2016 Shannons Sydney Late Autumn Classic Auction

The next Shannons auction is to be held in Sydney on Monday so I went to the viewing day to see the cars offered for sale.

Even though nothing really grabbed my at this auction it is always well worth going and taking a look around.    Much of the stock were muscle cars,some Aussie some American.

The cars that did interest me the most were:

 1934 Hudson Straight 8


I know little about these cars but it has loads of character and looks like it is in nice condition.    They expect $40-$50,000.

1950 Armstrong Siddeley Whitley Sports Sedan


I know little about these either and it looks more stately than sporty, but it caught my eye.

1958 Jaguar XK150 FHC

I like XK jaguar FHCs but this one didn’t really catch my eye.   While I prefer the 140, 150s can be striking too, but I don’t think cream suits the car at all.   I also didn’t particularly like the extra console in the dash.    The $75-$90,000 price seems right though.


1960 Mercedes 190SL

190SL values have gone stratospheric in the  last couple of years and they have attracted a whole new set of buyers, generally younger than the normal classic car buyer.   They a stunning car to look at, but I still feel they are overpriced and will always be in the shadow of the 300SL.

This car is in quite nice condition, although the white paint behind the Mercedes star looks very odd.   The interior is worn, but in a good way.   Generally the car is in nice condition and while I think they are overpriced it will probably go for what they suggest $140-$150k.






450SLC Repaint completed

The 450SLC is complete and I picked it up over the weekend.    What a difference from the faded original paint at the front of the car – it is like having a new one.



The respray took place over three weeks (Week 1, Week 2, Week 3).  In addition, rust was cut out, and the air cleaner was re-painted.

450SLC Repaint part 3

The 450SLC is now completed.   Last week the actual spraying was done, and this week the car was polished, re-assembled and checked.    I do my final inspection and collect the car this weekend.


In addition to having the car re-sprayed, I had the air cleaner resprayed in black and the chrome arch covers removed as they can attract rust.    The brackets that attach the fog lights were also done.

450SLC Repaint part 2

Another week has gone by at the panel beaters on the 450SLC and the car is getting much closer to completion.  Last week was mostly rust repair and preparation, this week completed the preparation and started the actual re-spray.



Where components could be reasonably removed, they were to ensure that they were painted correctly.   The 450SLC is 906G which is Grey/Blue metallic.    I’ve always really liked this colour, more so than the 930 Silver blue that replaced it (which I had on the 280CE) and the 355 Diamond blue (which I had on my 300E) which replaced Silver blue.


In addition, the little mounting brackets for the foglights were sprayed and the air cleaner was sprayed black as it had some surface rust.

Remaining is to cut and polish the paint and start replacing the trim.   I purchased some of the red trim clips and dropped them off as after 40 years the original ones would have been brittle and it makes little sense to re-use them.   The car should be complete this week.


450SLC Repaint part 1

My 450SLC has now spent a week at the panel beaters having rust removed and being prepared for paint.

The starting point was the chassis rail on the drivers side.


This was welded and then painted.

Rust repair

Rust repair

From there, work moved to the boot where both sides were rusting and there was some rust starting in the spare tyre well.


This section was probably the worst on the car.


There was also some rust behind both front wheels that needed attending to.

Rust in wheel well

The bootlid also had to be prepared.

Bootlid rust


There were also a couple of small areas where the trim attached to the car.


From there the trim could be removed and the car prepared for paint




Next week there is still move preparation to do, and then the paint starts to go on.


Old performance cars to Oberon

Old performance cars are not particularly fast by modern standards.   They are surpassed by a garden variety hatchback in performance.   But while they might not be particularly fast, they are a lot of fun to drive on a winding country road.    Today I met up with some of the members of the Topklasse forum for a drive to Oberon.   I had never been there before – but I will be back.    The road between Mt Victoria to Oberon has minimal traffic, is not clogged up with hoons on motorbikes and has wide sweeping corners and 100km/h speed limits.

On the drive we had a 300SEL 6.3, a W210 E55 AMG, a late model C class and I took my E-Type.



The drive was a lot of fun, even if the weather was iffy in the morning – starting from Richmond, up Bells Line of road, then over to Oberon.   The Jag performed well, although on the way back I had the brake dragging issue I thought I had finally fixed.   It got particularly bad about 1km from home and I had to limp back in 1st gear.     Pretty much the entire braking system on this car is new or refurbished, so it is starting to get difficult to work out what to do.   The symptoms were different here, a rock hard brake pedal and the calipers were dragging in general rather than a slow release like I had before.     The car did go past 66,666 on the way there, so maybe this is the reason.


Fixing Leaks from the Traction Avant oil cap

20160422_192950The Traction Avant has a fairly large oil cap that at least on my car is a loose fit.  Underneath it there is a metal plate with holes in it which let the oil drain into the engine when filling and presumably stop the oil from splashing out.

Unfortunately on my car, these holes had been significantly enlarged and that means oil was dribbling down both sides of the engine and creating smoke when it hit the hot exhaust manifold.

My assumption was that the extra holes were leading to excess oil splashing up and leaking out of the cap.   Taking a leaf out of the original design my assumption was that if I was to add some kind of mesh it would prevent the oil splashing as much and let it drain back into the engine.


I was able to buy a piece of aluminium mesh from Bunnings warehouse and assumed that a couple of layers would have the desired effect.   To start with I settled for four.


I then left on a 200km drive to the south coast.   So far I would rate this idea as a partial success.   I still had some oil leakage – but not enough for clouds of smoke to be coming out of the bonnet louvres.

My next step is to see if a few more layers are an improvement or not.

450SLC Rust

The big Achilles heel in the R/C107 chassis is its propensity to rust.   They are pretty much bullet proof mechanically, but the rust proofing from the factory was poor and there are a lot of areas where they can and do rust, even in climates such as Australia that are not prone to it.    Once the rust gets to a point, the cars are pretty much scrap.

My car is pretty rust free – but I had some rust cut out about 10 years ago.   There were four places and they are all common rust points in these cars

  • near the front jacking points – dirt gets inside and they stay wet
  • the bottom edge of the boot lid – water gets into a lip here
  • the front chassis rails – water pools on top in the engine bay
  • bottom of the rear window – water gets in under the seal, the metal starts rusting and the window starts delaminating.   The window is generally seen before the rust

10 years later, the rust is back in the bottom of the boot lid, and in the drivers side front chassis rail.   in addition, there is also rust:

  • behind the front wheels – there is a lip here were dirt can accumulate and cause rust
  • passengers side boot floor – leaking boot seal or tail light seal
  • where the side trim attaches to the car – water gets in the holes in the body

The rust is not bad yet, and very easily repairable at this point.   leaving it too long and it becomes problematic to fix.   I have also decided to do a full repsray at the same time.   The paint on the front of the car is faded and cracked in places, and the bootlid needs to be repainted.  The doors are also very faded. The rear part of the car is better because of the rust repairs 10 years ago, but the car is currently many shades of blue.    A full respray is expensive but it should rejuvenate the car for many years to come.

Book Review: Rover P5 & P5B: The Complete Story

I am a fan of the Rover P5, but I don’t have the time, room or funds to purchase one.   So the solution is to buy a book!

I purchased this book:  Rover P5 & P5B:  The Complete Story by James Taylor and overall I am happy with the purchase.

The book does a good job of covering the events that led up to the launch of the car and then the major changes that took place during its life cycle.   It covers all the different series of car, as well as the Coupe and Saloon.      It also features a buyers guide.

The one thing I feel is missing is a bit more detail about the original 3 liter engine, which given it was a carry over into the P5, I can understand why they didn’t go into a lot of detail.   I find this engine interesting as it was one of the last engines that used an IoE layout – that is an overhead inlet valve and a side exhaust valve.

I also would have liked a good appendix at the back with more technical specifications, while the specifications through the book are fairly good – they are not as detailed as I would have liked.    It does do a good job of covering the less well known 2.4 and 2.6 liter versions.

Overall it was a good read and a worthwhile addition to my collection of automotive books.    Rating:  7.5/10

Mercedes Club drive to Wollombi

Today I joined the Mercedes club on a drive to Wollombi, which is a small town on the way to the Hunter Valley.   The town was used in the 1840’s for convicts to stay while they built a road from Sydney to the Hunter and ultimately beyond.   The Mercedes club has been organizing some rather interesting sounding drives recently so it was good to be able to come along – the roads in this area are very scenic and apart from idiots on motorcycles rather nice to drive on.

It was a lovely autumn  day here in Sydney, so a great day to take the 250SE Cabriolet out.   The route started in Thornleigh and took the old Pacific highway up to near Peats ridge, then the Old North Road to Wollombi.   Lunch was at Mulla Villa, which is a house built by the convicts as they built the Old North Road.   There are still convict cells under the house, which are available for a tour, although I had to leave before that could occur.

I also had to collect something in Emu Plains, so instead of taking the freeway back I took Wisemans Ferry road, over the ferry through Cattai, Pitt Town etc – a slower but much more pleasant drive.   All in all I drove almost 300 miles, passing the lucky 77,777 odometer reading!

The drive had a mix of old a new cars – my favorites were a midnight blue W113, a pristine white 107 SL and a red 114C.