Author Topic: Fifty Years and Counting.....  (Read 614 times)

neelyrc

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Fifty Years and Counting.....
« on: February 12, 2019, 14:45:47 »
Fifty years ago today my Pagoda was delivered at the Sindelfingen plant.  My bride of six months and I had arrived from Genova, Italy the evening before in my 1965, Volvo Amazon.  After delivery of the new car, the Volvo was turned over to a shipping agent adjacent to the plant for return to the USA and after a bit of shopping we headed south in the new car.  Before dark, in light snow, we drove the car onto a rail car at Göschenen, Switzerland, at the north end of the original St. Gotthard rail tunnel. A short time later we arrived in Airolo, in Ticino in light rain and drove on to Lugano were we spent the night.  The next morning we had the car washed and drove to Arenzano, Italy where I was working at the time.

Over the next three months we enjoyed weekend driving trips in Northern Italy, Southern France and Switzerland.  On transfer to London for work in June we drove across France via Paris and  crossed to Dover on a car ferry.  After a year in London my temporary import permit expired and the car was shipped to the States via the Port of New Orleans.  Since import in 1970, the car has been at home in Alabama and Illinois depending on where I was working or where I departed from for other overseas work assignments. 

To celebrate 50 years of ownership, my wife Flora and I drove the Pagoda to Pensacola, Florida last weekend to participate in the 14th annual Pensacola to Atmore Road Rally open to all Marks and sponsored by the Panhandle Cruisers Car Club and the Pensacola Austin-Healey Club. The 56 mile morning run meanders thru the scenic Florida/Alabama countryside crossing the state line three times and ending up with lunch at David’s Catfish House in Atmore, Alabama, an establishment well known locally for the delicacy.

With the run back to Birmingham after lunch we completed a delightful 550 mile drive over two days. The Pagoda odometer turned over 52,000 miles during the rally.  As I typed above, 50 year and counting……
Ralph
USA
1969 280SL, 4 Speed Manual, Dark Olive (291H), Parchment Leather (256), Dark Green Soft Top (747)
2007 BMW 328xi (E90)
Italy
2004 Toyota HiLux D4D Pickup
2008 BMW 330xd Futura Coupe' (E92)

49er

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Re: Fifty Years and Counting.....
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2019, 15:25:07 »
Let me be the first to welcome you and your car to the “50 year club”. Congratulations to you and your car on achieving this wonderful milestone.

John
1969 280SL 113044 10 003820
Un Restored, All Original, including the paint
Original Owner, Purchased September 18, 1968
4 speed manual, PS. 76348 miles
6416 miles since awoken from her 20+ yr "nap" in 2010

stickandrudderman

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Re: Fifty Years and Counting.....
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2019, 16:52:36 »
Great story!

Pawel66

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Re: Fifty Years and Counting.....
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2019, 18:04:07 »
Congratulations!
Pawel

280SL 1970 automatic 180G Silver
W128 220SE
W121 190SL
G-class

Rolf-Dieter

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Re: Fifty Years and Counting.....
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2019, 18:10:07 »
Hi Ralph,

Congratulations my friend! Quite a story thanks for sharing. Wisching you many more years of sunny road trips in your fine automobile.

Best,

Dieter
Dieter

Mercedes-Benz 1969 Pagoda 280 SL Auto. Exterior Blue, Interior Blue Leather
Mercedes-Benz 2011 SL 63 AMG Roadster, Exterior Sliver Metallic, Interior Black Leather
I consider myself fortunate to have something New and something Old to enjoy

Mike Hughes

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Re: Fifty Years and Counting.....
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2019, 18:14:05 »
Sounds like a lovely weekend trip around L.A. and the Panhandle.  Congratulations to you, Flora and the Pagoda!
- Mike Hughes  -ô¿ô-
  1966 230SL Auto P/S
  Havana Brown (408)
  Light Beige (181)
  Cream M-B Tex (121)

kampala

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Re: Fifty Years and Counting.....
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2019, 22:18:29 »
Ralph,

Congratulations. 

So doing simple math you put about 1040 miles per year!  Nah.   I bet you put 40,000 miles in the first 5 years and 12,000 miles in the next 45 years. 

I saw your car in Virginia - amazing original condition. Could not believe how nice the interior has held up. 

Fantastic. 

Oz
Paris France & California
250sl - later - manual
280sl - 1971 - Auto - Limited Slip Diff.

Peter van Es

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Re: Fifty Years and Counting.....
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2019, 11:57:42 »
Congratulations Ralph!
1970 280SL. Please do not mail or PM me questions on Pagoda's... I'm not likely to know the answer.  Please post on the forum instead!

Garry

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Re: Fifty Years and Counting.....
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2019, 12:57:33 »
Great 50 years of ownership Ralph.


Well done..

Garry Marks
Melbourne/ Kyneton, Australia
1965 MB 230SL Auto RHD Lt Blue 334G, Top 350H, 213 Leather, Tourist Delivery
1964 VW Kombi Split Screen (Muffin Top) Single Cab Utility Blue 334G lower, top 350H. Restored
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Jonny B

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Re: Fifty Years and Counting.....
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2019, 17:46:50 »
And if you have not already read it, be sure to check out Ralph's story in Pagoda World 19.

Let me add my congratulations also - great stuff, great story, great guy!
Jonny B
1967 250 SL Auto, DB 568
1970 280 SL Auto, DB 904

hauser

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Re: Fifty Years and Counting.....
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2019, 18:48:23 »
Congratulations!
1969 Euro 280sl 5 spd
Restored by SLTech
Gainesville, Fl.
http://flickr.com/photos/32962977@N03/show/

JamesL

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Re: Fifty Years and Counting.....
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2019, 20:48:58 »
Thast's an awesome story - thanks for sharing
Congratulations

(btw, Ticino is still lovely!)
James L
RHD 280 in DB906 with cognac leather

zak

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Re: Fifty Years and Counting.....
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2019, 22:45:42 »
Wonderful story and great memories.

griffin1404

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Re: Fifty Years and Counting.....
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2019, 23:47:25 »
Yes congratulations all around to you, your wife and of course your car

Regards Neil
1968 280 SL Auto RHD DB903 Blue
1957 190 SL RHD DB180 Silver
1978 C123 230C 2dr Auto Silver

Jack Jones

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Re: Fifty Years and Counting.....
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2019, 03:21:55 »
Great story and congratulations on your first 50 years. ;)
Jack Jones                                                                                                   
1970 280SL 4 Speed
1984 280SL 5 Speed

gimp

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Re: Fifty Years and Counting.....
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2019, 20:52:26 »
Always enjoy a wonderful story Congratulations.

Iconic

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Re: Fifty Years and Counting.....
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2019, 17:54:51 »
Congratulations Ralph !
Thanks for the story and all of your contributions.
Mark
1970 280 SL Automatic, USA version, Grey-Blue (906G/906G), Blue leather (245)
1968 SS396 Camaro Convertible (owned since 1977 -- my first car :D)
1984 Porsche Euro Carrera coupe, LSD, Blue/Blue
1998 BMW M-Rdstr Estoril Blue
1970 280 SL Automatic, Anthracite Grey-173G, Red Interior-132 - sold

neelyrc

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Re: Fifty Years and Counting.....
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2019, 14:44:39 »
Sincere thanks to all of you for the congratulations, compliments and well wishes expressed.

I have been a member of the forum for three years now and it has been a source of great satisfaction to me in addition to being a continuous learning experience.

In this short time I have enjoyed participating in the European events in Italy and France and in PUB Virginia at Tom Sargeant’s Ramsay Farm and I have met and made friends with many of  our diverse and enthusiastic members from around the world.  I look forward to seeing many of you at PagodaFest in San Diego in October.  I’m not sure yet whether it will be with or without my Pagoda as I am still wrestling with this.   

Thanks again!
Ralph
USA
1969 280SL, 4 Speed Manual, Dark Olive (291H), Parchment Leather (256), Dark Green Soft Top (747)
2007 BMW 328xi (E90)
Italy
2004 Toyota HiLux D4D Pickup
2008 BMW 330xd Futura Coupe' (E92)

Benz Dr.

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Re: Fifty Years and Counting.....
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2019, 21:25:27 »
I've been lucky enough to see and work on a couple of original cars and I can tell you that the fit and finish is very high indeed. Not that many original cars still held by original owners so let me add my praise to the ongoing conservation efforts you've truly employed for the past 50 years.

 Good work young man!
1966 230SL 5 speed, LSD, header pipes, 300SE distributor, ported, polished and balanced, AKA  ''The Red Rocket ''
Dan Caron's SL Barn
 K&K dealer since 1989

neelyrc

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Re: Fifty Years and Counting.....
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2019, 04:24:26 »
Thanks Benz Dr.,

Having reached this point, continued conservation is an imperative. This has to be balanced of course against the need to enjoy driving it whenever and as much as possible!
Ralph
USA
1969 280SL, 4 Speed Manual, Dark Olive (291H), Parchment Leather (256), Dark Green Soft Top (747)
2007 BMW 328xi (E90)
Italy
2004 Toyota HiLux D4D Pickup
2008 BMW 330xd Futura Coupe' (E92)