Auto Talk: How to get a 32-calendar year-previous Mercedes property from Minnesota

Dear Automobile Chat:

On a modern organization excursion to Minnesota, I succumbed to a nearby Craigslist submitting for a 1988 Mercedes 560 SL convertible. Rust-no cost and smooth-shifting, it was extra than your brother at any time questioned for in a car or truck. I bought the automobile, parked it in a friend’s barn and flew property to Oregon until I can return to make the street trip.

I know the timing chain and slide rails were a short while ago changed, and the brakes had been serviced with new pads and rotors not 10,000 miles ago. The battery is new, the tires are fantastic and the transmission fluid and coolant have been flushed at an acceptable interval.

I am not a mechanic. What preparations really should I get to assure strife-cost-free vacation to the West Coastline so I never finish up as bison food when passing as a result of Yellowstone?

This is what I have on my checklist so considerably: screwdrivers and crescent wrenches, multi-software with assorted torques and other bits, flashlight, compact battery bounce pack, mini air compressor, assorted fuses, rags, spare established of belts, two quarts of oil, a spare oil filter, a gallon of h2o, AAA membership with 200-mile tow and a cellphone with the Greyhound bus reservation line on speed dial.

What else really should I think about when having a road trip with this 32-12 months-old car or truck? I’ll send out you a postcard from anywhere I crack down. — Richard

Very well, make absolutely sure you have your hairpiece glued on really nicely, due to the fact the 1st thing to break will be the hydraulic mechanism that places the convertible best back again up. The issue, Richard, is that there’s seriously no way to completely put together for an experience like this.

You’ve covered by yourself for 15 or 20 items that can go completely wrong. But there are thousands of things that can go incorrect. And it’s merely impossible to foresee them all. And Murphy’s Legislation (which is called Mercedes Law in Germany, by the way) suggests that what does go wrong will be anything that demands a element that hasn’t been in production due to the fact 1998.

So you have to make a choice. Both you want the journey of generating this trip, with all the thrills and potential tragedies and tales to tell that come alongside with it. Or you genuinely just want to get the motor vehicle household, in which scenario you can shell out a car provider $1,200 to trailer the car residence for you and discover what is completely wrong with it even though keeping within “Hi hon, can you occur decide me up?” length.

If you actually want the experience, then accept that it’s largely unpredictable, and you could get trapped for a thirty day period ready for components in Wyoming. If I had been you, I’d plot out any Mercedes dealerships between Minnesota and Oregon on a map and plan a route that usually takes you suitable by every single 1 of them. Obtaining somebody who can do the job on this car and finding pieces may well be your most important issues if you have an strange trouble.

And then, prepare to make the trip in the summer, when you will not freeze to death if you do get stranded. But deliver some slide and winter season apparel with you, just in scenario. Appreciate, Richard.

Got a issue about cars? Publish to Vehicle Communicate write to Ray in treatment of King Characteristics, 628 Virginia Generate, Orlando, FL 32803, or e-mail by browsing the Automobile Discuss internet site at