The Colonel: Mercedes-Benz 230S Rally Build Update
For new Mint readers, we’ll give you a little background on this car. It is ours and not for sale. We looked too long to give him up any time soon. He came from Seattle by way of Brussels and Puerto Rico as he was the family car of a Colonel Stan Swanson – US Army. He remained in the family until 2010. We purchased it from the 2nd owner (rescued the better word) and after a long journey cross-country, he arrived at our first stop – Auto Turismo Sport. There, he was made road worthy and we began some modifications for his life in the Northeast. We will be careening around this neck of the woods at vintage rallies, club events and multiple trips to Lime Rock Park for the races (we’re 24 miles away). Here is where we are today:
– 4 Koni Adjustables set medium – 4 lightweight (rare) aluminum 14″ wheels shod with 195X70 Michelin Defenders – New brakes – Upgraded alternator – Optima battery – All new halogen bulbs (DanielSternLighting.com) – Rebuilt Becker Grand Prix (with iPod adapter)(beckerautosound.com) – A working clock (repair by clockwrks.com) – Refinished wood dash – Simpson Racing Belts
When we got him to Mint Headquarters, we added a vintage license plate frame heralding his roots in US Army history, a B country tag for his original home with Colonel Swanson in Brussels and a Marchal fog-pattern lamp we will use as a work light if necessary.
Before we get him over to Rogers Racing in Roxbury (a retired race car mechanic of some world-wide fame), we had instructions to mount the auxiliary lights and create templates of the center light bracket and for the control panel in the interior. We added our NOS (not a repro) hood latches that we got from Germany. All the lamps have high quality Halogen bulbs. Colonel Swanson was transfered to Puerto Rico after Brussels and that is why there is a Puerto Rico badge on the grill. The plate AW-842 is the same number from his 1st registration in Brussels (forgive us, it is a repro).
The Oscars are huge and thankfully, they came with a really cool brace to keep them stable. We mounted the hood latches for practical reasons but they also look really cool. The center light is a Marchal driving lamp in near perfect condition. No reproductions allowed anywhere.
The center control panel will replace the vinyl panel that came from the factory. It will be larger and more forward. The only thing missing from the prototype is the center battery cut-off switch. John Rogers has a vintage one he is donating to the cause. The map light is vintage Butler from England. The gauge is outside temperature.
We just received our new Contour in-car camera with suction mount for hopefully some cool moving footage of us chasing somebody faster. The FedEx guy dropped off a box from JEGS Racing with a vintage-style Sunpro tach. Hopefully we can column mount that without messing things up. That’s it for now. When the weather improves, we’ll get some moving pictures.
For links to all of our suppliers so far visit LINKS under the Services Tab.