So from here on, we commence the story of Part III.
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
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).
II. Getting the jobsdone✅
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 👏👌👍😎😍
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
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.
III. Some additional photos
The central anchoring point of the crossmember tube
Don’t you think that the old slogan launched in the 1910’s by the founder himself, a certain Mr. Daimler, which remains alive and well through the centuries, is spot-on?
Readers of my Blog car stories may recall past years posts about the encounters with the W111 [a ground-up restoration project of lovely 1967 M-B 250 SE Coupé] or the R107 [a low mileage 1987 M-B 560 SL|R107.048 in mint condition].
Well, once a car guy, always a car guy [see here my page: Cars & More], and to paraphrase: once a Star man, always a Star man! Hence when a pre-proposal to look in advance at the possibility of acquiring a 1960 M-B 190 SL| W121.040, came by the end of October 2018 from my good friend Alex Vazeos, I was immediately tempted. Firstly by looking at some pictures from its previous custodian and secondly at the time of actually meeting her while being detailed at Mike’s SWELL shop, not far from my Classic Car Center of Greece [www.3cg.gr] base.