Results 1 to 48 of 48

Thread: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

  1. #1
    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,315

    My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    My first test-drive ever in a 500E covered nearly 2200 miles (3540 km) of the North American continent in 5 days. Up until this event, all I ever saw, felt, heard or knew about a 500E was what I had read & dreamt about.

    It was a miserably cold, dreary early winter of 2009...the kind of winter without snow or sunshine, just dirty, frozen filth lining the roadways. With no snow to cover this depressive filth, the only pleasant sights were the few remaining colorful lightings from the Christmas & New Year’s holidays; but even these last vestiges of comfort & joy were slowly being turned off for another year until none remained.

    Such was the official start of what I call the Mid-Winter Blues.

    I had to get the hell outta here! I had to do something special to battle the Mid-Winter Blues before its bitter grip tightened. The only cure could come from a memorable journey somewheres much sunnier, warmer & interesting.

    Boy, did I have a Mid-Winter Blues Tour I’ll never forget!

    The following thread recalls the events of a memorable roadtrip taken by just me & a 1993 Mercedes Benz 500E across half of the United States of America. I was able to explore new places, reconnect with old friends, discern reality from legend & synthesize with the mechanical biorhythms of a car we all admire.

    Starting from the beginning & ending safely home in my garage, I’ll be adding chapters here throughout our current winter in hopes of beating back those infamous Mid-Winter Blues any of us may be experiencing. To smile is to succeed.

    A Happy New Year to all!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

  2. #2
    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,315

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Part 1

    I bought it ‘cuz it just felt “Right”. Not that I didn’t agonize over making the final decision; I needed another car like I needed a case of the clap. But oh what a car! My family got so sick of my staring at its pictures each night for hours on end before bedtime. Finally, in unison, they exhaustingly exclaimed “you obviously want it; if you can afford it, BUY it before you regret it for the rest of your life & we never hear the end of woulda, coulda, shoulda”! That was all the encouragement I needed, plus the fact the auction was ending that night. I woke up the next morning as the new owner of a ’93 500E. With the car currently located at the other end of the country, I’d best get cracking.

    I flew down to Austin, Texas. Naturally, my flights were hampered by delays. I walked out of the terminal just as the sun was going down. “Great…” The three hours I had planned for test driving & pre-buy inspection at the local Benz dealership vanished just like the airline’s positive on-time ratings.

    Dusk was settling in quickly. It sure felt good to be out of the airplane & moving back on my feet again. The warm Texas temperature was soothing, yet I was restive trying to decide my next move. “Wow! Here IT comes”. I had arranged for the Seller to pick me up at the airport terminal. “Holy SH*T! What a GOOD looking vehicle." The pictures were nice, but nothing like live in person.

    Hmm, I see there’s no front license plate holder or blanking plate on the car. I’ll have to get one by the time I register the car back home. Shouldn’t be a big deal; just a piece of plastic…

    My normal inclination under these circumstances would be to grab a hotel room for the night & hook up with the Seller the next morning to conclude business during daylight hours; but my heart-strings were tugging in the opposite direction. I had a very strong, positive feeling about this car. My conscience was still trying to tell me, “You know countless people that have burned themselves badly by acting upon emotion over reason…don’t join them”. Perhaps it was that restlessness created by the long flight, or possibly unbeknownst to me, the “500E: Like a Drug” effect had already stealthily infected me & my better judgment.

    I drove It to the Seller’s house located just a few blocks from the heart of the City. I asked my obligatory questions & performed an inspection with a hand-held spotlight out on the street. It was so dark outside. We then went inside to conclude business. The Seller was a consignor of high-end cars & a musician; a nice guy. His girlfriend made us tea. She was also very nice…smoking HOT nice with a beautifully unique name…so smoking hot & unique that her name escapes me to this day. Did I mention she was also an exotic dancer? I could just picture him strumming a tune in a downtown juke-joint while she danced to the rhythm. Austin Texas…yes sir, wish I could hang around for a few days, but I’ve got places to go & a 500E to drive.

    GRmG_02.jpg

    We concluded the paperwork. He took the Cashier’s check. I took the keys. “All I really need to know is where’s the headlight switch, stereo on/off, and how to open the fuel door. If anything isn’t as you say it is, you’ll be the first to know as I make my way to Dallas tonight”. We shook hands. I beeped the horn goodbye, and as I pulled away from the curb, I looked over my shoulder. I saw him standing, backlit by his porch light wiping his eyes. Tears? Strange…

    I now know Why.

    To be continued…
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by DerFuror; 04-28-2016 at 07:44 PM.
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

  3. #3
    Site Admin
    auto enthusiast...
    Glen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Carlsbad, CA USA
    Posts
    2,641

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Great story so far!
    '94 E500 (744) | '94 E500 (199)         Misc. snapshots

  4. #4
    I do believe...! Christian_K's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Dieburg - Germany
    Age
    32
    Posts
    1,422

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    I concur with the gentleman from Carlsbad, CA
    Christian K.
    06/1992 500E - DB199 Blauschwarz-Metallic
    09/1989 300E - DB172 Anthrazitgrau-Metallic
    11/1998 E430 - DB339 Violan-Metallic
    06/2003 CL55 AMG KOMPRESSOR - DB197 Obsidianschwarz-Metallic


  5. #5
    Site Honcho
    Klugscheisser
    Ich bekenne mich
    nicht schuldig.
    gerryvz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    The Woodlands, Texas, USA
    Posts
    15,285

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E


  6. #6
    Senior Member Prime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chicago Area
    Age
    52
    Posts
    214

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Somebody has to say it - sounds like a story out of Penthouse Forum so far!

    1993 500E - SOLD
    ASR defeat, Renntech chip, remote start, remote entry,
    Debadged, Color-matched cladding & Grill, Silver Arrow brake upgrade

  7. #7
    E500E Guru bing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    london, uk
    Posts
    2,114

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    oh...please, please tell us more..can't wait for the next episode!
    1994 E fünfhundert (170kkm sold )
    1997 S 600 L (164kmiles sold )
    2004 ML270 (64kmiles remap oil burner sold)
    2001 CLK55 AMG (79kmiles)

  8. #8
    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,315

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Part 2

    As soon as you leave the City limits anywhere in Texas, it’s like the power company has turned off the electricity & installed black-out curtains. Pitch black, as if nothing exists beyond the headlight’s reach. What a perfect setting to have a “situation” in this unfamiliar car & never be seen or heard from again. I brought several audio CDs with me, but I choose to drive with no distractions. I want to hear & feel everything this car offers as I drive on thru the night; the motor, driveline, rear end, tires, steering, suspension, exhaust note, wind. The sensory feedback is a music all of its own.

    A highway sign says Waco. “Is that a strange sound I hear coming from the car, or just my imagination?” I’ve been up so long I think I’m hearing things & starting to get wacky myself. Ha! Wacky in Waco! Snap to! Just keep it between the lines & don’t mess the car up on its first day. Try out the sound system. How fitting that Golden Earring’s Radar Love is playing on the radio…I been drivin’ all night, my hand’s wet on the wheel…Hmm, the outside temperature digital display is wacky, too. At times it seems to work, only to then spastically display every number possible before blanking out completely like the calculator LCDs you squeezed too hard when you were a kid. Something to check into when I get home. Ooh! Good. A gas station!

    Boy, I love Texas gasoline selection & prices. I’m also glad I bought some water at the gas station. My water bottle fits perfectly between the door & driver seat. I’ll see where the drink holder is hidden during the daylight tomorrow.

    The first night’s rest was spent at a childhood friend’s house just on the other side of Dallas. We hadn’t seen each other in years. It felt so good to reconnect & catch up with the goings-on. It also felt so good to drive this car. Smooth & silky yet somewhat beast-like. I could tell there was a massive amount of power available for unleashing at just a push of an accelerator pedal away.

    Plenty of time for that later. What a very long day of travel. Time for a well-deserved shower & sleep. The 500E has all its original manuals & documentation available except for the dealer's window sticker. I took the maintenance & service documentation with me into my bathroom. I arranged a pile of receipts into chronological order as I took note of what problems, parts & service had been done to the car.

    “Holy SH*T! I’ve got a BRAND NEW old Car!” The previous owner spent thousands of dollars on a car that I spent several thousand less to drive away with. AWE-some! What a screaming deal! My heart raced as I reviewed each document until my eyes hurt. Enough! Time to take my shower, but I just couldn’t get off the toilet seat. I was so excited by this news that it took me a couple minutes before I could extricate myself! That night I slept like a kid after a wonderfully successful Christmas Day...with visions of tri-stars spinning in my dreams.

    I have a lot to be thankful for, including this car. I legally "stole" one of the best cars ever made by mankind. The untouchable 80 grand car I dreamed of a long time ago. Nothing better than making your dreams come true.

    To be continued…
    Attached Images Attached Images
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

  9. #9
    Senior Member Rudy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Beirut (Lebanon)
    Age
    53
    Posts
    171

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    To be continued ...


    but when????
    Cant wait!!

  10. #10
    Intl 500E GTG coordinator 195910's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,518

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Triple Black and Chrome... Gangster

  11. #11

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Ummm where's the pix of the girlfriend?

  12. #12
    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,315

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Part 3

    For many reasons, the transfer of ownership process can sometimes be a complicated one when buying & driving off with a new used car. I fondly recall an impetuous younger-day practice called “ghost-riding”. I’d be smitten by some car, somehow buy it, throw on a set of old license plates, drive the thing home quite illegally & then deal with all the paperwork later. The longer the distance driven home, the greater the badge of honor amongst mates. Such was not the case regarding this 2200 mile interstate transaction. Passing on a guaranteed first-ballot entry into the Ghost-rider Hall of Fame, I obtained my temporary tags to make the drive 100% legal; & after a few days of relaxing, it was time to reluctantly leave sunny, warm Texas.

    The month of February was just beginning. Not only would my final destination be sh*tty cold with a better than 50/50 chance of snow & ice, but I also had to travel half the continent to get there. Adding to this basic challenge was the first reported great snowstorm of the season originating from the Pacific Northwest & building strength as it steadily made its way east. A bonafide race against Mother Nature was on. I have to beat this Storm home! Avoiding a confrontation with cold reality, I planned on spending as much time as possible crossing America’s Old South (with its milder weather & best in the nation gasoline prices) along Interstate 20.

    A 2200 mile test drive is going to provide ample opportunity for discovering everything about this car under various driving conditions. I’m pumped. I love driving. I love exploring. I love inexpensive gasoline. Doing it all in this car is gonna be a blast! (I’ll just keep my fingers crossed for good luck that nothing goes wrong & I arrive safely home in my garage). One thing is CERTAIN! Although the allure is ever-present when driving a super-car any distance, I am Not going to tempt fate, risk injury or arrest by SPEEDING this thing! I’m going to drive at the speed of traffic.

    Besides, I have no radar detector…

    As I motored thru the piney woods of eastern Texas, it took an act of sheer will-power to not turn south towards the Crescent City of New Orleans. Me & the “E” were invited by a former coworker (& legendary gator hunter) to join in on his planned pre-pre Mardi Gras festivities. “You’re driving a What? I’d sure like to see it! I’m only 2 hours behind you. Meet me at the Shreveport Walmart parking lot & follow me on down. It’ll be a time you’ll never remember for the rest of your life”! I knew from previous experience that I would never be able to tell either the truth or a reasonable alibi accounting for time spent on one of the Gator Hunter’s sorties, so I very, very reluctantly declined & pressed onward.

    Rest Area; 2 miles. Good. Hopefully, Mississippi’s Welcoming Center will do them & me proud, plus it’s time to see what the hell is clunking in the trunk. I sure hope the clunk is not from the failure of those actuator things I read about in the Forum. Those gas-charged SLS ones that look like toilet-valve floats. Are they located above or below the rear deck? It doesn’t feel like a “bottoming-out” type of clunk. Hmm, could it be something else less critical? The noise only seems to happen when I drive over a decent bump in the road. Kinda weird since the suspension has felt spot-on…

    …A frigging subwoofer. I’ve always considered subwoofers invasive instruments of terror cherished by punters hell-bent on disturbing the peace & sanctitude of the American home (you remember your first encounter…minding your own business watching tv, when the gradually increasing pounding in your chest cavity has you ready to punch 911 Emergency Services for fear of the Grim Reaper taking you away? After sweating-out a couple episodes you realize it’s not your heart-health after all but some kid in a battle-scarred tuner making its way across town?). I’ve always relished the times these purveyors of discord ended up in the Emergency Room with a collapsed lung or ear drum. Giving full credit to the subwoofer, I believe I’m of the last generation that will still be able to hear a doctor tell me what my duffer’s malady is if I ever live that long. I suppose the younger crop of deaf/mutes will receive their doctor’s news by text message. But I digress; Let’s investigate.

    Well, Hell’s Bells! The subwoofer weighs a ton & there’s nothing holding this monstrosity in place besides gravity & its power cord. Does it even work? No wonder it doesn’t; getting slammed about in here for however long. Probably wasn’t even setup properly. Maybe I’ll ditch this dead weight & get a good chuckle pitching it off the Mississippi Bridge while counting how long it takes for splashdown. That would be fun. What else is in this trunk? Yuk! the ugly set of trunk stops will need replacing...What’s the deal with this big plastic waffle-like thing covering the spare tire well..? Sweet! a brand new Michelin Pilot spare on a mint rim, a box of extra lug nuts & the tool roll. And what’s this..?? Oh my! a bloody switchblade (just a figure of speech, no real blood). Fits the palm nicely. Smooth movement with a safety lock. Razor sharp, too. Hmm, decisions, decisions...Well, it’ll be a worthwhile deterrent to have in case a roadside thug is hell-bent on jacking the car. But, on the other hand, it’ll also add an easy extra year to my chain-gang sentence if I get arrested for excessive speeding thru the Old South with no Cousin Vinny to defend me in court. Into the River you go! As long as I’m looking, I’d best check behind the gas tank cover panel for the matching 9mm pistol... Darn, no gun. Just as well. Onward!

    To be continued…
    Attached Images Attached Images
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

  13. #13
    Senior Member Rudy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Beirut (Lebanon)
    Age
    53
    Posts
    171

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    love it!!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Prime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chicago Area
    Age
    52
    Posts
    214

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Not to thread-jack (just a brief intermission), but my drive home of my 500E was much less fun. 15 miles, a stop at the do-it-yourself car wash, and a failure to re-start due to a bad wiring harness. With two kids in the car ("What kind of piece of crap did Dad buy now?").

    Yours is much more entertaining. Carry on.
    1993 500E - SOLD
    ASR defeat, Renntech chip, remote start, remote entry,
    Debadged, Color-matched cladding & Grill, Silver Arrow brake upgrade

  15. #15
    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,315

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Part 4

    Somewhere within the bowels of Alabama, I drove past Mercedes City (I think that’s its name) at night. The Mercedes Benz North American manufacturing center’s surreal expanse mimicked that of the old 1927 silent movie, Metropolis. The ethereal lighting effect was beautifully mesmerizing & seemed to go on forever. Look at all the Benzes everywhere! How fitting. Was this fate to be passing by Mercedes City in the 500E? I patted the burl & leather-wrapped steering wheel with my hand & said maybe this was indeed meant to be. The ’93 effortlessly gobbled up many hundred miles of interstate today. No issues. I slept like a rock that evening to fading, grainy, black & white silent-movie visions of cruising the Metropolis boulevards in the 500E with that freaky golden "Fembot" in the co-pilot seat.

    ...Dawn patrol. The next day began with tremendous driving-weather conditions. Dry. Cool, crisp air. Clear deep blue skies with occasional puffy cotton-ball clouds. Let's test the Cruise Control's functionality some more. On, Up, Down, Off, On. Nice. I continued being a real good boy, driving at the speed of traffic as I enjoyed the beautiful countryside. To pass the time, I quizzically acquainted myself with some more of this Teutonic beauty’s esoteric features. Man, look at all the console switches! All was calm & peaceful until I found myself driving right in front of NASCAR’s Talladega Speedway. This car is so comfortable, so stable, so relaxing… “Hey, What the Hell is This! A small blur of British Racing Green was approaching quickly & growing larger in my rear view mirror.

    Instinct kicks in.

    I could feel the adrenaline start to course thru my veins. My arms were actually starting to shake. It’s Time to fling the kid gloves off. “All right, Old Bean, we’re going to see what the car Michael Schumacher would take his family out on a Sunday picnic with will do!

    I started increasing my speed but let it catch right up next to me. It was a newer Jaguar XK-something feeling master of the road this day. I floored my accelerator pedal. The 32 valves did what they’re supposed to do. Like Superman’s lungs they seemed to take a deep breath and then launch the 500E rocket-like into the stratosphere. Dotted highway lines turned solid. The Jag disappeared from view as fast as it appeared. “Holy SH*T! Is this speedometer right???I can’t be going THIS fast! This car is running too smooth, stable & quiet to be going THIS fast!” With the realization of this startling fact, I backed off the pedal allowing the Jag to catch up again. It resented being taken surprise in such a manner by a dowdy old W124 & was going to make a real go of it now. However, each time he got within a car length’s distance, I’d punch the gas again & leave him in the dust.

    “WOW! I’m gonna get ARRESTED!” I gaped at the speedometer again & backed off to normal driving speed. He finally caught up again & as we exchanged glances, he exhaled, shook his head, mimed the word “WOW”, smiled & gave me a “Peace-Out” sign. He was a wealthy-looking black guy, nicely dressed with straw panama hat, Hawaii shirt & lots of bling. I noticed he had an ostentatiously huge ring on his finger. He looked like a past or present American NFL football player…”Hey, wait a second, this IS Superbowl week. That’s a Super Bowl ring on his finger! I bet he IS a past or present football player. This guy is driving to Florida for the SuperBowl. Cool!”

    It took an easy 30 minutes for my heart rate to stabilize & the electrical-like buzz to leave my arms. That was my first experience of what this car can do with what it is built for.

    It felt tremendous.

    To be continued…
    Attached Images Attached Images
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

  16. #16
    ~BANNED~
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    2,211

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    I think I need a cigarette after that read...

    You and Gerry should write an official version for The W124.036 Guide to the Galaxy.

    Btw, now that you tasted that drug...officially

  17. #17
    Senior Member jano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Axis of Evil
    Posts
    465

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    The regular XK is kinda whimpy compared to the supercharged one.. 400 HP (I used to have an xkr coupe). The R version will be a bit faster than the 500e, but not really by too much. It drives like an old man's car, though, too boaty for me - and though it is a sexy, sexy car, it got me the unintended kind of attention. Usually old men at the gas station hobbling up to me with their tennis-ball-padded walkers and slight whistle to their speach, "Hey Sonny, that's quite a car you've got there." Hmmmm.
    Member, 6.0+ club

  18. #18
    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,315

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    I most likely encountered the regular version. It had the crossbar in the grill instead of the Bentley-style mesh.
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

  19. #19
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    23

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Most cars are not worthy of the literary magnificence of this thread...

    Most cars.


  20. #20
    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,315

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Quote Originally Posted by ross
    Ummm where's the pix of the girlfriend?
    I'll PM a few to you (with her permission) if you hop off the fence & buy She loved E's car. I'm sure they are both worth it.

    Last edited by DerFuror; 02-03-2012 at 09:10 PM. Reason: made the smiley smile again
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

  21. #21
    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,315

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Part 5

    It seems I drove along in a state of (500E: Like a Drug?) euphoria thru the Southern US. After the duel with the Jaguar, I strenuously fought the internal Sirens-call for another fix of “More Speed!” I admirably behaved myself for the most part; dealing out only a few short but severe doses of reality to drivers who behaved a little too big & aggressive for their britches. Most of these cars were the new Dodge Chargers, Challengers & Chrysler 300s. Power-passing strung-out caravans of 3 to 5 cars at a time was also such an exhilarating feeling that I had to put a committed end to such behavior. Nip it in the bud before it leads to incorrigibility. Then I got to Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta has legendary traffic vying along free-for-all highways six lanes wide and full of every type of vehicle known to man. Mostly all going FAST & loose! Even with all these multiple lanes, we actually came to complete stops at least 3 times just because of vehicle congestion.

    …It was alien dark blue in color & shape. I couldn’t tell what the Hell it was, but it was moving at warp speed & I know that under normal circumstances it was faster than my car. No way it’s a new Vette? Could it be? No, it’s something much more.

    No time to gawk, just GO for it!!

    We had a shoot out; weaving thru the dynamic chess match that I believe was still Interstate 20. Neither had the best of the other for long as we exchanged leads & kept it as safe as possible, avoiding collision with slower drivers and the obligatory jack*ss in some kind of Nissan who kept trying to join our fracas & prove himself.

    Lightning-fast, sideward glances were all that could be afforded to this competitor. The main focus was on safely maneuvering without flaming out or worse. That dreaded “Limp Home Mode” I read about in the Forum would surely amount to a death sentence under these driving conditions. What the hell IS that car? Is it a single-seater or is there someone else co-piloting with the driver? It’s no ordinary car; that’s for sure.

    Finally, and probably not a moment too soon, the Interstate was dividing. The unidentified alien speed demon had to exit right and I had to stay left. As the speed bled off to normality, we were able to momentarily see each other eye to eye before parting ways forever. “I salute you, pal…” Both he & his co-pilot nodded their approval of our race & chase. What the devil that car was haunted me for the longest time. Was it a McLaren? Don’t flatter yourself. What the hell would a McLaren be doing around Atlanta in early February? You never know; it could’ve been a couple pro hockey players late for practice or else more people on their way to the Superbowl. I was finally able to confirm it wasn’t a McLaren. It was a Lamborghini Gallardo. The car profiles look very similar at high speed, except the car I encountered had a single air scoop faired into its side.

    Kudos to the 500E’s power & agility amongst dynamic obstacles; but good thing there was traffic in the way. Were we on an open road, I’d have been smoked like the Jag…

    …except for me, it wouldn’t have been a surprise!

    To be continued…
    Attached Images Attached Images
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

  22. #22
    Site Honcho
    Klugscheisser
    Ich bekenne mich
    nicht schuldig.
    gerryvz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    The Woodlands, Texas, USA
    Posts
    15,285

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    I had a similar encounter with a Lamborghini at speed on the German autobahn whilst driving a vintage R107 SL. I snapped these photos as he passed me, along with a photo of my own speedometer to capture the speed I was at while me was literally passing me standing still. These cars are nothing to mess with.

    This happened about 30km north of Garmish-Partenkirchen heading north toward Munich.

    Cheers,
    Gerry
    Attached Images Attached Images

  23. #23
    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,315

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Part 6

    Following Atlanta’s close-encounter with the UFO, my biorhythms didn’t normalize until the outskirts of Columbia, South Carolina. Who needs that friggin’ subwoofer in the car when my own heart seems to pound just as hard?

    My destination was Charleston, SC. It was now dusk & I’m always good for one wrong turn. I believe it happened while witnessing the curbside “cultural” nightlife in the stinky, worn-down, former industrial suburb I was traversing thru. I swear I was viewing one of those cheesy, funky 1970’s “sexploitation” films right thru my very own windscreen. After several jaw-dropping, steering wheel-pounding sights & laughs, I finally got the gut-feeling I missed a turn. Sure enough, 12 miles later I was heading in the correct direction on the proper Interstate. That’s what I get for gawking. Stay focused!

    I need to make time. Good thing I have this car.

    Interstate-26 is pretty much a straight-shot to Charleston. I took full advantage of relatively light traffic for the opportunity to play follow-the-leader with a newer silver Mercedes E500 with effortless bursts up to 120mph. As I discovered while racing the Jaguar, there is something so sweetly “EverReady Bunny” about the car’s power band residing just above the Interstate speed limit. IT keeps “pulling & pulling”! Miles down the road, our paths crossed at a rest stop for a brief conversation before wishing each other well in our travels.

    I was now off the Interstate & driving on two-lane, undivided roads. The evening was pitch-black dark & I just wanted to reach my destination. Is it my tired eyes, the headlights, the tinted glass or all the above? Night vision became hampered as condensation formed on my windshield & started presenting a kaleidoscopic effect under the streetlights & on-coming traffic. The effect was beautiful in an abstract kind of way, but dangerous. The wiper & climate control came to the rescue. I became well-acquainted with all 4 overhead cabin light settings while nocturnally navigating this foreign territory with only printed driving directions (I have no GPS or radar unit on this trip). I happily found another childhood friend’s house located on its foggy, non-descript cul-de-sac.

    Neat! His parent’s just pulled in, too (on their way to Florida in their new Toyota Prius! I can’t wait to ask how that 60mph ride is going. His Dad is the former police chief of my old hometown, so I won’t razz him too much ). After getting settled in, the whole bunch of us piled into a couple of cars & had a tremendous meal & hoe-down at one of the local pub & grub crab shacks.

    My buddy’s 3_2_something BMW-driving wife found the 500E’s interior a bit too stark & Spartan for her tastes. With a wrinkling of her nose, she claimed “It looks like a Banker or Undertaker’s car, all dark & everything!” Not a “black leather” kinda gal, she prefers the bright & cheery runway-lighting effect of her contemporary Bimmer’s dash better.

    To each their own, but I’m thinking I’ve got a much better idea of what a real Ultimate Driving Machine is.

    To be continued…
    Attached Images Attached Images
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

  24. #24
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Massachusetts, usually Boston and surrounding.
    Posts
    72

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Awesome reading...I'm jealous.

    I drive a 92 400e . Recently after some lighthearted friendly dogfights in 2nd gear with some type of recent model Benz 500 the owner lowered his window at a red light and with a heavy accent and a smile said, "that's quite a machine you have." Hopefully I'll come to my senses someday and get off this fence I'm sitting on. What a car the e500e is.

  25. #25
    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,315

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Quote Originally Posted by wonetwofour
    I drive a 92 400e .
    Not a car to feel all sad about, there...
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

  26. #26
    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,315

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Part 7

    After a satisfying breakfast, it was time to part ways & head north on Interstate 95 towards Washington D.C. Today’s destination was another good friend’s home where I would be spending SuperBowl Sunday. It was going to be another long day driving 500+ miles straight thru the Carolinas and Virginia. Traffic speed & congestion increases exponentially as one nears the nation’s capitol. The degree of congestion is based on timing. Lucky me, it’s afternoon rush hour and everyone is commuting home from work or elsewhere for SuperBowl weekend.

    Washington Beltway driving can best be described as “Balls to the Wall . Driving the speed limit gives one the perception of driving backwards, with even senior citizens assertively passing you as if you are standing still. It’s best to go at the speed of traffic in a neutral lane. It’s also imperative to keep track of your exit & which side of the Interstate to exit off. One misstep could be the difference between a warm dinner with friends or a micro-waved burrito with a map at a gas station somewhere in Delaware.

    I have a terrible habit of gawking at historical landmarks while traveling. I am quite aware of this foible & it is a constant struggle with which I have missed many an exit or taken a wrong turn going miles or hours out of my way. I am especially susceptible to this in the Metropolitan D.C. area (consequently learning my way around much of the City by default over the years). Today was Not going to be one of those days!

    Everyone is going 90mph. Hey, there’s a knockout blonde driving a newer white E500! I start humming Three Dog Night’s song Black & White as I sidle up next to her. I wonder if she notices? Oh CRAP! Cop lights coming up in my rear view mirror! I’ve got a lot of admiration for the Highway Patrol in this area. Talk about hazardous working conditions. Chasing & issuing tickets amidst high speed traffic. Low shoulders. Death-defying U-turns. Dealing with all kinds of people from everywhere in the world. Just look at that police car negotiate its way thru all this high speed traffic!...coming up behind me. Behind ME??!!!

    …and Passing me. “Phew”! That had me going for a moment. “Oh SH*T, MY EXIT”!!! Sorry, Delaware. Not this time...

    I happily made it to my friend’s house. There are lots of round-abouts in his housing development that I like to power thru when nobody is around. Nothing like a little G-force to make you better appreciate equilibrium. Astounding! No pitch or roll with this car. These Michelins stick like glue.

    I see the pylons are out today. Although all houses have ample driveway parking, one neighbor has the peculiar habit of parking his Porsche & BMW motorbike out on the street with fluorescent orange traffic cones surrounding them. At first, it was only for wash day. This habit only acts as a beacon inviting the curious & mischievous. The neighborhood kids are always messing with the cones in improper ways when he’s not looking.

    My pal is doing yardwork…was doing yardwork. The tools are scattered about & so are a multitude of beer bottles which always seem to come from his other neighbor’s garage refrigerator. We greet in the driveway. The other neighbor (tracing the trail of empty bottles) appears. His eyes open wide & his jaw slackens. He knows what a 500E is, but he has never seen one live before. I told him not to feel so bad; I saw my first live 500E only a few days ago, myself. After I provide a guided tour, he runs back into his garage for resupplies. SuperBowl weekend has officially begun. Outnumbered in their households 3 to 1 by woman, both my pal & his neighbor are steadfast purveyors of finer barley & hop adult beverages. They have been stocking up & looking forward to my weekend visit.

    No one was disappointed.

    To be continued…
    Attached Images Attached Images
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

  27. #27
    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,315

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Part 8

    Weather Report: Overcast (like my head) but no true threat of rain or snow until well above the Mason-Dixon Line. Good. I’d hate to see this nice black car covered in road–splatter. The mega-snowstorm has been steadily lumbering across the Northern States while I was racing ahead of it across the Southern States. It is obliterating everything in its way with a massive covering of snow. Now there is talk of it joining forces with a renegade Nor’easter moving up the coast! My mission is to outrun both storms as I head due North home. Should I stay or should I go? If I stay, how long will I be stuck here? The storm seemingly has the advantage. I am feeling the pressure of the risk involved, but I’m going for it. A true race is now on. This storm threatens to dump a lot of snow and I still have several hundred miles to go. Much of my final route is in the middle of nowhere. Can you say Donner Party?

    Me and the “E” are done-for if we get caught.

    I wait until morning rush hour concludes to bid my friends goodbye. I'm fully provisioned. I make sure all the mirrors are properly adjusted. Defensive driving is an understatement in this part of the country. It seems like I’m always holding my breath on I-95 until I finally merge onto the less crazed Interstate 81-N. Today is no different except I’m driving this 500E & I’m feeling a bit more paranoid than usual. Traffic is still a b*tch. If those wreckers & cleanup crews are any indication, I can just imagine the demolition-derby this morning’s rush hour was like. I think I’ll add one of those little parabolic “blind-spot” mirrors to the driver’s side-view mirror when I get home. You can never be too safe…

    …I’m almost safely to I-81N; just a couple lane changes away on this last, long sweeping curve. I’m feeling a bit like Washington Irving’s Ichabod Crane as he approaches the perceived safety of the covered bridge leaving Sleepy Hollow. Isn’t this where the Headless Horseman materializes??

    As if on cue, here he comes. I peripherally see him recklessly barreling across several lanes in a ghostly silver-gray juggernaut of a Volvo V70 estate wagon. I don’t know what the hell he is looking at, but it surely isn’t this 500E! Time for evasive maneuvers before the impending broadside. RED ALERT! RED ALERT!! I’ve got NO place to go!!! …Damn, to get this far just to get drilled like the Bismarck on its maiden voyage. Oh well, the drive has been worth the time & money…

    AIRBAG! AIRBAG!! AIRBAG!!! I’m punching the steering wheel airbag like a boxer’s speedbag, but I’m not hearing any HORN!! There it is. HOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRNNNNN!!! Now he sees me & immediately lurches his wheel starboard. Veering away from me is a dapperly-dressed older gentleman with hair similar in color to his car, except it is now standing on end. Looks like a lawyer. He stabilizes his vessel & we exchange glances. He knows what a W124 is. Maybe he knows it’s a 500E, too, and what he’d have been in for by creasing its flared fenders? He hand signals apology. I accept. No harm, just an accelerated heartbeat again (what else is new when driving this car?).

    For some strange reason, this experience reminds me of a childhood board game called Battleship. Would this situation be classified as a Near-Hit or Near-Miss?

    Either way, Thank God no sinking.


    To be continued…
    Attached Images Attached Images
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

  28. #28
    Senior Member Rudy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Beirut (Lebanon)
    Age
    53
    Posts
    171

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    nice write-up
    glad not being touched!!

  29. #29
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Fonthill, Ontario Canada
    Age
    64
    Posts
    16

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Thank you for the trip across the country. Have been following your journey and could only hope to make a similar trip when I find my 500. Have been in the 124 family for a long time and have only graduated to E420 about five years ago. This has certainly inspired me to seek out a good 500 sometime this spring after selling my CAB.
    Thanks again. Cheers, Mike.

  30. #30
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Age
    53
    Posts
    44

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    A most excellent read !!!

    Are you back home ? where in NY are you ? I'm 30 mins south of Albany.

    Saw on another thread your WG experience. Too bad last year was the year I didn't get to go up to the Glen which is the highlight of my automotive season.

    We should gtg for Vintage Fest this year. Should be interesting w/ Nissan as the featured mark. Rumor is that there will be tons of Skylines coming in from Canuckistan : P

    Should be epic.
    2010 ML 350
    2002 Audi S6 Avant, EPL tune, Milltek exhaust,
    2001 Audi A6 4.2 ( DD )
    1995 Audi S6 Avant-595hp sleeper wagon ( SOLD )
    1992 500e ( conversion ) ( SOLD )

  31. #31
    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,315

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordfish
    Are you back home ?
    Premature disclosure would ruin the end of the story! Must wait & see...not much longer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordfish
    Rumor is that there will be tons of Skylines...
    Perhaps, but only a couple thousand pounds of 500E (give or take a few liters!)
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

  32. #32
    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,315

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Part 9

    Boy, these Recaro seats are like Barco-Loungers. Heated, fully adjustable & programmable. So darn comfortable that I actually force myself to stop at a gas station & momentarily leave their warm luxurious grasp in order to fill up on what will be the last inexpensive (& final) gasoline of this journey. I’m really happy to be getting better than the claimed highway fuel economy for this vehicle. That long list of newly installed parts is collectively doing its job well.

    I stock up on a few more survival supplies just in-case, then back on the road for the critical home-stretch of this race. As much as it pains me, I drive past historic Gettysburg & its National Military Park. No time to dawdle. I don’t trust the weather, and Pennsylvania’s vast hill-country looms before me.

    The road elevation steadily increases as I head deeper into the Pennsylvanian mountains. I can feel the cabin temperature dropping. I’d know what the temp change is if that schizophrenic digital display was working properly. Now is my first true experience with the warm side of the Climate Control wheel (is it the top, bottom or center of the wheel that indicates the set temperature? I’ll see what the owner’s manual says when I get home). I crank it all the way into the red. Ahh, The heat works quickly & nicely. Oh, No. The first precipitation just hit the windshield. So close to home yet still so far. At least it’s not snow. Jeez, I don’t even know if there’s any wiper fluid. To be safe, I’ll test the squirter once there’s enough rain (or whatever it is) on the windshield. Ok, I assume one of these stalk switches controls the wiper & squirter. SSSWOOOOP! What the hell was that?!! SSSWOOOOP! Wow, a mono-wiper like a LeMans car. Freaky, but kinda cool. This wiper gives the car a real predatory-alien vibe.

    Now I’m feeling like Darth Vader behind the wheel of his 040 Black Stealth Cruiser. Be it the ominous wiper or the menacing overall visual effect presented by the Stealth-Cruiser’s front end, but I do enjoy how the other cars (except for that one apparently locked-in on a tractor-beam..) get the hell out of the passing lane as I close in. The grille-mounted tri-star makes a perfect targeting sight. There are tons of switches on the center dash & console that I’ll eventually have to figure out. I wish the red one activated the photon torpedo. Blam! Stardust.

    The State of Pennsylvania has been dynamiting its hillsides for decades in order to make the erstwhile two-lane Route 15 into a full blown Interstate. I had completely forgotten that a major section recently opened to the public & it is Autobahn North PA! Imagine your own brand new Autobahn located high in the mountains with a commanding panoramic view of the roadway & countryside; no traffic nor police. “Wir fahr'n fahr'n fahr'n auf der Autobahn…” Where the hell did that come from?? Amazing how a very obscure lyric from the very distant past triggers within my memory. I imagine this view must be similar to the inspiration for Kraftwerk’s classic song, Autobahn.

    Speed Tracked by Airplane? Ha! Not on a day like today. I, too, am inspired by the Autobahn & now feel compelled to make my own kind of music. I can’t resist. Pedal down. With that eclectic tune now thoroughly entrenched in the endless-loop cycle of my mind, I gracefully swoop along like a large bird of prey using the entire roadway at my disposal. The painted lane-dividers are meaningless as my tires track in their most effective, least resistant line. I’m actually now soaring above the cloud line making great time; effortlessly cruising north of the "1 ton-up mark" with a relatively tranquil cabin sound quality. A vaporous contrail maelstrom emitted from this bird’s plumage is the only evidence of its migratory presence.

    Blissful…

    …But all good things come to an end, just like the PA Autobahn. About 30 minutes from the New York border, I meet my first snowfall while slowly descending thru the clouds into the construction zone leading back to the old highway. Crap! Traffic Caravans, Road Splatter & Detours. I’m being delayed & this first volley from the Storm’s vanguard has me a bit on edge. How long before the main Force attacks? Oh well, the 500E has new Michelin Pilots & these cars are supposedly built to drive thru just about anything with the help of that ASR feature. Maybe I’ll find out what that Snow Tire switch does? A startlingly quick two inches of beautifully fat, flaky, white snow starts falling yet the road surface remains relatively clear. I believe the visual serenity portrayed by this Winter Wonderland-like display is just a subversive ploy to gain my confidence & guard before hammering me into submission somewhere within a vast stretch of isolated wilderness.

    Evening ensues. I hope I make it to my final destination before conditions worsen.

    To be continued…
    Attached Images Attached Images
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

  33. #33
    E500E Guru bing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    london, uk
    Posts
    2,114

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Wunderbar !
    1994 E fünfhundert (170kkm sold )
    1997 S 600 L (164kmiles sold )
    2004 ML270 (64kmiles remap oil burner sold)
    2001 CLK55 AMG (79kmiles)

  34. #34
    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,315

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Part 10 (The Last Lap)

    Well whattaya know? We just crossed the Town line. Ha! 500E: 1, MegaStorm: 0. I can finally say “Race Over. We win”! Well, I hope I’m not being too presumptuous? I mean, I’m not officially in the garage, ignition key off & door down…

    No problem thru the final stretch. Not even a sander or salt-truck to be seen, either. I’m extremely lucky or else it’s just another “Mega”case of pervasive meteorological over-sensationalism. Regardless, today is the only winter action this car will ever see. Finally reaching my hometown, I make a quick pit-stop into the local no-touch car wash. The car passes the high-pressure water test. All the weather seals are water-tight. The paint is still attached where it is supposed to be. The car is clean & shiny again. I drive very slowly to keep it that way. I am only a few blocks from home. At this pace, every second feels like a minute…

    ...Statistics show that most car accidents occur within 1.4 miles of one’s home…

    Why did that thought just come to mind?? What does the trip-meter show? 2199 miles. Great.

    The tension builds…

    My head is on a swivel seeking any potential hazard…

    A bit of nervous perspiration breaks out upon my brow as I creep closer to my Odyssey’s final destination…

    I am reminded of the Tales of Ulysses as I paraphrase the most often quoted statement in ancient Greek mythology, “What kind of mood is the Supreme Being in right about now??”


    …Evidently a good mood, or else preoccupied.

    I loosen my seat belt & breathe easier. I am safely home in my garage. The door is closed. I congratulate the car & then slap myself real hard to make sure I am not dreaming.

    Ouch!! I’m not dreaming… although I can barely believe what has transpired over the past five days on the road.

    My adrenaline level is still high & so is the benchmark I just set for myself. That was the most fun & intense 2200 miles of test-driving I have ever experienced & it will be a very difficult Mid-Winter Blues Tour to top. Color me Happy! Both my original gut-feeling & the test-drive proved out right on this car. I discovered a few minor issues to examine & correct; I expect some issues with any previously-owned car. However, if these issues have any bearing on overall performance, I can’t wait to drive this car once they are addressed! At its current age & condition, this 500E performed exemplarily. His partum-tears thoroughly justified, I’ll call the Seller to let him know I’m home safe…and, oh yes, I am also keeping the car.

    Even if this car had been totaled-out along the way (I certainly had ample opportunities), it would have been worth every cent of the journey. Thank God that outcome never happened. Like an addict, I’d surely find myself shamelessly scrambling to find an equivalent fix.

    I’m not sure if one exists…

    Welcome home “E”. We’re going to be good friends.



    The End (…of a new Beginning).
    Attached Images Attached Images
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

  35. The Following User Says Thank You to DerFuror For This Useful Post:

    mwaldron (04-29-2015)

  36. #35
    Site Admin
    auto enthusiast...
    Glen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Carlsbad, CA USA
    Posts
    2,641

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Great story, thanks again for sharing your journey!
    '94 E500 (744) | '94 E500 (199)         Misc. snapshots

  37. #36
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Age
    53
    Posts
    44

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    I go by your neck of the woods at least once a month.

    Perhaps a gtg down the road... again, great read and congrats.
    2010 ML 350
    2002 Audi S6 Avant, EPL tune, Milltek exhaust,
    2001 Audi A6 4.2 ( DD )
    1995 Audi S6 Avant-595hp sleeper wagon ( SOLD )
    1992 500e ( conversion ) ( SOLD )

  38. #37
    Site Honcho
    Klugscheisser
    Ich bekenne mich
    nicht schuldig.
    gerryvz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    The Woodlands, Texas, USA
    Posts
    15,285

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    WHEN actually did this tale transpire, anyway Derf?

  39. #38
    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,315

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz
    WHEN actually did this tale transpire, anyway Derf?
    Quote Originally Posted by DerFuror
    It was a miserably cold, dreary early winter of 2009...
    2 years & 1 month ago. I started thread posting on actual anniversary dates, then decided on weekly releases otherwise the story would end way before the worst of Old Man Winter.
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

  40. #39
    Site Honcho
    Klugscheisser
    Ich bekenne mich
    nicht schuldig.
    gerryvz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    The Woodlands, Texas, USA
    Posts
    15,285

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Yes that beginning of the thread was posted so long ago, almost ancient history !!

  41. #40
    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,315

    Re: End notes: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    End Notes: Here are the “behind the scene” details to some of the statements made within the roadtrip story. Many comments I made regarding my observations on the car, while true, are presented as tongue-in-cheekers that the 500E insider well understands.

    Part 1
    ”I see there’s no front license plate holder or blanking plate on the car. I’ll have to get one by the time I register the car back home. Shouldn’t be a big deal; just a piece of plastic…”

    It turned out to be a big deal. I wager the missing front bumper center cover plate was victim of an earlier snatch & grab. Unlike me, the perpetrator obviously was aware of this part’s scarcity & retail price. The perp most likely saw this car unattended in some parking lot & the cover plate and its mounting bracket soon became history. Oh yeah, same with the attached outside ambient temperature bulb. The perp cut the exposed temp cable in order to make a faster getaway with the cover plate.

    My initial search for a new part was a long one. Availability was an issue. At the time, I was unawares of Parts.com. PerformanceParts had the least expensive item I could find. The pre-’94 blanking plate (which I did not need) was NLA. The other style I needed (the license plate holder) was disturbingly expensive. I couldn’t justify $90+ for "just a piece of plastic. "

    I held off, then fortunately found everything I needed (compliments of a ’93 300E) the following Spring while strolling thru the local junkyard. The parts were original & showing their age. I did what I could to make them more cosmetically presentable.

    Soon thereafter, I was awarded a promotional gift certificate from a Parts Supplier. It took the sting out of buying a brand new plate holder. The good luck continued as the price had dropped over $20 since my initial inquiry. Problem solved, but still a lot of money for just a piece of plastic!

    "If anything isn’t as you say it is, you’ll be the first to know as I make my way to Dallas tonight”.
    Because of risky winter weather, I was hoping to fly to Austin, drive the car down South to a friend of a relative’s house, park it in his garage until Springtime, then fly back home. I would then return later to drive the car home at a better time. Didn’t happen. There was no room in the garage but plenty of room in the yard under a car cover. Nope. I didn’t like the idea of some modern day Pancho Villa making off to Mexico with my ride as I sat thousands of miles away. So plan #2 went in to effect (fly to Austin & drive the car home; weather-be-damned). The roadtrip was thus conceived!

    Part 2
    “the outside temperature digital display is wacky, too. At times it seems to work, only to then spastically display every number possible before blanking out completely like the calculator LCDs you squeezed too hard when you were a kid. Something to check into when I get home. “

    The display didn’t work correctly because the temp bulb at the opposite end of the cable was cut off. It was gone! I’m surprised my display showed anything at all; but as this part ages it behaves just like a failing calculator display…fade to gray.

    "My water bottle fits perfectly between the door & driver seat. I’ll see where the drink holder is hidden during the daylight tomorrow."
    As we all know, the 500E has 4 drink holders; (1) between the door & the driver seat (2) between your legs (3) inside the center roll-top console (4) a passenger. Nothing from the factory, however. I do like the ultimatecupholder options presented by KarlC in another thread. I actually have a bunch of the hard plastic flip-open amautoparts-type presented by gerryvz in the same thread. Bought them for a great price at a Finnish Biltemaa hardware store a decade ago, but they still set in their packaging. Several years ago I decided I will never drill, cut, glue or screw any Mercedes interior panel in order to install a drink holder in one of these cars.

    Part 3
    "I obtained my temporary tags to make the drive 100% legal."

    The Great State of Texas 30-day temporary tags cost $25. A small price to pay compared to getting pinched for “ghost-riding”. The Texas DOT people I dealt with were very friendly & efficient.

    "...after a few days of relaxing, it was time to reluctantly leave sunny, warm Texas."
    I was on a tight schedule, but it was really hard to give up the 70 degree winter temperature; plus the shenanigans. My childhood friend in Dallas has a 1986 560SL Roadster. He doesn’t work on the car himself. He had questions regarding required maintenance and service. I got to drive it around & tell him my observations. After a bit of local touring, we ended up in an unfinished housing development doing power laps like the parking lot attendants in Ferris Beuller’s Day Off. Nothing but smoke & dust! You have to grow old, but not necessarily grow up!

    "Besides, I have no radar detector…"
    I effectively read the "traffic law enforcement" terrain properly, but I was also so lucky! I should still be in jail for some of the speeds attained on that drive home.

    "Hopefully, Mississippi’s Welcoming Center will do them & me proud"
    Quite proud indeed. The Welcoming Center’s facilities were immaculately pristine.

    Part 4
    "I found myself driving right in front of NASCAR’s Talladega Speedway."

    Part of the reason I was surprised by the appearance of the Jag was my captivation by the sheer size of the Dodge/Chrysler sponsor flags flapping in the breeze on the race track grounds. The flags were the size of houses, or at least clipper ship sails & the flagpoles had the girth of redwood trees to contain the forces exerted by strong winds. The only flag bigger I have witnessed is the beautiful Old Glory flapping proudly before a bank in windy Duncan, Oklahoma.

    Part 5
    "That dreaded “Limp Home Mode” I read about in the Forum would surely amount to a death sentence under these driving conditions."

    I’ve had an LHM moment 3 times within a short span of time. The first experience was early autumn 2009 just after passing a few cars on an undivided 2 lane County Route. A very unnerving feeling when powering down in traffic, plus I felt like a douche pulling over to immediately let the cars I just passed pass me (made it look like I was pulling over to receive an important phone call..). Each situation occurred following a downshift & mashing of the pedal. The car drove fine after a shutdown/restart (however I now did not completely trust the car from a safety standpoint).

    I attributed my LHMs to a failed starter lockout switch (my reverse lights had become non-functional at this same time). I had to replace this switch in order to pass my next vehicle inspection. The new switch corrected the situation. I bench tested the old switch. It was shot. I’ve thankfully never had another Limp Home Mode ordeal since. I don’t like them at all.

    I understand the protective rationale of LHM, but I wonder how many people have been maimed or killed because of this sudden loss of power? I believe the root cause for the majority of LHMs can be attributed to the inferior wiring harness materials originally used by the factory & the effect of high heat levels produced by these cars upon unprotected electrical componentry. An operator must perform regular due diligence. As my father used to say, “High performance requires high maintenance.”

    "What the devil that car was haunted me for the longest time."
    500Espot member, Prime, indirectly helped me solve the mystery of the Lambo Gallardo. One day I was killing time reading old posts. I read his post about all the Mercedes dealership employees more interested in his car than a Murcielago getting uncrated. I did a websearch to see what that pig looked like. Bingo! Looked just like my mystery car from the front, but not from the side. I now had my missing lead. I knew I was close.

    Part 6
    "Is it my tired eyes, the headlights, the tinted glass or all the above? Night vision became hampered..."

    On this occasion it was all three, however much has already been said about the lackluster performance of the North American spec 9003 bulb-based headlamps compared to their Euro-spec counterparts. Fortunately, I haven’t seen what I’m missing yet. My headlamp lenses are in great condition. A decent 60/55W bulb in conjunction with proper adjustment of the fairing-mounted driving light height gives me acceptable illumination. Beats the hell out of the performance of the 50-60 year old generator powered illumination I’m used to (Bosch, Lucas, Autolite 6v!).

    Part 9
    "I’d know what the temp change is if that schizophrenic digital display was working properly."

    As stated previously, the temp bulb had been cut off. Interestingly, a resistor was connected to the two cut cable wires as a bulb substitute. This jerry-rig kinda worked, however it was apparent that the display was on its last leg. I replaced both from the booty I peeled off the junked ’93 300E. Works like new again.

    "...the Climate Control wheel (is it the top, bottom or center of the wheel that indicates the set temperature? I’ll see what the owner’s manual says when I get home)"
    I still don't officially know, but I consider the top of the wheel housing for the coldest setting & the bottom of the wheel housing for the warmest setting.

    Part 10
    "...it’s just another “Mega”case of pervasive meteorological over-sensationalism."

    Although the weather reporters are often guilty of hype, I slipped in via a narrow window of opportunity. Well over a foot of snow fell shortly after I arrived home.
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

  42. #41
    Site Honcho
    Klugscheisser
    Ich bekenne mich
    nicht schuldig.
    gerryvz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    The Woodlands, Texas, USA
    Posts
    15,285

    Re: End notes: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Quote Originally Posted by DerFuror
    Part 3
    "I obtained my temporary tags to make the drive 100% legal."

    The Great State of Texas 30-day temporary tags cost $25. A small price to pay compared to getting pinched for “ghost-riding”. The Texas DOT people I dealt with were very friendly & efficient.
    We here in Texas like to think of our great state as the Republic of Texas, not the State of Texas.

    I agree with you that the licensing people are generally pretty efficient and not as bad as you experience in many if not most states.

    The only frustration for registering vehicles in Texas is that you have to get a vehicle inspection done, THEN go to your local county "tax office" to get the registration paperwork (this step can also be done online). Inspections cost around USD $40 annually and include a basic safety and emissions test. Registration runs around $45-50 per year too. So it's around $100 per car per year to keep a vehicle registered.

    If you apply for a TX driver's license, you have to go to the local Department of Public Safety office to get it, but only after numerous "pre-steps". They are also sticklers about making you prove -- definitively -- that you are a US citizen or at least legally here in order to obtain a TX driver's license

    One good point was that TX recognized my Oregon motorcycle endorsement and didn't even make me take any sort of written or riding motorcycle test. Just translated the endorsement right onto my TX license.

    Only other thing I HATE is that TX makes you put two stickers on the lower driver's corner of your windshield -- an annual safety inspection sticker and an annual registration sticker. However with the sticker displayed, there's no need to carry registration paperwork with the vehicle. Just a license, proof of insurance are all that is needed when pulled over. And, of course, for a few of us, it's prudent to hand over the concealed-carry permit so the ossifer knows you may be armed (but not dangerous).

    http://www.registeredtexan.com/

    Cheers,
    Gerry

  43. #42
    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,315

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Quote Originally Posted by DerFuror
    I planned on spending as much time as possible crossing America’s Old South (with its milder weather & best in the nation gasoline prices) along Interstate 20.
    I just shredded my petrol receipts from this trip. During Jan/Feb 2009 the least expensive gasoline was from Louisiana at $1.81,9/USGallon. The most expensive was from Pennsylvania at $1.89,9/USGallon.

    Oh, the good OLD days!
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

  44. #43
    Senior Member redred's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Age
    43
    Posts
    296

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    This thread should be mandatory reading for all new members joining the site. I thoroughly enjoyed that! Thanks DerF

  45. #44
    I'm "special"! Jelmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Huizen, The Netherlands
    Age
    34
    Posts
    2,011

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    I agree. *sticky*

    Let me know if anyone doesn't agree
    "But if you really must have the Porsche — if you really must have a Porsche sedan — you can buy a 500E and have enough left over for something air-cooled"

  46. #45
    E500E Guru emerydc8's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Age
    52
    Posts
    1,180

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Great story. Great writing skills. It makes me wonder how much different it is to drive a 500E versus an E420.

  47. #46
    Intl 500E GTG coordinator 195910's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,518

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    +1

  48. #47
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    39

    Re: My first test-drive ever in a 500E

    Awesome tale..DerFuror....I really miss my 500E right now. I've been away from "her" for 2 months now. Hope to be reunited next week!

  49. #48
    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,315

    Re: My First Test-drive ever in a 500E

    Quote Originally Posted by ross View Post
    Ummm where's the pix of the girlfriend?
    At long last I've added a photo here...



    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •