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Old 1st September 2008, 06:27   #1
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Default Goodbye Star

Bye Bye said one Merc, that could speak, while planting a kiss to the one that could only respond with a lovely Intake and exhaust note.

Goodbye Star-img_77501.jpg

We had to bid adieu to our lovely star sooner or later but didn't really know how it would feel after it was gone. Even now, as I write this, 48 hours after the car rolled away from us, it hasn't actually sunk in.

As I sit with this thread I dont really know where to start it from, will be sharing the ownership memories, looking into a few cliches that stays attached to peoples minds.Probably the first view here could be the last one that I saw before being driven away.

Goodbye Star-img_77831.jpg

The paint was immaculate , even after 14 years of fighting the Texas heat. The First time I drove it, the silence and the rattle free drive did not impress me, I said to the car, we will see how you keep up after a year or so under me. Well, it didn't just keep up, it became smoother by the day. The door closing with the same finesse it displayed the first day I saw it....and ...better than the w210 that was offered to me as a courtesy car whenever I gave this for repairs.


The person who got this car, asked me seeing the ad that I posted, is it the same car in the pictures that you have up for sale, and is it in the same condition. It was. He came down with a mechanic, both inspected the car and within the evening he was at my doorstep with the cash. He has other Mercs, this one he is procuring because he has a 190E in the same color and side by side, they would be brothers of different sizes.


cntd
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Old 1st September 2008, 10:47   #2
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Spoken from the heart! And what a picture with that little angel bidding adieu to the immaculate W124. What engine spec, and more importantly, why did you let go of her?
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Old 1st September 2008, 10:53   #3
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Thats a beauty, mate. And the first picture with the little angel tells the story. It must've been hard to let go this beauty after 14 years. Cars are like second home to us.

Whats the reason to let go of her?
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Old 1st September 2008, 10:57   #4
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goodbye Mercedes - may be we will bump into each other someday - but till then take care of yourself.

@ Anirban - this had to happen someday or the other - but the way she held herself with you is to be cherished for the rest of your life. as for the other Mercedes kissing the W124 - she grew up with the car and she will have fond memories of the car especially when she used to play with the gear stick. this is indeed sad to let her go but the sweet part of it is that she went to another Merc lover and i am sure she will be taken care of by the gentleman.

by the way, is the star a he or a she?

@ GTO - he went there for work and i guess he is planning to come back.

@ wanderlust - the Star is 14 years old and she has been with 1100D for 1.5 years.

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Old 1st September 2008, 11:48   #5
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Very touching and the little angel bidding adieu to her playmate (like my niece says) makes my heart heavy.
it must be difficult as we tend to grow fond and attached to our cars and they become part of our families. the bright side is you are assured that the star would be taken care off and loved in her new home. the void would be there but you would be able to pull through. the star would always have a parking spot in your heart and memories.
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Old 1st September 2008, 15:03   #6
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That's a million dollar pic mate, bidding adieu to a faithful companion. Whats next ?
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Old 1st September 2008, 15:27   #7
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the first picture is very emotional and one look at the picture makes us go through the heaviness that you had in your heart...
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Old 2nd September 2008, 00:28   #8
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Goodbye Star-img_65041.jpg

Nigeria, from time to time, establishes a connection with me. Not only I spent a part of my childhood there, but that country was completely in awe of the three-pointed star, apart from the ,then, run of the mill Peugeot 504, 505 and the VW Beetle 1500, (and what was new that time was the Santana/Passat sedan). All of those being very desirable cars was also building up an expectation in my mind from objects that call themselves "cars". We lived 600kms from the Capital, Lagos, in a small town where a steel plant was being built. The area was completely traditional Africa, some of the roads encountered in leading a daily life being red dirt, a Peugeot 404 or 504 pickup hanging its tail out after everyturn, that kind. We had at our disposal, owing to my fathers job, a W123 apart from a Nissan Patrol and a Peugeot 504 station wagon (the 2000cc one, thats how my Dad puts it! It was his baby)

But Lagos, was completely modern, the hotels/restaurants where we used to visit used to be frequented by the, then recent, W124 200's and 300E's. Some of them with the star smack in the middle of the grille without the three customary horizontal chrome slats. I was always impressed inspite of my Dad always looking down at tham and discussing with a few uncles, "is that what Mercs have come up to?"!!

"Look at the sloping headlights", "look at the curve on the trunklid", the continous light catcher line from the side marker to the tail lamp was its only saving grace, "atleast they have given it that". I used to silently admire, being a small kid, afraid that saying anything good might invite unwanted statements. I was also amazed that the 190E that was earlier attracting similar responses, was suddenly a better looking Merc than the W124, for them.

Everytime a W124 overtook us, building up stability with increasing speed, I was completely floored. No other car displayed the same fluidity in motion. They used to sell the 200 in both W123 and W124 shapes that time, and they used to say, grab every W123 you can get, Mercedes isn't going to get better.

Although taking nothing away from the W123. But W124 in my then little, unwarranted, unsolicited opinion, was far better.


Goodbye Star-img_77021.jpg

Once a German contractor (Bilfinger I guess) brought a W124 and it was subjected to good scrutiny, it was their (My Father and his really "pagal" colleagues) pastime, but they really was amazed at the suspension, and they also were talking about Citroen. I knew Citroen and their pneumatic suspension thing. I was previleged with overhearing experiences from a few of experience sharing sessions between my father and my own uncles and their foreign jaunts. Later on even I would see foreign shores once in a while, but it wasn't quite the same, but the w124 remained in my wishlist. And how?

As I would grow on, in later years I read about the self levelling rear suspension and the Citroen connection. The initial sheen of the w210 rubbed off sooner than expected. I witnessed the shift in opinion of the earlier generation towards the W124, thought even the 210 will grow on me, but it did not.

Goodbye Star-img_77041.jpg

2002 saw me in US for one long term assignment, but that time, my meagre salary would make it too risky to own a good W124. Besides, I had other things in mind. I also came close to procuring another of my favourites the E30 BMW but why it did not happen is a different story.

On this foreign stint of mine, starting beginning of 2007, I was restricting my search to 300E's 400E's and a few E320's and E430's apart from a couple of E36 and E34 BMW's. Most of the Mercs were either in deplorable condition or the owners were being stratospheric in their demands (now I know why).

On one occasion, visiting a dealer for a black 1994 BMW E34, I found this immaculate piece on the dealership entrance. The dealer had not listed it at all. The black BMW was fantastic, with its lovely exhaust note an all, but the green W124 was playing its own games in mind. It also turned out that the dealer was a Nigerian by birth. I just enquired about the green car and he gave me a high price for it. I anyway did not have the money that day. But booked the Black E34 saying that I will bring the money in 2 days time (My office actually messed up my loan processing causing the delay).

The evening before picking up the Black one, I called the dealer to be told that the Bimmer was sold, and to my surprise he also said sorry he can make it upto me, by giving me an offer on either the W124 or another green W202 he had in his lot. I was jumping with joy....cntd

Last edited by 1100D : 2nd September 2008 at 00:37.
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Old 2nd September 2008, 14:45   #9
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You are lucky to have a car-guy of a Dad, and one who knew his Merc's. Yup, W123 afficionados look down on the W124, just as our generation does to the W210. Awesome writeup, looking forward to the next installment as well as knowing what engine spec your car was running.
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Old 2nd September 2008, 14:58   #10
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Superb pictures. especially the first one. Nice write up too. I am sure it must have been painful to see her go
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Old 2nd September 2008, 22:40   #11
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Anirban, that very first pic says it all! It conveys all the emotion both you and your family have towards this car.

Looking forward to the rest of the write-up.
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Old 3rd September 2008, 04:46   #12
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So finally you say goodbye to Star. Folks, 1100D's passion is to be seen to be believed. He wanted to make sure she ended up in good hands, it was almost like evaluating a suitor for a bride. I could have played groom, but for the lack of $$$$. Alas...

I have had the privilege of having been in this car. And I can vouch for the pristine condition of this car. I remarked to Anirban when we first met, that the car probably wallowed on turns, without knowing that I had touched a nerve. The next time, he purposefully took a circuitous route, and showed me the raw power of the car. 100 mph came easy(80-100 was done in the blink of an eye) and he held the speed through the exit curve and I came away impressed with her handling.

I had never seen a Merc engine bay before Anirban showed me Star's and I should say it was an impressive sight. Especially the way the bonnet opens on it's own, without any hydraulic assistance.

He took very good care of his car and I wish this beauty is treated the way it should be, by it's new owner. Hearing that he owns other Mercs as well, probably Anirban did find the best suitor for Star.
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Old 3rd September 2008, 06:49   #13
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Mercedes in the last few years has been suffering from quality issues especially after the now failed take over/merger with Chrysler. I remember reading an article a year or so that the the rectangle headlight models like the W124 in his picture was the last of the true mercs build by the engineers. The article said that Mercedes engineers designed great cars and the sales people decided a price that they would sell the car for.

But after the onslaught of BMW and the Japanese premium brands like Lexus/Acura/Infiniti etc, The bean counters at Mercedes asked the engineers to build the car to a price. After Merc sold Chrysler, I think they are going back to focussing on great cars and the latest C class and S class is probably an outcome of that. I think the next E-Class will be a killer.
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Old 3rd September 2008, 21:54   #14
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I am sorry for not being able to follow up with this thread as much as I would like to. Unlike writing a travelogue or something, I myself have to gather my own thoughts as to why and where of it before jotting it down here. In essence, this also becomes a introspection of sorts in addition to sharing of memories and experiences. Somehow, I have not gotten that freedom in the last few days, but hopefully we will make up for lost time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
You are lucky to have a car-guy of a Dad, and one who knew his Merc's. Yup, W123 afficionados look down on the W124, just as our generation does to the W210. Awesome writeup, looking forward to the next installment as well as knowing what engine spec your car was running.
Yes, I have indeed been lucky, touchwood. However, speaking to my Dad he would probably not be interested in the "car-guy" tag attached to his name. "Mechanically inclined" or something of that sort will please him. It was not only him, he had some of his friends and brothers/cousins to talk to and many a meaningful debate would feed the desire to check out more. For some of them driving the 4x4 into the slushy construction zone was a pleasure not to be left to the company driver. Then there was cricket, tennis and what not. Sprained ankles were a reason for looking forward to the next match. Lot of that entusiasm has actually curbed down but, he at 60 still shows up for their office team net practice.

However my Grandfather would have loved that suffix without any issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman7 View Post
Superb pictures. especially the first one. Nice write up too. I am sure it must have been painful to see her go


Quote:
Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
Anirban, that very first pic says it all! It conveys all the emotion both you and your family have towards this car.

Looking forward to the rest of the write-up.
Yes it has been an emotional one. Throughout the ownership period there was an apprehension, I will mention, why, but the car itself was not the reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuttapan View Post
So finally you say goodbye to Star. Folks, 1100D's passion is to be seen to be believed. He wanted to make sure she ended up in good hands, it was almost like evaluating a suitor for a bride. I could have played groom, but for the lack of $$$$. Alas...

I have had the privilege of having been in this car. And I can vouch for the pristine condition of this car. I remarked to Anirban when we first met, that the car probably wallowed on turns, without knowing that I had touched a nerve. The next time, he purposefully took a circuitous route, and showed me the raw power of the car. 100 mph came easy(80-100 was done in the blink of an eye) and he held the speed through the exit curve and I came away impressed with her handling.

I had never seen a Merc engine bay before Anirban showed me Star's and I should say it was an impressive sight. Especially the way the bonnet opens on it's own, without any hydraulic assistance.

He took very good care of his car and I wish this beauty is treated the way it should be, by it's new owner. Hearing that he owns other Mercs as well, probably Anirban did find the best suitor for Star.
Thank you Sid, I was sincerely hoping that you get a chance to keep it. The experience would have been great for you. However, not referring to you, I had a guilty feeling of having sold my Accord to a fellow colleague, for whom, the car just became a means of transportation, and following the later stories about that car made me feel seriously guilty of not having found a right owner for it. So when this person came to see the car and the passion with which he was himself checking things out, I know he is going to keep it for long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
Mercedes in the last few years has been suffering from quality issues especially after the now failed take over/merger with Chrysler. I remember reading an article a year or so that the the rectangle headlight models like the W124 in his picture was the last of the true mercs build by the engineers. The article said that Mercedes engineers designed great cars and the sales people decided a price that they would sell the car for.

But after the onslaught of BMW and the Japanese premium brands like Lexus/Acura/Infiniti etc, The bean counters at Mercedes asked the engineers to build the car to a price. After Merc sold Chrysler, I think they are going back to focussing on great cars and the latest C class and S class is probably an outcome of that. I think the next E-Class will be a killer.
Lets just hope for the best.
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Old 3rd September 2008, 22:19   #15
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continuing with the story from post#8

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As is customary here in US, we take the VIN of the car and run a carfax report, (I had photographed the VIN of the car secretly the previous day on my mobile). That checked out fine, the car was a single owner car, explaining why it was in such condition. Did a little bit of reading on various forums came to know that the trouble spots would be the Wiring Harness and the throttle body actuator.

The next day we drove down to the dealer, informing him that I will be looking at the W202 as that was a newer car (that was only to tell him, in my mind it was the w124). Drove the W202 out and knew that the dealer would not be too much interested in reducing its price, which is when he himself made a proposition for the W124. Bingo.

But I was obviously not interested in the older car! Reluctantly drove it, it was amazing, but then for the dealer I kept the responses to "not bad". I just made a remark about the wiring harness and he replied, "its new". The best just got better. I asked him, how do I verify that, he said take it to any mechanic.

So, put a deposit, took the car to "Stuttgart auto Centre" for evaluation and asked them to lay proper stress on the wiring harness. The car checked out fine, the wiring harness was new, the throttle body actuator wasn't, asked them to put that in the report. Came back to the dealer, showed him the report, although did not bargain further. Just asked him to get the brake pads changed, as I personally felt the need for it, besides, the backend intention was to be introduced to the mechanic he is tied up to.

Goodbye Star-picture1.jpg

On 8th May 2007 I drove back our "spruce green with a tropical green lower body" Mercedes E320 of the W124 shape. Was it perfect, yes it was..(almost apart from a few cosmetic blemishes on the inside.)

The Engine was a 3.2 liter in-line/straight six internally known as M104. The power being 217bhp @ 5500 rpm and a 310Nm of torque at a highish (for US) 3750 rpm. The engine actually came to its singing zone (as Kuttapan mentioned) after 75mph (roughly 3200 rpm) and from then on it was a unobstructed pull to...well well!!

Goodbye Star-picture3.jpg

(Pardon the deposit on the battery terminal, this photograph was taken on a very cold winter morning and the battery was soon replaced)

As I went to sleep that night, numerous thoughts sprung up on my mind. Most of it stemming from not following advice of keeping away from a Merc or BMW on a year or so long assignment. The points against it was justifiable and from direct experiences within the family rather than word of mouth information heard from others. My Grandfather once had a Ponton, Dad had his office w123, but my mind told me that the worst parts of their experiences with them, had a different argument attached to it. Not dwelving into those. On the other hand another uncle of mine shared a complete antithesis of their theories, hence "dekh lenge"

CNTD.. (please bear with me!)

Last edited by 1100D : 3rd September 2008 at 22:30.
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