I agree. It's "way due" for a water pump. The gasket I'm referring to is the pump-to-block gasket. I could'nt imagine a "leak path" but you never know with MB. (at least I don't)
P.S. I notice the Cutlass in your sig. I had a 69 442 for about 5 years and currenlty have an 83 Hurst\Olds (33,000 miles) in storage. My father is an Olds Guy from way back. He traded his 2 year old 67 442 in and was proud to be a 69 H/O owner (Brand new). -That's one I wish I could get a hold of now, and one he wishes he never got rid of. I'd like to pick up another 69 at some point and do an H/O replica.