I must say – what a week it has been, and we’re just only getting through the middle of it!

Progress with our little restoration project has been moving steadily. We previously left off with the 300SE pretty much in pieces – her engine had been extracted, dash had been removed to give space for welding and was awaiting a supposed ‘windscreen expert’ to help lift both front and rear windscreens.

I must say. This new “glass” is really clear

Well, thankfully that day came and went rather swiftly, and most importantly with no mishaps. In no time, welding to her floorboard, front fire wall, front LHS wheel arch, battery tray and rear windscreen frame could finally take place. The results, to say the least are amazing.

From here, I will let the pictures do the talking:

Finally, a clean battery tray area! Awaiting a NOS battery tray – Merc aficionados will know this to be extremely hard to find!

Post welding: The new metal that had been welded on also received a fresh cost of anti-rust paint – which is what gives off that matte, black finish

Top: Cutting out rusty bits of metal on the rear windshield frame
Bottom: the welded, final result

It was a huge sigh of relief to be able to close the chapter on the 300SE’s bodywork. It definitely feels reassuring to know that the spread of this “cancer” has now been stopped. Hopefully this is a sign of remission – I guess this will be the case as long as she is parked under shelter for most part of the day, and has her drain holes cleared regularly.

With her rust work sorted, our team at Tropical Success was able to commence piecing her back together, whilst awaiting the appointment with the ‘windscreen expert’ to secure her windshields back on.

Slowly working towards putting her dashboard back on – but first, fresh bulbs to illuminate the various gauges and buttons

Whilst that was happening, her engine too, was slowly being lifted back into her bay and had all her hoses and wires being connected back together. Her newly refreshed radiator and cooling hoses too, were reinstalled:

Moments before her radiator was lifted into place

Almost ready! A last minute run to grab a brand new alternator was made to ensure that no old and possibly worn out component would be left out of this round of work

Whilst all this was taking place, I took the opportunity to go about refreshing her interior. The folks at tropical noticed a small rip in the upholstery on the rear bench – we were lucky enough to be connected to an upholsterer who had a roll of NOS MB Tex material left in his stock to help us replace the ripped panels.

Since the 300SE also had a missing front passenger seat pocket, I took the chance to engage him to fashion one in the very same material.

Alright, this might not be concours spec and although there is a colour mismatch owing to new material vs faded plastic, I must say its close to the original! (and of course massively cheaper and easier than finding a W126 seatback from the scrapyard)

NOS MB Tex was an amazing find

One of our fellow W124/ W126 owner-friends (you may remember him from our introductory post), who turns out to be quite a skilful craftsman and hands-on restorer, very kindly agreed to help with the refurbishment of the 300SE’s cracked AC wood panel.

Its veneer hadn’t totally cracked off, which made it a prime candidate for light restoration and revarnishing.

Thanks Mr B!

Clockwise, from top left hand corner: Veneer that was cracking and lifting from the wood panel had to be glued back on (rather ingenious use of clothes pegs there) before it could be sanded down, had filler and walnut stained applied, and finally before the application of multiple layers of varnish. Although the last picture shows the panel only in near-completion stage, the result is nothing short of mesmerising

Stepping into the interior, it would be too easy for any of you to point out the many other niggling bits within the 300SE that requires replacement or rework. But the objective here was to focus on the larger chunks/ main touch points so that she would at least feel “good” to sit in (and not resurrect the OCD-monster within) when Day 1 comes.

Well, looks like we are inching closer to day 0. With more (re)assembly work to come, I’m sure we are all definitely looking forward to seeing her come back together in the next few days.

Look out, this old bruiser will be back on the road in no time!