Rust 'N' Pieces

Project Fintail (Part 4): What the hell happened?

It has been a while, we know

It has been more than two years since I last made a blog post about my 1967 W110-body Mercedes-Benz 200D. Damn, that’s a very long time.

The original plan was to document the car’s revival, very much like how I did with Love Wagon. I was going to take you guys through the entire process, complete with the trials and frustrations that come with the restoration hobby. Now, however, I would be armed with three solid years of experience under my belt. I wasn’t going to be fooled this time around! Plus, I was going to try to save some cash in the process.

My vision for the Fintail was to retain its patina, you see. I was to repair all of the rust, of course, but for the most part, I wanted to keep the car looking just the same. I would polish all of the chrome bits, drop in an OM617 motor from a G-Wagen into the super-detailed, painted and polished engine bay, and lower the ride height just a bit. The pièce de résistance would be slapping on a set of widened, 15-inch steel wheels shod with some meaty rubber (with raised white lettering) on all four corners. It would be so sweet.

In my last update, the car was finally back on its wheels with operational brakes. It was ready to be transported to Manila, but not without me doing a few very important checks first.

I hopped on my bicycle and headed to the LTO office in La Trinidad, Benguet, to make sure that the plates, which had been surrendered for storage back in 1992, were still there. They were.

The folks from this branch are very accommodating, but no, they would not let me take the plates home. I’d have to drive the car to them first before they could release said plates to me. Darn.

A photo with the staff would have to do until I got the Fintail up and running again. I would keep this photo in the glove box as proof that the car had proper documentation.

With that out of the way, it was time to get down to the harder stuff. Before the Fintail could be pulled out of the very steep driveway of our house in Baguio, some weight had to be shed. This was for safety as I didn’t want the rusty tow points to fail while the car was being pulled up. And since I had no plans of using the old engine anyway, I might as well just remove it. I brought some mechanics to the house and then got to work.

This was the first time that her body was under the direct sun in over 20 years. Isn’t she a beauty? Here she is from the front...

Now the operation began. Pulling the engine was pretty straightforward. There wasn’t a complicated wiring harness to worry about here. I made sure to keep all of the nuts and bolts in a safe place, and labeled them with tape. I also made sure to take lots of photos as a reference.

We removed the hood to gain better access to the entire engine bay.

The scary part was when we lifted the engine out. The chain block was hanging from a flimsy rafter on the garage’s ceiling. I’m glad that it held and the whole garage didn’t come crashing down.

Here’s the Fintail sitting pretty with the Wagon and my Lancer, ready to be transported to Manila. However, something happened that railroaded the plan.

Let’s just say that there was another car waiting for me around the corner, and that I had to really think about my plans for the old Benz...

Astute readers will know what this car is. It was fate that brought us together, I think. Now, don't get me wrong. I still plan to get the Benz running again, but that will have to wait until time and resources allow. It’s not easy to maintain so many cars, and a decision had to be made.

There are more adventures on the way for this blog, though. I shall keep you posted, and make a proper introduction to the current apple of my eye. Thanks for reading, guys! More updates to come very soon.


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