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Old 7th June 2016, 00:52   #1
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Default The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record

As some of you know I moved back from Delhi to my home country the Netherlands recently, In fact, last weekend was my second weekend back in the Netherlands.

As it so happens it was also the weekend at which a new World Record for the Guinness book of World Records was established. The longest parade of Mercedes W123.

I know we have some members who own a W123, so I thought I would share.

Iím a member of various (classic) car clubs and about four months ago on my W123 forum somebody mentioned this World Record Attempt for last Sunday.

It was organised by a Mercedes dealer called auto-bedrijf Jansen.

Have a look to get some ice:

http://www.mercedes123.nl/en/

Actually, I donít think he is an official Mercedes dealer at all. He just deals in Mercedes and a lot of classic Mercedes in particularly. I had never heard of them and I know most reputable Mercedes workshops. Anyway, I just enrolled at the time, hoping I might be back in the Netherlands by then, which turned out to be the case!

To start with the end: We did break the record! The last record was set in Germany a few years ago. They put 257 W123 on the road. We managed 323 W123 on the road. Itís all very official as these events are subject to the Guinness Book of World Record Protocol. So all the proceedings are overseen by an official Public Notary. In order for the attempt to qualify we had to have all the W123 on the public road all at the same time.

Starting point was at Autobedrijf Jansen. Every car got a unique number, every car was filmed passing the starting line and finish line and there were about 5-6 intermediate checks along the route as well. This is pretty serious stuff!

We made the local news: (All in Dutch Iím afraid)

http://www.destentor.nl/regio/harden...brug-1.6081204


A total of 327 W123s set off and 323 made it around the official 5km track. So the world record stands at 323 as of now! So, not to put it to delicately, we absolutely pulverised the record of ze Germans!

Hereís a nice video, although Dutch it will give you a good idea of the atmosphere and endless numbers of W123 in every colour, version imaginable!



We were very lucky with the weather. It was an absolute gorgeous day. If it hadnít been for the weather I donít think there would have been enough cars. My own experience organising many classic car events all over Western Europe is that weather is the single biggest factor in how many cars will show up!

The organisation was excellent. You could really tell they had put a lot of thought and effort into it. It was totally relaxed, but it ran like clockwork down the last minute and detail.

Obviously, I took a few piccies too!

First, lets have a look at my very own W123!

The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record-p6051642.jpg

I bought mine about 10-12 years ago or so. Itís a 1982, 200 petrol version. It has the so called M102 engine, which was the most modern petrol engine, still a carburator version thought.

Mine is a pretty basic version. The W123 came with a bewildering long list of options. You could easily double the price by adding options. The idea was that your average German family could buy a pretty basic W123, but if you wanted more you could spec it up!

The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record-p6051643.jpg

I was a bit unlucky with mine. The company I bought it from filled the window wiper reservoir with undiluted screen wash. So when I used the window wash it actually left marks on the paint! They claimed they did not, how could I prove it? Well, I never refilled the reservoir and it happened during the first week after I bought the car. Left lots of very nasty marks all over the roof and some on the doors, basically every drop left a nasty mark as it ate into the paint so to speak.

Very disappointing. Then I lend my W123 to visiting, American, friends. They went to Germany, stopped at a roundabout and some German in some little Japanese car kamikazes into the back of my W123. It just about totalled the little Japanese car and it caused a bit of damage on my W123 as well. Now, my car is insured on a classic car fully comprehensive insurance policy. Which means the car is officially valued every three years and its insured against the valued amount, not the day-value. Also, these insurance just pay you the damage in cash. What you want to do with the cash is yours to decide. So I got the cash. I have a friend who has a professional car repair and paint shop and we made a deal. I helped him and we managed to get a full respray done!

Looks gorgeous again ever since. Also, it has had a Dinitrol anti-rust treatment as well. It is completely original except for two small things. I installed a Waeco after market cruise control myself. And the radio is what I would like to think Ďnear periodí. I have had this Grundig radio since 1986. The W123 is from 1982 so it is not a far stretch to think these cars drove around with these radioís. After all, German car, Famous German Radio/Audio brand.

The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record-p6051650.jpg

If you look closely you will see a little push button in the ash tray. I installed that switch as it operates the electrically operated aerial. Itís aftermarket as well, you canít get the original Mercedes anymore. I like the fact that I can extend/retract the aerial independent of whether the radio is switched on or not. So I can play cassettes, or hook on my iPod and leave the aerial tucked in.

The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record-p6051652.jpg

With a nice car, comes a nice key ring of course!

So here is the official registration desk:

The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record-p6051368.jpg

Manned by exclusively ladies it was very well organised. You had to register on line and these ladies checked you against that. You would get your free coffee and cake stamp, program of the day, and some more information on the days proceedings, times etc.

The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record-p6051359.jpg

Here is an example on how well this was organised. Several tables set up to fill out forms, with plenty of pens to go around and even reading glasses! A nice touch. Very few young folks own W123. Not because they are expensive, because they are not, more because its a car that seems to appeal to a more mature audience I think.

The ladies were very efficient and well organised:

The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record-p6051654.jpg

So here are some impression of all the cars:

The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record-p60513462.jpg

Also some other models than the W123:

The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record-p6051354.jpg

Lots of W123!

The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record-p6051364.jpg

The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record-p6051367.jpg

Here we are during the actual record attempt. It was very slow going. We had to get more then 300 cars on a 5 km stretch of road! A couple of cars never made it to the fininish. Not sure what happened. I know one car overheated. It was a very nice day with temperatures around 28oC. Not a big problem, even driving at 5-10 km/h for 5 km. Also, one W123 broke down. Quite hilarously as the owner had big FOR SALE sticker on it. Turned out he ran out of fuel!?

The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record-p6051388.jpg

The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record-p6051391.jpg

There are quite a few different engines for the W123, from petrol to diesel. The diesel have been very popular here in the Netherlands until recently. New legislation had made it very expensive to run these old diesel cars.

The little diesels have proven themselves to be extremely reliable and rugged. Lots of owners are clocking 400-500.000 km on a diesel between overhauls.

But most would argue, the nicest engine is the larger petrol version!

The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record-p6051360.jpg

Lots of different colours. Other then the petrol versus diesel the one other basic choice you had to make was sedan against coupe. You will notice there are a fair amount of coupe around. Probably 25-30% of the W123 were coupeís. Mechanically they are identical to their respective W123 sedans.

Of course, the W123 was known as THE TAXI. A few years ago I visited Essen in Germany and there were still original W123ís driving around as taxiís. Quite amazing. The mileage these taxiís clock is phenomenal. The other thing that was quite phenomenal was the delivery time. At one point in time it was close to four years. Taxi driver would take delivery of a W123 and order a new one at the same time!

The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record-p6051373.jpg

The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record-p6051664.jpg

The facilities at the premises were excellent with all sort of catering. Never the less some people brought their own lunches and had a picnic next to their car

The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record-p6051681.jpg

All in all, a very colourful sight all these different W123.

The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record-p6051399.jpg

The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record-p6051398.jpg

The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record-p6051682.jpg

The last piccie. Very appropiate for a Dutch W123. We have broken the world record!

The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record-p6051397.jpg

Enjoy Jeroen
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Old 7th June 2016, 14:04   #2
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Default Re: The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 7th June 2016, 15:03   #3
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Default Re: The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
As it so happens it was also the weekend at which a new World Record for the Guinness book of World Records was established. The longest parade of Mercedes W123.
Thanks for that report! It is indeed a sight for sore eyes to see many W123s in one place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Manned by exclusively ladies it was very well organised.
May be it is grammatically correct, but still sounds a bit strange!

Last edited by Viju : 7th June 2016 at 15:27.
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Old 7th June 2016, 15:23   #4
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Default Re: The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record

This is just wow! Your w123 looks sweet.

It must have been painful seeing those marks on your beloved car, especially when they don't happen due to your mistakes, but someone else's.
But, it ended well. I love the retractable-antenna idea too.

The event looks very well managed and you took us to the venue with the absolutely wonderful pictures you clicked.

Finally, congratulations! You're part of Guinness Book of World Records today.
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Old 7th June 2016, 15:27   #5
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Originally Posted by Divya Sharan View Post
This is just wow! Your w123 looks sweet.

Finally, congratulations! You're part of Guinness Book of World Records today.

Thanks, actually its the second time Im part of Guinness Book of world records. About 15 years ago there was also a record attempt to put the longest parade of soft top cars on the road. I participated on that one as well. And the record was broken, not sure how many cars, but I seem to recall it was way more then we had this time. Of course, with soft tops you open up for every imaginable car without a permanent roof. I participated with my Alfa Romeo Spider on that obe.

Jeroen
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Old 7th June 2016, 16:47   #6
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Default Re: The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record

Jeroen sir, I must say that your garage is a classic car enthusiasts dream! I have been a fan of old mercs for a long time and love the build quality and reliable mechanics, unlike today's complex cars. An excellent review too.
It is not really surprising that there was a waiting period of 4 years for these cars!
Congrats on the world records part too...
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Old 7th June 2016, 17:20   #7
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Default Re: The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record

Lovely cars, and the alloys(?) on the Orange car in the last-but-one pic are gorgeous
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Old 7th June 2016, 18:08   #8
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Default Re: The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record

The coupe version of this car was my dream especially with the Six cylinder inline Engine. Though I was fortunate enough to have had to chance to live with a sedan with the same engine during my growing up years. Though my father preferred a 2000cc Peugeot 504 Familiale over that one, mainly due to the sound.

Great to see a parade of these awesome beauties.
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Old 7th June 2016, 19:15   #9
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Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
Lovely cars, and the alloys(?) on the Orange car in the last-but-one pic are gorgeous

These are known as Kroon Kurk rims in Dutch. Crown Caps as they look like bottle caps. They are actually standard on some of the better spec-ed W123. If you look carefully you will spot quite a few more in the other photographs and the video

Jeroen
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Old 7th June 2016, 19:59   #10
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Default Re: The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record

Wow. That's impressive. So many well maintained W123's. I'm currently in Amsterdam and had been to the city centre a couple of weeks ago. Somehow I only saw 1 W123 parked near the Heineken Brewery. Didn't come across any in the rest of the city.

I however did see a more modern car. I heard that Amsterdam has the largest number of Tesla Taxis. A nice replacement for the W123 which was a popular taxi in many European cities.
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Old 7th June 2016, 20:26   #11
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Originally Posted by pedrolourenco View Post
Wow. That's impressive. So many well maintained W123's. I'm currently in Amsterdam and had been to the city centre a couple of weeks ago. Somehow I only saw 1 W123 parked near the Heineken Brewery. Didn't come across any in the rest of the city.



I however did see a more modern car. I heard that Amsterdam has the largest number of Tesla Taxis. A nice replacement for the W123 which was a popular taxi in many European cities.

There are quite a few W123 around in the Netherlands. Until recently especially the diesel versions were very popular. People used them as cheap cars. It used to be that on cars over 25 year old you don't have to pay road tax. Also these cars are eligible for very cheap classic car insurance.

However, they recently changed the laws on classic diesel cars and that meant most people did away with the diesels. What is left are mainly the very well maintained petrol cars, but they typically only come out in weekends and nice drives out in the country.

So you are less likely to spit them during the week in towns.

Lots of Tesla taxi around in Amsterdam and Amsterdam airport. Last couple of times when I travelled to Amsterdam I got a Tesla taxi too. Very comfortable.

Jeroen
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Old 8th June 2016, 15:53   #12
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Default Re: The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record

Great to see so many good looking W123s.

The one parked on top is a W110.
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Old 8th June 2016, 19:45   #13
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The one parked on top is a W110.

Correct. There were actually quite a few other Mercedes models around in the parking lot and on display.
Take one, to know one!
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Old 10th June 2016, 00:19   #14
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Default Re: The longest parade of Mercedes W123s! Another Mercedes World Record

This is Merc heaven.

I noticed a few things.
1. All the cars had spotless windshields and Windows. None of them had ugly stickers on them. It's one of my pet peeves actually. I too like my windows unblemished.

2. The non w123 photo you shared with registration 27-37-ER..is that what they call a dictators Merc 600?

3. Most had sun roofs. Why are they so popular?

4. Fuel - do those cars run on unleaded fuel? I thought unleaded was a 90's concept.

Great pictures. Thanks for sharing the video.

Last edited by hangover : 10th June 2016 at 00:22.
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Old 10th June 2016, 10:30   #15
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1. All the cars had spotless windshields and Windows. None of them had ugly stickers on them. It's one of my pet peeves actually. I too like my windows unblemished.
Me too. Mine does spot a few stickers. It still has an original sticker of the what was the German break down service and a sticker from my UK classic car club (East Anglia Classic Cars)


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Originally Posted by hangover View Post
2. The non w123 photo you shared with registration 27-37-ER..is that what they call a dictators Merc 600?
No, that is a W110. You mean the 600 series. Known to be owned by dictators such as Idhi Ahmin and somebody like Jeremy Clarkson.



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3. Most had sun roofs. Why are they so popular?
Not sure, must have been a popular option in those days. Remember no AC then. Mine has a sun roof as well. Actually, if you get yourself a W123 I would advise against it. Itís very prone to rust around the edges and also the water drain system is very likely to get blocked leading to rust all around the pillar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hangover View Post
4. Fuel - do those cars run on unleaded fuel? I thought unleaded was a 90's concept.
Still some diesel around too. for the unleaded, it depends a bit on the engine. My car has the M102 engine and that can be run on unleaded fuel with no problem.

On some earlier model you either have to use an lead replacement additive or replace the valve seals / valves it self. This last one is pretty popular modification. Itís fairly easy to take the cilinder head of, take it to a shop to get overhauled and modified and just pop it back on.

Jeroen
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