Sorry I don't have time to monitor this board or I would have responded to your incoming a few days ago, re: my inability to drive a stick. Careful, I'll have to come over and hit you with some of my SCCA, Porsche and BMW club driver's school trophies. And judging from the real hot rods that you own, (ain't one diesel enough?), I'm guessing it's pretty easy to get that kind of life out of a tranny and clutch. Having owned a 300E with a stick, I don't see any burnouts in your future either, given the length of the final drive in that thing. Seriously though, how can MB continue to offer the awful manual trannies they have when others are clearly superior? Precisely my point: because they are not selling, unless you want a taxi in Europe. Durability aside, the feel is absolutely atrocious, and you're often lucky to find the right gear given the loose feel of the thing. I guess we're kind of off the topic here...see you at the race track...(smiles)...allen.
Also closing in on 1M miles in MBZ:
These are just the stick Benzes for me:
87 190 2.5 D
86 190 2.3
87 190 2.3
86 300E w/3.4 motor and AMG mods at Westmont, eventually changed the rear end (wish it had the short box)
80 280SLC stick (yeachh!)
99 SLK Sport with stick (better, but still not there yet).