Pagoda SL Group

W113 Pagoda SL Group => Events => Topic started by: Steve.k on July 26, 2018, 01:07:19

Title: Classic Car Adventures
Post by: Steve.k on July 26, 2018, 01:07:19
Has anyone participated in one of the rally’s organized by Classic Car Adventures?  I’m considering joining them for the Maple Mille here in Ontario. (
They’ve apparently been running these three day events for several years in Colorado and BC as well as Ontario.   Seems like they’re well organized and set interesting courses.
Just like to know if anyone else has done it in a Pagoda and what your experience was like.  I welcome any and all advice for preparing for a three day road trip of about 1,000 kilometers.   
One of their requirements is a set of spares including points, condenser, coil as well as a spare fuel pump.   A spare fuel pump for a Pagoda is not a cheap proposition so a generic pump that can be jerry rigged is acceptable.   What sort of ‘generic fuel pump’ and fittings should I look for?
Once again any advice relevant to a trip such as this is most welcome.   
Title: Re: Classic Car Adventures
Post by: 66andBlue on July 26, 2018, 04:28:51
I have bought a Pierburg pump as a spare for emergencies:
Title: Re: Classic Car Adventures
Post by: Peter van Es on July 30, 2018, 14:37:53
I, and most of the attendees at the European Events regularly drive over 2000kms in a week for our events. I do classic car rallies in my Pagoda as well. One day rallies typically require 350-400km's, and I'm doing a rally in August which will cover >2000km's in 5 days. Before I start I have the car serviced, brake fluid replaced, new oil, suspension checked.

Then in September we'll have the European event, another 2500 km's to the South of France, albeit at a more leisurely pace. If the car survived the rally ok, I probably will not even service the car for that, other than checking oil, ATF, coolant and tire-pressure.

I carry sparkplugs, a fanbelt, and a fuel hose (from tank to pump) as spare. The latter because there was a bad batch produced. I run a 123 ignition which has not failed me in over 20.000 kms of travel. I have the original distributor/points/etc but did not bother carrying it as a backup. I have no spare fuel pump.

I carry duct tape, tie-wraps (can replace gear leaver bushings in a pinch) and a basic tool kit, including stuff to fix the odd electrical wire or connection.

The best advice is: drive long distances before taking part. If the destination is mountainous, include mountains. If it is wet, drive it through the rain. If you're confident about your car, that's the best.

Oh, and by the way: the Pagoda is an excellent travelling companion. You can get out after 500 km's relatively relaxed. It is fast enough, yet comfortably roomy. Just a little bit of noise. If the rally takes place when top-down driving is unlikely, consider driving with the hard top on. It gives much better visibility (ideal for the navigator) than with the soft-top. It's not as agile as a 911 or most Alfa Romeo's but you have plenty of acceleration power if you dare to put your foot down. I enjoy it tremendously during rallies. It is a bit thirsty gas-wise, so if gas stations are not plentiful, it may be a good idea to put a spare 10-litre jerrycan in the back.

Title: Re: Classic Car Adventures
Post by: Steve.k on July 30, 2018, 15:07:51

Thanks so much for your detailed reply.  It is heartening and encouraging that others are driving these cars and not just doodling around to get an ice cream.  I share the belief that they are meant to be enjoyed and driven as originally intended by Mssrs Bracq and Barenyi. 

I've already taken some long drives with her this summer for several hours and the experiences confirm my decision to get a Pagoda.  It is supremely comfortable and handles very well for the vintage.  It truly is a Grand Tourer.

I also installed a 123 ignition this summer and it made a huge difference in performance and reliability.  All of the fluids have been changed this summer, everything including power steering and differential.  The duct tape and zip ties are essentials in any tool kit.  I'll pick up some fuel line and spare belt.

Thanks again and happy motoring.  I'm really looking forward to this event.
Title: Re: Classic Car Adventures
Post by: Woodstock on August 03, 2018, 21:43:13

I have participated in the Hagerty Silver Summit in Colorado three different years.  This event is put on by Dave Hord, Classic Car Adventures founder.  The first couple of years I drove vintage Porsches, however this past May I drove my '71 280SL.  Had considered trailering the car but I told the wife that it should "be an adventure" so we drove from Tulsa, OK to Grand Junction, Colorado (approx. 950 miles) without any issues whatsoever.  Then we drove the Rally from Grand Junction ... Telluride ... Grand Junction (approx. 800mile) 3 day rally.  Heading home from Grand Junction we had just passed through the two tunnels on I-70 headed towards Denver when it began snowing and sleeting coming down towards Idaho Springs.  The car started to miss and would intermittently backfire.  Pulled off I70 at Idaho Springs and decided to stay the night and wait for the rain/snow to stop.  Next morning the car didn't want to start or run so had the car towed to Colorado Springs to a Mercedes Mechanic who was familiar with the car.  Thinking was that I had some bad gas that had created the problem.  They drained the gas (didn't necessarily see anything wrong with the gas) and then changed the points and reset the timing.  The car was back to running just fine.  Headed homeward and got about 100 miles before the car starting acting up again with the occasional missing.  Pulled over at Lamar, Co. (literally in the middle of nowhere) and called my Tulsa mechanic who was familiar with the car.  I carried a spare coil so I swapped out the coil to eliminate that as a possibility, it wasn't the coil.  I had just replaced the fuel pump before the trip so I ruled that out (even though I had a spare one with me).  I was told to reset the points by using a matchbook cover as the gauge for gap width.  Unfortunately I didn't have a matchbook so I used a piece of cardboard from a note pad as an alternative.  Car would not start so I decided the width was undoubtedly too wide so I eyeballed the width to be about half the width I previously set the points at.  Car started fine and drove the rest of the trip to Tulsa without any issues (700 miles).  Have been advised NO MORE ADVENTURES .. will trailer next time.  The trip was a total of 2900 miles with no issues the first 2100 miles.  I am convinced the points were the issue or the weak link of the car.  Adjusted points while typically not a big deal is not easy due to the location of the points in relation to the access view.  The hood makes it difficult to see the lobes and point settings easily.  Apparently the new set of points that were put on in Colorado Springs had a "soft" material that rode on the lobes that wore down quickly.  These were not Bosch original points but rather undoubtedly Chinese made alternatives.
In regards to the actual Classic Car Adventures event ... great event .... inexpensive .... plenty of car enthusiasts on the rally.  I would highly recommend any of the rallies that Dave puts on.  Dave is an excellent host who does a bang-up job of putting these events together.
In regards to spare equipment to take ... I took points, condenser, coil, fuel pump, spark plugs, tools, jumper cables, duct tape, electrical tape and wiring.
I plan to replace my distributor with the 123 distributor before I take this car on any other rallies because I believe the points setup is the weakest link in the cars reliability (my opinion).
The biggest issue driving this car 2900 miles (other then the points issue) is the wind noise associated with having the windows down due to the warm weather.  My car does not have A/C so we found the ventilation system to be less then adequate on 80-85 degree days.  Additionally these older cars have a fair degree of wind noise even with the windows rolled up when traveling 75-80 mph (convertible top up).  Also the tappet noise from the engine is much louder then modern day cars and is quite noticeable on a long trip.
Title: Re: Classic Car Adventures
Post by: Benz Dr. on August 04, 2018, 00:10:07
Wind noise is a problem which is why I would probably use a hard top on a really long trip like that. Valve rockers should not be a noise issue unless you need to adjust them or the ball studs are worn.
I've had the same set of points in my car for the past 15 years and have never changed them or the spark plugs. I take my distributor out about every other year, adjust the points, clean and lubricate everything, and put it back to work. Totally reliable system with a bit of service. 
Title: Re: Classic Car Adventures
Post by: Steve.k on August 04, 2018, 01:12:42
Woodstock,  thanks for sharing your experience.  The issue with your points could’ve happened a block from home too. 
I’ve driven I70 many times through the Rockies and have stopped overnight in Idaho Springs three or four times.  Nice little town, a bit of a throwback to another era.  I usually time my drives to stop there.

Everybody that runs the 123 Ignition seems to swear by it and it totally solved my issues with misfiring.  I’ll bring along a spare coil and the original distributor.  What fuel pump did you bring as a spare? 

Good to hear that Dave’s events are well organized.  This one starts about 100 miles from home so the adventure itself will be the big part. 

I acquired my Pagoda in April and we’ve been having great summer weather.  I’ve had the top off the entire time and drive it almost everyday.  The only sound I hear is the sweet sound of that straight six. 

Thanks for the advice and let me know about the spare fuel pump. 
Title: Re: Classic Car Adventures
Post by: Woodstock on August 05, 2018, 13:58:09

On the advice of a fellow Pagoda enthusiast (Bob)who rebuilds the original fuel pumps, he recommended this relatively inexpensive fuel pump ($100) to be taken along as a backup .... just in case.  I had my mechanic specifically fit the pump with the appropriate fittings and mounting apparatus needed to be a simple bolt on if the need arouse.  That said, changing a fuel pump "on the road" would be a messy proposition that would only be a last resort if I was positive the fuel pump was the problem.  This is the link to the Carter electric fuel pump I carried with me on the rally.
Title: Re: Classic Car Adventures
Post by: Woodstock on August 05, 2018, 14:06:17
Dr. Benz:

Interesting that the tappet noise should not be an issue.  My mechanic had adjusted the valves before the trip because he thought they were rather noisy, but still the noise was quite noticeable.  You stated that the "ball studs" could be worn.  I am not familiar with that term.  What part exactly should I look at replacing?


Title: Re: Classic Car Adventures
Post by: mbzse on August 05, 2018, 14:40:40
Quote from: Woodstock
.../...You stated that the "ball studs" could be worn..../...
Looks like this. No 3 in the drawing. However, the rocker arms (No 4) may need replacing too.
Title: Re: Classic Car Adventures
Post by: Benz Dr. on August 05, 2018, 20:50:34
That's the interesting thing about valve lash; you can hear the loose ones but not the tight ones. Just because you can't hear anything doesn't mean everything is OK.
Title: Re: Classic Car Adventures
Post by: Woodstock on August 06, 2018, 01:34:16
Thanks for the information.  With a bit over 100K on the engine it probably would make sense to replace the ball studs and the ball stud receiver (for lack of a better description) and see if that doesn't quiet things down. 
Title: Re: Classic Car Adventures
Post by: mbzse on August 06, 2018, 08:50:42
Quote from: Woodstock
.../...would make sense to replace the .../... ball stud receiver
If I understand that by "receiver" you mean the base mount for the ball stud (No 1 in the drawing), I would advise against removing these. Alloy head threads may rip out etc. 
The usual practice is to leave these base parts as they are and just change the ball stud pins (No 3).
Title: Re: Classic Car Adventures
Post by: Woodstock on August 06, 2018, 13:50:33
OK.  Good to know. Thanks
Title: Re: Classic Car Adventures
Post by: Steve.k on September 25, 2018, 19:53:10
Hello all,

I just completed the 2018 Maple Mille and had an absolutely wonderful experience with my wife and our Pagoda.  The event spanned three days and we travelled well over 1,000 kilometers.  We started out in Guelph Ontario and the first day was spent going from there up to Collingwood on Georgian Bay.  Most of the route was on the quiet secondary roads that wind through the countryside.   

We dodged some serious weather as we travelled.  The start of the day was top down, hot and sunny, then got stormy, very windy and then the sun popped out again.  The convertible top went up and down more times than a toilet seat.  There were tornadoes in Ottawa that day. 

At the end of the first day we all arrived at the Georgian Bay Hotel in Collingwood and shared a meal with our colleagues. 

The trip took us around Georgian Bay, through Muskoka and up to Sudbury, Canada’s mining capital.   We then travelled across Manitoulin island and the loaded all 36 classic cars on the ferry to Tobermory. 
The routes took us through some of the most beautiful scenery in Southern and Central Ontario and afforded me the opportunity to see parts of my province I’ve never been to.

The event as extraordinarily well organized with all of the accommodations, breakfasts and dinners included.  The road book was bound and very detailed.  There were 36 cars in the event which was limited to pre 1974 cars.   There was an eclectic mix of Jags, MGs, Mustangs, Corvettes, a Fintail and our Pagoda, which was the envy of all since it’s so comfortable and the heater actually worked.   By the second day I realized that the Pagoda was designed and built for trips just like this; two people, two suitcases touring in style and comfort. 

Absolutely the highlight of my summer and made me appreciate the Pagoda in new ways.   I was never fatigued after spending 8 hours behind the wheel and she never missed a beat.   

I’ll definitely be doing it again next year and invite any others in Ontario or Michigan to partake. 

Oh, and on the second day my odometer ticked over to 77,777 miles.

Check out some photos below.