gear shift lever with original one)
  • Electrics (headlights replaced, light bulbs checked, horn, dome light, windshield wiper motor, wiper arms, windshield washer line replaced, generator coils re-winded and new bearing fitted).
The engine bay is quite original. In this pic after replacing the distributor and overhauling the original 6Volt generator.

What is interesting to note is that the Cabilis people (father and two sons) report that the engine has not been opened and its compression test was good and even! Aside from establishing that the engine is a “matching numbers” case, this good news supports the possibility that the indicated 80k kilometers might also be true. In the mean time, the “Zertifikat” along with the confirming letter stating that “that the above engine number is that of the original engine”, came via post just the other day. Considering all the above, I am now in a dilemma about replacing the original-in good condition-engine with the more powerful Porsche 356 unit as originally planned. That issue will be resolved in the near future as the restoration project progresses during 2012…

Marlen’s II birth “Zertificat” as issued by the VW AutoMuseum
The VW Museum Letter confirming engine “matching numbers” dated 30.11.2011.

Next phase of repairs to commence in January 2012 will cover the following areas:

  • Body shop work (addressing the few rot spots, stripping and sanding and respraying to the original color “L 469 Anthracite”, replacing front and rear bumpers, sand blasting and respraying the wheels to the original color “L 471 Stone Beige”, replacing front & rear windshield seals, all other rubbers and seals etc).
  • Upholstery work (replacing seat upholstery according to the factory fitted “M 079 Upholstery leatherette” and the head liner of the original 1960-62 style in light gray nap cloth perforated type, fitting the proper carpet set as the original tan colored German square weave material, plus anything else required so that the car will be in an as much original condition as possible).
Hopefully we will not get as analytic during the preservation phase!

Preparing for implementing that exciting phase of the restoration, I have delved in appropriate VW parts sources and related info which I list below as a reference for other interested Beetle loving friends and readers:

➡️ To  be continued as the restoration progresses❗️

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