So I’ve booked my 1995 Mercedes E220 in for the NCT. The last time I had to book an NCT test for anything there was a wait of many weeks. I was quite surprised when I was offered a test date less than a week away. Now D Day is just around the corner and I have never had a car in such bad shape.
The previous owner seems to have been a cigar aficionado. Some of the unique features of my w124 Merc include; smoke-stained roof lining, butts lodged in every nook and cranny and some light fire damage in the driver side door pocket. I suspect there is a great story about the day Captain Smoker’s Cough was pootling along, enjoying a Hamlet when suddenly the old tissues in the door caught a stray ash and burst into flames, but alas I did not get the details when I bought the car.
According to auto-data.net the w124 E220 weighs in at 1,460kg. My example couldn’t possibly be that heavy. Every body panel is thinner and lighter than factory spec. Think of it as the light weight racing version if you like. The rust is so advanced it brings to mind alopecia applied with a machine gun.
I changed the coolant shortly after acquiring the E220 as the temperature needle did travel bit high for my liking when the car was idling in traffic for more than a few minutes. When I say I changed the coolant, what I mean is I changed the tap water that was in the system for actual coolant. Aside from that, the rest of the fluids could be original equipment for all I know. I did buy new oil, filters and some ATF fluid but they are still in the plastic Halford’s carrier bag in the boot. Since January.
Ever since the radio gave up the ghost I’ve been acutely aware that bushings, bearings, and a length of new exhaust pipe might all be required to bring my car back to it’s best. Also the rear left number plate bulb is a sociable sort and occasionally rapples down to greet the back bumper.
Despite all of these flaws I do adore my Merc. When I am aiming that three-pointed star at the open road, surveying the acre of dark blue bonnet, humming the theme tune from The Sopranos, and feeling myself getting pushed back into the time-worn upholstery knowing that there will always be a reserve of brake horse power that will rarely ever be needed, it makes me smile.
The Merc is going to fail the NCT in spectacular fashion. I hope they have plenty of paper in the printer. I’ll keep you posted.