It has, admittedly, been quite some time since our last update – with time being such a precious commodity and the day job catching up, I am glad to (finally) share that the 300SE is on the road!

Shot on collection day! One of the last vehicles to leave Tropical Success at 8pm, just before the long May Day + Hari Raya Puasa weekend

M103 in all its glory

It has been about 10 days since she was brought home, and I must say I am still in the “new car honeymoon phase” – if I’m even making sense here. I can’t deny that the W126 looks extremely regal and stately. There’s something just very proper about its design. Not sure if all will agree with me, but I feel that the SE (standard wheelbase) has better proportions than its SEL long wheelbase cousin.

The petrol station – natural habitat of any M103-powered Mercedes Benz

I have to admit, she’s not perfect – with some interior bits niggling at our usual OCD-ness I can guarantee that they will be sorted real soon. Since collection, new buttons and a control unit for the front passenger and drivers’ seats have been source respectively. I was finally able to adjust my driving position for better economics after about a week of driving around! What’s left is a sagging rear headliner trim… being in full view from the rear view mirror, this eye sore really needs to be sorted soon.

In good company – shooting our Lenspeed live M103 test video some days ago

At first instance, there was something that didn’t feel so right about the 300SE’s drive. James might beg to differ, opining that its M103 feels rather powerful despite its heft. Her gearbox also took quite sometime to get into gear from a standing start, only engaging close to 3000rpm – all 722.3 transmissions start at gear 2 by the way, with the trouble spot occurring from 2nd to 3rd.

I also noticed that the 300SE started to have its temperature tick up every time she stood at the lights. A couple of hairy moments kept my heart rate high every time she met with a mild traffic jam or long queue for the lights, with temperatures approaching 100 degrees celsius!

A couple of days later, the 300SE was booked into Tropical Success for a quick adjustment of her bowden cable (that controls how soon the gearbox shifts up). And that overheating was found to be caused by a non-activating fan! Our trusty advisors discovered a faulty fan switch, AC electric fan resistor and engine fan clutch – these were swiftly replaced and in no time she was back on the road.

OCD strikes again! I could not bare to run around with a set of aftermarket centre caps on those lovely gullideckel rims – this was the opportunity to break out the NOS MB originals since the early days of classic MB ownership

Now this looks correct

After multiple trips to Sim Huat Tyre to dial in her steering alignment – we later found that the main cause for its inability to drive straight was poorly balanced wheels (phew) – I must say she drives (almost) perfectly. It was definitely the right choice to upgrade from the 4-cylinder M102 in the 200E to this 6 cylinder motor. Singapore highway cruising speeds are nothing but but a pleasure now – NVH is certainly next-level and when pushed/ with kickdown activated, the M103’s mechanical note actually sounds rather pleasing to the ear.

Not to mention, with those looks, motorists never fail to jump out of the way when they spot the W126’s prominent front grille adorned with the 3-pointed star hurtling towards them in their rear view mirror. As many have commented, there’s something very “yakuza-like” about the business end of the W126, especially in a darker tone.

Peering through

Not to say the W126 doesn’t enjoy the odd park up, she sure looks majestic from a distance as well.

Here’s to more drives and adventures!