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550Maranello
05-06-2010, 06:27 PM
Chaps,

This event takes place every year at the Hofburg Palace, headquarters of the OSCE. It is a closed symposium for engineers only but since I have an OSCE badge I get in without problem.

I mentioned to MB and AMG engineers what Gerry said about the M119 engine and even though they agreed with Gerry's points they still think that new cars are better.

I was even allowed to sit in the new SLS.

Front rotors: 38.5mm, rear: 31.5mmm. Look at the monster calipers.

Regards,

Orazio

Glen
05-06-2010, 06:42 PM
Thanks for posting your pictures. The SLS is a fabulous car and seeing the suspension and brake componentry is really cool. Those are massive calipers!

550Maranello
05-06-2010, 06:44 PM
More photos. Also, the fabulous AUDI Sport Quattro that sold new for $150,000. Very rare and hard to find.

The event lasts two days only, they put the show together the day before and the logistics and manpower are simply extraordinary.

Many brands are on display, Mahle, Bosch, Beru, BMW, VW, rods, cylinders, brake pads...

550Maranello
05-06-2010, 07:06 PM
The engines on display were running at 1RPM.

All engineers have PhDs. It is illegal in Germany or Austria to use or display the word PhD if a person has not earned a doctorate in one of those countries. I heard the story of a highly respected American scientist that was treated with legal action if he did not remove the word PhD from his name.

The germans agree that it is ridiculous but it is the law.

550Maranello
05-06-2010, 07:09 PM
AUDI Quattro Sport 1984

TerryA
05-06-2010, 07:20 PM
Orazio,

Those are really nice pictures.

Thanks

gerryvz
05-06-2010, 11:30 PM
I mentioned to MB and AMG engineers what Gerry said about the M119 engine and even though they agreed with Gerry's points they still think that new cars are better.

What points did you bring up, and what specifically were their agreements/responses as to why the new cars are better?

Thanks for sharing the phots.

Cheers,
Gerry

550Maranello
05-07-2010, 07:28 AM
Basically, I mentioned what you wrote regarding your conversation with Bobby Scroggins. They did not elaborate, they said that the new cars are better. Those engineers were polite with me as they have been over the years but they were not willing to get into arguments with me, they knew that I did not belong there and they were proud of MB/AMG new achievements.

gerryvz
05-07-2010, 08:33 AM
It's highly likely that the M119 and M117 (which were designed in the 1960s and 1970s, fundamentally) were not designed by these guys. However, if you spoke with guys like the long-retired Dr. Kurt Oblander, who was in charge of all all engine design through the 1970s or early 1980s (old-school), they would have a different sentiment.

These guys you were dealing with probably have dealt with the M113 and newer motors, so of course they are going to be proud of that work. And rightfully so, with regard to the fact that they are squeezing out much more HP and efficiency than was possible with the older motors. But it comes at the cost of other things. They have lots of simulation and CAD/CAM capabilities that were not available in previous decades, as you know. And, the older-school engines were created, then refined through trial and error (real-world use) as opposed to simulations. In the case of the M116/M117, they first appeared in 1970 and were essentially produced in various forms (iron and then aluminum block) through what, 1992 or so. It's sort of like the small-block pushrod Chevy V-8 motor, which has been in continuous production (with refinement) since, what, 1955 ?!?

I always trust the "real world" guys who have to work on the motors. They see the use, and abuse, and the issues that come in the door with them. Mechanics and shop owners that I know, who really know the spectrum of MBs over the past 50 years because they work on them daily, have unanimously told me that the pinnacle of MBs was the 124 in the E-class (a few say 123, but then say the 124 is far more modern), the 126 in the S-class, and so forth. Engine-wise, its always the 103/104 in-line sixes, and the 117/119 V-8s. The guys who like the 123 body also generally tend to prefer the lower-tech 103 and 117 motors, the guys who like the 124s tend to like the 104s and 119s.

But you will get unanimous agreement from them that the newer cars (starting with the 140, and 210, to present) are just not as well-engineered, not as durable, not as solid, not as elegant/commanding in presence, and not having the old-school "Mercedes" feeling that previous cars did. They will also say, of course, that the cars are much faster, more refined, better handling, far more comfortable, loaded with creature comforts and assistance, and in general higher performing. Which is all true.

I think the new Benzes would be great to have as a lease car, where you could use it and then give it back. Which is what some 60% of US MB owners do -- lease their cars. Great business model to say that you "sold" lots of cars (I think "rented" is a better word, personally). The days of owners saving up for years to buy their first Benz, and then keeping it for 20 or 30 years (and maintaining it perfectly along the way) are long over. People today are just too interested in the latest gimmick and more horsepower, rather than preserving what they have. The only reason I refurbished the top end of my W126 coupe is because I plan to drive it another 185,000 miles over the next 20 years. People around here look at me funny, but I simply LOVE driving a 21-year-old car.

Cheers,
Gerry

550Maranello
05-07-2010, 12:08 PM
You are hundred percent right in what you said. Neither one of those young engineers were older than, let's say, fifty years old.

On a different note, congratulations on the great job you did on your 560SEC top-end rebuild.

Orazio

sheward
05-07-2010, 08:16 PM
Thanks to both of you for the interesting pics and information. I think most on this board would agree with your thoughts about the engineering comparisons. I do.

I'm jealous, Orazio.

Drew

gerryvz
05-08-2010, 05:31 PM
On a different note, congratulations on the great job you did on your 560SEC top-end rebuild.

Thanks ! It was quite a project. I have never learned more with an automotive project than I did with this one. I also learned the value of patience, planning, and taking the time to do things right.

Cheers,
Gerry