Whats been on my nerves lately: Derek James

Its that time of year where everyone is posting sneak peek shots, and alluding to the little tidbits as to what they’ve been doing to their car/ new project this winter. Its really getting on my nerves. I look at these people who have been getting all of these new and exciting things done to their cars, wondering where they have the time or the money to accomplish the things that they have this winter.

Complete engine overhauls, a new suspension setup (be it static or bagged), a fresh set of shoes grace their cars. All of these things are really pushing my buttons. Not because I hate the things that they are doing. Don’t get me wrong, I envy the things that some of the people that I follow on the various social networks have been doing to their cars this off season. See, I have things/ parts that I could festoon my 1989 Mercedes 190e with. But I don’t have the tools or the time to install these new parts on the car. There are tons of other things that I would love to do to the car. A new set of wheels would be nice, fixing the body is towards the top of the list of to-do’s (In my humble opinion the body is a strong 6 out of 10). Going lower and doing a suspension overhaul and refresh, overhauling the brakes. Fixing the very slow oil leak that is somewhere on the 25 year old 2.6 liter straight six.

But the biggest thing that irks me is the fact that my car has an automatic transmission. I love my car, an automatic transmission is fine 95% of the time I have the car. Its just that I would like to have a manual for things such as autocross, and drifting events. I know that I plan on keeping this car for a long time. I would just like to have a manual transmission. Tracking one down for a 2.6 190e is like trying to find a dodo. It just isn’t going to happen. Especially here in the United States where less than 2% of all w201 chassis were sold with manual transmissions, most of those of the 2.3 liter variety.

I would just like to be able to bring my car to meets/shows and have people look at the work that i have done and how clean the car should be as opposed to the wear and tear that 25 years and nearly 210,000 miles have done to the car. This car was my first. Bought for me as cheap transportation by my parents upon the obtaining of a drivers licence by yours truly at the age of 16. They only paid $500 for the car. I can thank them enough for buying this German chariot for me. It has taught me so much when it comes to working on cars and the ins and outs of the automobile. I attribute most of my love towards cars to this particular little maroon Mercedes. Its become a part of my life. I would just like people to realize when they look at the car all the love and care that I have put into it, not just the faded paint, the dented, bent (and okay a little rusted) metal.

I have a lot of goals this year when it comes to my little Mercedes. And I plan to complete all of them.Image

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