[V8] Love for V8's, and ramblings.

Roger Woodbury rmwoodbury at roadrunner.com
Wed Jul 16 23:29:43 PDT 2008

I think this is absolutely correct.  I well remember a comment reported in
Road & Track Magazine made by a Mercedes senior officer in the early 1990's.
He was speaking of how Mercedes was going to confront the new high end
Japanese competition.  He said plainly that Mercedes had always built cars
for generations. The Mercedes build quality was intended to enable their
cars to be passed down from one generation to another, with only the precise
maintenance schedules furnished by Stuttgart to be followed to enable their
cars to last without limitation.  However, the executive said, that in order
to meet the Japanese competition, Mercedes would shorten their model life
expectancy and build cars to a new consumer, one that was less interested in
such longevity.

The 1987 Mercedes 190D-T that I owned was a fine, small automobile.  This
was the second "Baby Benz" that I had, and it was screwed together extremely
well, and ran perfectly for the eighty-five odd thousand miles that I had
it.  However it was not related to the Type W123 Mercedes and didn't compare
in body rigidity, or quality of parts with the 1983 300D that I bought with
90,000 miles on it, in 1992 for one third its original cost new.  To me the
most obvious difference was that the door latch design had changed from the
old style, "bullet in chamber" design to a simple latch and catch variety.  

I suppose the engineers would say that the design was just as good, but I
remember seeing Mercedes tape recorded sales commercials played in Foreign
Motors in Boston in the mid 1960's showing a Mercedes being deliberately
wrecked on a track.  The car was rolled from very high speed, and the result
was an amazing modern art collection of steel jumble that was once a car.  A
guy in a white coat with three pointed star on his back walked up to the
twisted wreck, reached his hand into it, and opened the door, which still
worked.  It was pretty impressive for its time.

Today nothing like it exists.  The new Audi's don't impress me except for
their complexity, nor do other cars of any variety.  I suppose there maybe
considerable improvements in certain kinds of details, particularly in over
drivability, but I doubt that such improvements really support the prices
being charged.  

My wife's 100CS Avant has a certain "forever" feel to it.  At least it feels
that way to me.  I remember driving a late 1960's vintage Mercedes
220S...oh, perhaps a 1968 model.  The car was a former Mercedes "company"
car had had quite a few miles on it.  It was pretty slow...big heavy body
with small inline six cylinder engine with automatic transmission.  But one
it was moving there was a kind of inexorableness to it, as though only
running out of gas or hitting a bridge abutment would actually stop the car
unless you wanted it to stop...and then the brakes were actually very, very

Michele's station wagon feels much the same way, although the plastic in the
nose is not the best, and like so many other Audi 100/A6's of the same
generation, the fog lights were a casualty of stone bruising many years ago.
But the car itself will run on for a long time, it feels, so long as we keep
the doorway to the mechanic's shop warm with visits every three to five
thousand miles.  

There is something about thirty valves in such a small space that bothers
me, so I think I will pass on the newer ones....


-----Original Message-----
From: Tony and Lillie [mailto:tonyandlillie1 at earthlink.net] 
Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2008 11:03 PM
To: rmwoodbury at roadrunner.com; 'V8 Audi Fans'
Subject: Love for V8's, and ramblings.

 . As much press as the A4 got, that was the 
beginning of the end for what I'll call "True German Cars" (TGC) .  

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