Preparation of the Car

bruinGeert Jansen prepared 4 Classic Benzes for the 2006 Amsterdam-Peking Rally and brought a lot of experience to the party. This made our plan a bit easier. We prepared a wish list and asked Robert Scheerboom to act as consultant on the project. First deadline was end of July when we planned to take the car for a ride to Switzerland and Italy to see how it would behave in the mountains and summer heat.

Geert did a wonderful job and transformed the chocolate brown metallic Mercedes into a starking red Baron. He got the car ready on time with the unfortunate exception of the airco system. The day of our maiden trip to Switzerland it was 35C on the German autobahn and very hot.
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However our red Baron behaved impeccably even when we climbed the first mountain road to our night stop in Grimentz (Wallis) For a car that had probably not done more then a few thousand kilometres over the past 5 – 10 years our first 1000 kms were very encouraging. No oil consumption but a lot of fuel consumption. 1 Litre per 5 kms was the best we could do.

A few more days in the mountains taught us a lot about the car and we started to like it a lot. It gives us the comfort and space we need for this long rally. At the same time it handled surprisingly well on the small mountain roads considering the size and weight of the car.

The final test came when we climbed the famous Stelvio Pass (2750m) from the Italian side. On the way to Stelvio we had already ascended several 2000 meter passes so when we mounted the steep and twisty Stelvioroad the engine started to run hot for the first time. Not serious but enough to stop for lunch half way the climb. After the short stop the car ran without a problem but still it was a note on our checklist for Geert.

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August 7, the Mercedes returned to Geert with the final wish/ check list before the official technical check on August 30 at the Concourse d‘ Elegance in Apeldoorn.

True to his word Geert had the car ready for this important moment and the morning of Saturday, August 30 Anty and Mick drove to Apeldoorn.
It was the first time we saw all the other competitor cars together. The technical check was done by Altena whose team will also follow us on the rally and help the stranded teams.
Altena looked the car over thoroughly, approved it and additionally gave us some useful tips. After Apedoorn the car went back to Geert Jansen for the last things to be added and adjusted. Last but not least! Finally connecting the airco and i-pod…

The only big decision Anty and Mick still have to make is if we should take one or two spare wheels and tires… each wheel including tire is about 20 kilos plus a lot of room and 20 kilos is a lot of extra underpants!