Topic: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

Like all bad decision, it started with a pursuing of craig's list. I had been looking for a SLC for a while, but most current owners think a 40 year old coupe with no power or modern amenities is worth somewhere in the ballpark of 4~20k.  Yeah, not so much.  Not sure what I am talking about, waste some time and read up on th elovely Mercedes 107 chassis here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-B … 7_and_C107

Anyway, back to my story of whoa and foreboding.  After the June Buttonwillow race my brother, who lives in LA and races with the Sharks, decided we needed a family Vacy to Napa this summer.  Being from Texas, any reason to be somewhere else in the summer, i.e my favorite Texas state park, Colorado, for example, is always readily accepted.  So plans were made for a weekend in mid July. As I am want to do, I started searching Craigs list in the bay area to see if there was something I just couldn't live with out.  Low and behold, a SlC came up for sale in the sub 1k range, how could I say no?  Being that I was two weeks, time to ask for help from my Lemons brethren to help procure and pick up this fine steed.

I had hopes that this might be a runner but a bit tired. Chris (fatboys) and cdickman12 both responded to my call for help, so it was going to be a tag team affair! After a few calls and texts with Cory to confirm it actually ran and drove, a deal was reached for $650 and she was mine.  Cory was nice enough to dray it back to his house in Sacramento (car was in Davis), where Chris picked it up a few days latter.  Plan was to have Chris drag it down to Mountain View to THE Benz mechanic that I was recommended that I just had to use.  Being from Texas, everything to me is a 2 hour drive, so dragging it from Sacramento to MV seemed normal. Plan was to have the mechanic go over it, replace what I absolutely need to get it back to Texas, so I could pick it up, and, well, um drive it back to Texas?

The car, which was lien sale from a tow lot, had a very dead battery.  Chris ended up swapping one in, just to get it to drive on the trailer.  But his good deed was not left unpunished, as his tow truck ended up popping a radiator while trying to escort it down to the mechanic.  I think at this point, Chris was beginning to rethink his choices that brought him here.  Day or so later he was able to get it down to the mechanic in Mountain View, who I had been corresponding with, so he could check it out and get it road worthy.  I think this was Monday or Tuesday the 10th, I was flying in the 12th, hoped to pick it up the following Tuesday the 17th for my trip home.

With all that set, now just  time to catch a plan to SFO and spend weekend in the wine county maxing out my Amex.

the Syndicate - 30 losses and counting ...
89 VW Jettarosa - #337 (11 motors later) <> 67 Mercedes 200 - #200, winner "most with the least" MSR Feb 11, IOE at MSR June 11 <> 88 Mercedes 560 SEL <> 76 Mercedes SLC - IOE at ECR March 13 <> now pimping performance parts for 1970-1980's Mercedes SEL, SEC, SL, SLC's

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

Ok, went ahead and bought one!  1979 450 SLC, on Craigs list, Bakersfield, Ca . for $500.00!   Oh, did I mention that it runs.....

The team is forming now, disquised as a mild-mannered High School Robotic team, and my diabolical plan to get more students involved with STEM.

More later and pics.....

High altitude victim, High School Robotics Team Mentor, Aircraft/ Motorcycle Mechanic.

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

Here is the Robotics Team Race car!  We start the process in the school's Ex-Agriculture barn....



http://i42.tinypic.com/210wqhk.jpg

http://i42.tinypic.com/ivbnsn.jpg

http://i44.tinypic.com/2aaj2o2.jpg

http://i40.tinypic.com/2cq02z8.jpg

High altitude victim, High School Robotics Team Mentor, Aircraft/ Motorcycle Mechanic.

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

Better Pic from the 3/4 and side...
Yes! It passed smog.   Now the fun for the team begins, making the car reliable and stripping off what we do not need.



http://i40.tinypic.com/10wtczk.jpg

http://i43.tinypic.com/2rc671d.jpg

High altitude victim, High School Robotics Team Mentor, Aircraft/ Motorcycle Mechanic.

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

Any chance you'd like to part with that steering wheel?  I want one for my pile o'Benzes...

#111 Tradewinds Tribesmen VW Passat Inde ‘20... watch this space…
#427-Hong Kong Cavaliers Benz S500: formerly known as OMG Racing #140
Judges Choice and Regional Award winner! Chuckwalla '12, Buttonwillow '13, BFE GP '15, Miller '14 & '15, Sonoma '13,'14,'15,'17, '18. Inde '16,'17,'18,’19. Other foolishness: Finisher of Hell on Wheels (Jaguar) IOE (Humber)

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

Don't know yet.  If we use something else I will keep you in mind.

High altitude victim, High School Robotics Team Mentor, Aircraft/ Motorcycle Mechanic.

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

Damn that is a beautiful car. Nice find!

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

Pedman88 wrote:

Don't know yet.  If we use something else I will keep you in mind.

Well, one of the few benefits of having a mountain of Benzes like I have is that I can offer you a trade-in... I'll send you one that fits (OEM MB) and when it gets there, you can send the wood one out in the same box...

#111 Tradewinds Tribesmen VW Passat Inde ‘20... watch this space…
#427-Hong Kong Cavaliers Benz S500: formerly known as OMG Racing #140
Judges Choice and Regional Award winner! Chuckwalla '12, Buttonwillow '13, BFE GP '15, Miller '14 & '15, Sonoma '13,'14,'15,'17, '18. Inde '16,'17,'18,’19. Other foolishness: Finisher of Hell on Wheels (Jaguar) IOE (Humber)

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

and, if anyone else is interested...
http://slo.craigslist.org/cto/4131741264.html

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

Wendell34 wrote:

and, if anyone else is interested...
http://slo.craigslist.org/cto/4131741264.html

It doesn't sound like that guy knows what non-op vs back fees are.

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

Shout out to The Syndicate and their #107 MB 450 SLC at Houston!   Did you ever finish the car?  We are planning to race ButtonTerrible in 2014,  maybe we can share secrets to our mutual demise!

High altitude victim, High School Robotics Team Mentor, Aircraft/ Motorcycle Mechanic.

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

Hello Jackasic - In your original post on this thread, ( 2013-08-15 08:42 AM), you said "... to Mountain View to THE Benz mechanic that I was recommended that I just had to use." 
If it is not against forum rules, (I did not see any rules against it), would you please post the name and contact information for "THE Benz mechanic" in Mountain View.  I live in San Jose and I'm looking at a 450 SLC 5.0 and have some questions that need answering.  If I reach a deal with the seller, I will also need a good mechanic close by who knows about these not-so-common cars. 
Thank you in advance for your time!

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

So my friend, what ever happened to this ride? I saw it in a Lemons wrap up video with a half built roll cage. I spoke with Steve who is coming out to run the Rambler with our team in March and he said it would be on the track sometime in the near future.

I want to hear the story of the trip back to Texas. I am sure it is fraught with adventure.

'14  Sears Pointless - IOE - Race Rambler! '15  Sears Pointless Class B winner - Crown Vic, Autobahn Class C and IOE WINNER- #Racevan!, Thunderhill IOE Winner - Race Omega! '16  The Ridge - IOE - Avanti! '17 Thunderhill Class C Winner - Race Omega, Butt IOE - Race 411, Sonoma IOE - Aztek '18 Butt - IOE - Allante, MSR - IOE - '41 Olds - '19 Butt - Class C - Allante - '20 THill - Class B - Omega

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

This was the root of the "5 Hours 'til DOMINATION!" award.

TTAC had some pretty thorough coverage of that weekend: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/ttac-racing/

15 (edited by Jackasic 2013-12-28 06:08 AM)

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

TTAC: coverage yes, paying their bills no.

Those guys showed up and hogged all the seat time from my other drivers, blew up a motor, and wouldn't lend a hand to help finish the car they came to race.  3 hours before the end of the race I gave up working on it and went and drove. Didn't help that the cage came in Thursday afternoon before the race.

But hey, at least they didn't pay anything.

Car just needs the rear down bars and it is good to go.  Should see it at ECR, be sure to check out the team name wink

the Syndicate - 30 losses and counting ...
89 VW Jettarosa - #337 (11 motors later) <> 67 Mercedes 200 - #200, winner "most with the least" MSR Feb 11, IOE at MSR June 11 <> 88 Mercedes 560 SEL <> 76 Mercedes SLC - IOE at ECR March 13 <> now pimping performance parts for 1970-1980's Mercedes SEL, SEC, SL, SLC's

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

SLC Punk?

Dangerous Banned Technology (NOLA 09), Judges Choice (Houston 2010), Organizers Choice (NOLA 2010), Most Heroic Fix (Dallas 2010), $100 from Jay's Pocket (Dallas 2010), Dangerous Homemade Technology (NOLA 2010), Ununhexium Legends of Lemons Status,  Index of Effluency (Dallas 2011), Most Heroic Fix - (Houston 2011), Index of Effluency (TWS - 2012), Organizers Choice (Dallas 2013)

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

Jackasic wrote:

TTAC: coverage yes, paying their bills no.

Those guys showed up and hogged all the seat time from my other drivers, blew up a motor, and wouldn't lend a hand to help finish the car they came to race.  3 hours before the end of the race I gave up working on it and went and drove. Didn't help that the cage came in Thursday afternoon before the race.

But hey, at least they didn't pay anything.

Car just needs the rear down bars and it is good to go.  Should see it at ECR, be sure to check out the team name wink

Brandon,

Why don't you take this morning to think about what you've just posted and decide if you really want to continue to claim all of the above. If you do, you can let the above post stand and I'll let the drivers for my team post their stories about the event. Let me share with you a few of the topics that will be covered:

* The fact that we spent a collective $9,000+ in travel, expenses, and (aaarrrgh) T-shirts to fly in to race a car that didn't arrive at the event until the 15th hour and never ran
* The fact that you lied to us about having left the workshop at noon on race day when in fact you did not leave the workshop until after midnight, which caused us to give up on another opportunity to rent seats for our drivers
* The fact that, of the four people working to get the 560SEL through tech, two were from our team and the third was a friend of our team
* The fact that your Jetta took three quarts of oil in the hour before we put our guy in
* The fact that your drivers took the majority of the laps in both the Jetta and the SEL
* The fact that after my guys worked much of the night to get the 560SEL ready, you took a six hour nap and then insisted on eating some omelets before you would attach a power steering hose
* The fact that, of the three cars you brought, one didn't have a rollcage, one hadn't started in two years, and one had known oil pressure issues

I also remind you that you and I have a clear email chain that shows:

* The original amount per driver we agreed to pay
* The bill you decided to send afterwards, which was almost 4x that amount
* My offers to pay the original amount and your refusal to accept the original amount
* The fact that I paid a $1,125 bill for T-shirts designed and printed by your people showing a car that NEVER FUCKING MADE IT INTO THE FUCKING TECH SHED BECAUSE YOU WERE TOO FUCKING BUSY EATING OMELETS AND NAPPING TO FINISH IT
* The fact that I paid the ENTIRE ENTRY FEE to Jay for a car that never ran.

If, after considering the above, you wish to let your post stand, then I'll let my guys write up their stories of what happened, which will be considerably more forthright than what I've written above.

Lastly, insofar as you are directly attacking my reputation for ethical conduct as a driver in this series, I'll contrast our two experiences in motorsports:

Jack Baruth is a 24h winner (Flat Rock 2007) and Chump winner (B'willow 2013) and a NASA winner (multiple classes/tracks) and a NASA track record holder and the only American citizen in history to stand on a podium in Sepang* and a Grand-Am competitor (Continental Tire and Total B-Spec) who has rented rides from teams as diverse as Tetanus Racing and Compass360 and who has a solid, nearly decade-long reputation of paying every bill and complying with every team request everywhere from the SCCA Nationals at Topeka to One Lap of America.

Brandon Spears is a very nice guy who is fun to be around but who rarely finishes a race and is, from what I'm told, the primary reason that Lemons entries are no longer refundable at the event.

My guys took off work and flew from all around the country. I promoted you and your car to well over a million and a half TTAC readers. We got about fifty-six laps total in mystery-meat cars that didn't run right, then you tried to jack up the price on me after the end of the race. I wouldn't rent a fuckin' tricycle from you in the future and I strongly, strongly recommend that anybody else running Lemons follow the same philosophy.


* I know, right? I can hardly believe it myself. The story's in an upcoming Road&Track.

18 (edited by CST10 2013-12-31 10:19 AM)

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

Brandon,

I tried to be pleasant to you over the entire event, even shaking hands and wishing well to you at the end. But if we're going all Honda-Tech in these forums...

Jackasic wrote:

TTAC: coverage yes, paying their bills no.

Those guys showed up and hogged all the seat time from my other drivers, blew up a motor, and wouldn't lend a hand to help finish the car they came to race.  3 hours before the end of the race I gave up working on it and went and drove. Didn't help that the cage came in Thursday afternoon before the race.

But hey, at least they didn't pay anything.

Car just needs the rear down bars and it is good to go.  Should see it at ECR, be sure to check out the team name wink

Lets dissect this:

1) I can't speak for the terms you and Jack agreed on for finances.
2) I can only speak about my time at the track.

Those guys showed up and hogged all the seat time from my other drivers

We showed up on time at ~10am, Friday morning. Where were you? That's right, finally arriving at 11pm, Saturday night. I'll touch on seat time here in a minute.

blew up a motor

We had to put in nearly a GALLON of oil into the Jettarossa before we could put a driver in. Who ever was running your car during the Saturday start left that car high and dry.

When we asked you why it was spraying oil everywhere (And I mean, everywhere under the hood), you admitted to fitting a high pressure oil pump and figured it was over pressurizing the system and blowing it out the crank case. Not only that, but we found a loose connection at the pump to one of the AN fittings. I can't speak for Mark's experience with the car on track, because it only lasted 20 minutes on track before it had oil pressure issues.

It was a reliability issue at best, and a massive fire hazard at worst.

Only reason we used the Jettarossa was because you did not have our car prepared on time.

and wouldn't lend a hand to help finish the car they came to race.

Excuse me? When the red pig arrived, (again, 11pm on Saturday.), Marc P. and myself went to your crew and started asking what needed to be done to prep the car. I forget his name (Ben?), the driver of the Pig's towrig was the only one of YOUR crew who knew what the hell was going on with the car's prep. Marc, Ben(?), myself, and a friend of mine from Pensylvania who came after his Lemons car couldn't make the race were wiring up the headlights, replacing the rear-passenger caliper, and sorting your fuck-all fuel system leaks. That's right, a friend of mine, from 1500 miles away, who wasn't even on my team, came to help work on your car with no expectations of seat time or anything. The only other person in your crew who helped was the New Zealand girl who ran tools for everyone. We got the Pig damn-near ready to tech by the time you arrived with the unfinished 450SLC; the only hang-up was the fuel system.

By the way, the fuel leak was caused by your guys who hamfisted the pump/filter install and marred the sealing surface for the banjo bolts. Marc P. and Ben(?) worked to resurface the mating surfaces on the pump and made custom-sized copper washers for it.

During the service, we did a quick fluids check, but could only check the transmission cold/motor off, which means fuckall to the fluid level which is only accurate when running and warm. When Jack left it was low on fluid and shifted poorly.

Not only that, but your second crew acted like a bunch of jackasses to the people who were finishing their car for them.

YOU were responsible for bringing us a running 450SLC, and when we left at 3am Sunday morning, you said that the 450SLC would be ready in the morning. It only needed a few cage bars welded in, and the kill switch.

Surprise, when we show up the next morning, nothing was done. And with cars on track, you preferred to feat on omelets before fixing the Pig's powersteering failure. I might add, everyone, that the power steering failed because someone hamfisted on the return line with a new hose that was 6" longer than needed, and it sat next to the driver's side exhaust manifold. Someone looked at that, and said, "Yup, that'll do!".

Never mind I had to repair your windshield wipers since they were falling off the wiper arms. That error alone nearly caused an accident and is a massive safety hazzard. Come on, you know how much rain Houston gets. It's not like it wasn't raining ALL WEEKEND LONG.

hogged all the seat time from my other drivers

WHOAH, what?

We went out with a plan of 10 laps per driver. With mid 2 minute runs on the high-side, that's, at worst, 30 minutes per driver, baring the time spent pulling the car off during the rain caution to fix the wipers and fuel the car. Before we even had our third driver finish his laps, your guy came to us and was complaining that they had spent a few days prepping the car and didn't get seat time yet.

This is the car that you had in storage for over a year, and only started prepping 2 days ago?

We gave it back to your team and they finished the last 5 hours with the car. Also, you guys couldn't even match our wet track lap time.

3 hours before the end of the race I gave up working on it and went and drove.

Bull shit. The car sat on the trailer in the field behind the paddock all Sunday. If you spent three hours on it, then it certainly wouldn't still need those downbars welded in. When I checked on the car, at most you had ground material clean and walked away. I guess the caterer had a new round of omelets.

Didn't help that the cage came in Thursday afternoon before the race.

You had this car what, 2-3 months before the race? A race, which we all know, kind of requires cages? That should have been one of the first things on the to-do list. Not making the stock wheel fit a removable hub.

-Phillip

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

CST10 wrote:

But if we're going all Honda-Tech in these forums...

I don't have any dog in this fight. But the Lemons forum is generally pretty much the antithesis of Honda-Tech and other flame fests, and we like to keep it that way.

Marquess of Queensbury rules, boys.

Pat Mulry, TARP Racing #67

Mandatory disclaimer: all opinions expressed are mine alone & not those of 24HOL, its mgmt, sponsors, etc.

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

Mulry wrote:
CST10 wrote:

But if we're going all Honda-Tech in these forums...

I don't have any dog in this fight. But the Lemons forum is generally pretty much the antithesis of Honda-Tech and other flame fests, and we like to keep it that way.

Marquess of Queensbury rules, boys.

What frustrates me about this is that we, as a team, decided that for the sake of keeping peace in the Lemons community that we'd spike any stories we had written about the race as it related to our dealings with Brandon.

The idea behind that decision was that everybody fails spectacularly a few times in their lives and I didn't want to create a situation where people would ascribe any motive other than bad luck/preparation/planning to the Feind "effort".

I also reiterated to Brandon immediately after the race that I was comfortable with paying him the original rental fee on which we had agreed. He wanted us to share in all the costs of the team's misfortunes and their fucking catering, which we never ate and which, as discussed above, cost us perhaps 20 laps of racing. I explained to him that we, as a fly-and-drive team, had already spent a few times what he'd put into the event, to say nothing of paying Jay $950 (I think) for a car that never saw the track.

Had Brandon been willing to be honest with us PRIOR to the race, we could have canceled our flights and our hotels and tried to get the entry fee back to use somewhere else. Because he wasn't able or willing to be forthright with before six people got on a plane (and one guy drove from Austin), we had a weekend that was hugely expensive for no real reason.

But rather than put an article up on TTAC entitled "FEIND MOTORSPORTS LIES TO US, FAILS TO PROVIDE CAR, RAISES BILL AFTERWARDS", we all said --- hey, let's sit on it, bury the incident, smiles all around.

This doesn't satisfy Brandon. He feels aggrieved for reasons I don't fully understand. And he wants to have this out in public. So there you go.

I'll admit to some personal stupidity here. After we announced the 450SLC partnership with Brandon early in the year, I had six different Lemons "old hands" reach out to me individually suggesting that I reconsider. They suggested that the car wouldn't be ready, or that it wouldn't run. Some of them had run in race-winning efforts with me before and wanted to emphasize that Brandon doesn't prep or work to the standards of a Neil Claasen or a Greg Smith or a John Pagel --- or even to the standards of hobbyists like Speedycop (from whom I rented the V8olvo last year) or the Tetanus folks.

My response to all of these people was an assurance that I had confidence in Brandon to hold up his end. I should have listened.

I'm chalking this up to lessons learned. From now on, if I arrive-and-drive somewhere, I'll be sure to ASK the questions that are generally taken for granted in NASA and elsewhere:

* Will the car be there on time?
* Will it pass tech?
* Will it run?
* Are there sufficient spares?
* Who's fixing it?
* Who's providing the radio wiring?
* How much fuel will be have on hand?
* Will someone be awake and participating for all 24 hours?

Stuff like that.

21 (edited by CST10 2013-12-31 12:51 PM)

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

Mulry wrote:
CST10 wrote:

But if we're going all Honda-Tech in these forums...

I don't have any dog in this fight. But the Lemons forum is generally pretty much the antithesis of Honda-Tech and other flame fests, and we like to keep it that way.

Marquess of Queensbury rules, boys.

Understood. Mostly used that line as a joke given the context. wink

I used to surf here way back, but retired my old highschool-era forum name.

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

Whew!  Now that we got that out of our systems! ( Please flush!)

Well the school has cleared out the AG Barn so now the Robotics team can now begin prepping the MB 450SLC!

We won't make Button Terrible, but oh well it's not the destination it's the journey!

High altitude victim, High School Robotics Team Mentor, Aircraft/ Motorcycle Mechanic.

23 (edited by Pedman88 2014-10-04 05:39 PM)

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

High School Race Team has begun!

Stripping the car has begun and the students ( and the Admin.) are excited!

http://i60.tinypic.com/x1aaex.jpg

http://i58.tinypic.com/2iu56on.jpg

http://i60.tinypic.com/b7gpqd.jpg

High altitude victim, High School Robotics Team Mentor, Aircraft/ Motorcycle Mechanic.

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

One issue that plagued out old benz was finding tires other than 500+ treadwear all-seasons. The 14" rims make you run a 70 or 75 profile to get the correct height.

If you're sticking with the 14" there is a Falken Azenis RT615k in 195/60/14 that works well and gives you some "rubber underdrive."

If you want to find some better rubber, SLK320 wheels should fit up well and allow you a 225/50/16 which is roughly the stock diameter and is an easy size to find.

I love the old SLC. Very cool car. Lemons needs more Stuttgart iron.

Planet Express
"IOE" "C Win" 4834.701 Race Miles and counting
Toyocedes
"Least Southern Pickup Truck" "IOE" "C win" "C win (again?)"

Re: buy a Mercedes SLC and race that MoFo

We've had some good Benzes in Lemons but we always need more R107s.