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  #1  
Old 11-29-2004, 08:41 AM
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Location: Raleigh, NC currently residing in KL, Malaysia
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Why I drive an old Mercedes(long)

Hello,
Yesterday, in a thunderstorm on a three lane highway, I had a new Nissan Frontier PU do an amazing ballet act ahead of me at about 60mph. The driver had just passed me, I was at 50mph(the posted limit)or so in my W115 200 and could feel that there was a lot of water on the roadway.
He was visibly annoyed at me for *holding him up*, but about 200 yards down the road, the thing hydroplaned and hit two cars, then the median guardrail, flipped up and crashed back down on it's right side, slid along and finally flipped on to the roof, collapsing the screen pillars.
I had no time to think, I just avoided the carnage as best as I could WITHOUT hitting the brakes in a panic and made it through without a mark on my car, it did get a bit sideways, but stayed more or less pointed in the direction I needed it to go.
I did stop about half mile down from the mess.
The PU driver was seriously injured because he was not wearing his seat belt(mandatory here).
You would think that if the idiot was born and bred in the tropics, he would know that it is possible to hydroplane in rain around here without really trying too hard.
I made sure that the traffic cop investigating knew that he was way over the speed limit and showed no signs of slowing when the PU began sliding out of control.
I am amazed at the response and control that the W115 demonstrated, never thought that with the *slow* manual steering I would get out of that in one piece, but it did.
I have always thought that Mercedes are very good cars for average drivers and excellent cars for experienced drivers, this incident only reinforces my conviction
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  #2  
Old 11-29-2004, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nachi11744
Hello,
You would think that if the idiot was born and bred in the tropics, he would know that it is possible to hydroplane
That must be like me saying - He must be from Alabama
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  #3  
Old 11-29-2004, 04:34 PM
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How were you "holding him up", where you hogging up the left(passing) lane? If you see someone coming up behind you just move over, its a 3 lane highway. Infact, you should have been in the slow lane in the first place.
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  #4  
Old 11-29-2004, 05:20 PM
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Lucky you got out of it in one piece and no damage to your car !
I guess moments like these just re-enforces that you've made the right choice.

It certainly feels more safer driving my MB around - specially on the open roads.
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  #5  
Old 11-29-2004, 05:39 PM
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gimme a low-tech 240D
 
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Manual steering may have given you better control. Over-compensating is what causes alot of cars to spin out.

When changing belts on the 123 not long ago I left the power steering belt off and drove the car with manual steering for a couple of days. I liked it at high speeds but it stunk for driving in town. And that's with a steering system that was never intended to be driven in manual mode.
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  #6  
Old 11-29-2004, 08:49 PM
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Hi Nachi

That was too close! Glad you made it out unscathed. I am very wary about driving too fast in the monsoon too but I see some people think they are invincible. I used to drive over the Rockies from from Banff to Vancouver in the winter and I always wonder how they drive so fast at night, driving snow with low to no visibility and on snow compacted roads. Is it local knowledge? I still drive slow in the rain.

BTW - I traded in the 123 for a 92 124 E200 (Due to peer pressure). Just sorting out some problems here and there. Will be seeking more advice from you guys soon.

Oreo
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  #7  
Old 11-29-2004, 10:48 PM
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Maybe another factor is the fact you could "feel that there was a lot of water on the roadway."

Seems with new cars, the design is to isolate the operator from the driving experience as much as possible.

Glad you are okay, we need you around here.

BTW, I picked up a star magazine at my indie's and notice a brief article about a new high mileage record: a 115 with about 2.4 million miles. Can't remember all the details but it was in a taxi fleet. It said they rotated 3 different engines into the car 11 times. I'll take another look at the article when I go back.
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  #8  
Old 11-29-2004, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshhol
BTW, I picked up a star magazine at my indie's and notice a brief article about a new high mileage record: a 115 with about 2.4 million miles. Can't remember all the details but it was in a taxi fleet. It said they rotated 3 different engines into the car 11 times. I'll take another look at the article when I go back.
I saw that too - it was 2.9 million miles, on a 76 240D, in Greece. The cab driver donated it to the Mercedes museum and they gave him a new car.
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  #9  
Old 11-29-2004, 11:59 PM
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A CDI 200 I believe.
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  #10  
Old 11-30-2004, 01:30 AM
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gimme a low-tech 240D
 
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That sounds to me like a bad deal for the cab driver..... taking away his 115 and sticking him with something new.
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  #11  
Old 11-30-2004, 01:59 AM
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Quote:
How were you "holding him up", where you hogging up the left(passing) lane? If you see someone coming up behind you just move over, its a 3 lane highway. Infact, you should have been in the slow lane in the first place.
norbtx
Hello,
Er, I was passing all the slow moving cars that had their emergency flashers on(BTW, that's illegal too)and here the passing lane is the right lane that is ALWAYS choked with traffic, I have made better time running in the left(slow)lane. I was already on the edge of control, the 115 was moving around in a straight line, kinda of like ice skating with a 3300lb toboggan
Quote:
Manual steering may have given you better control.
Yes, I could tell the steering was VERY light and was just keeping my finger tips on the wheel. The 115 steering feels very stodgy and unresponsive at commuter speeds but it does improve at highway(70mph+)speeds
Quote:
Seems with new cars, the design is to isolate the operator from the driving experience as much as possible.
Glad you are okay, we need you around here.
Yes, I was wary of the ML in rain as well, cannot feel anything at all.
Thanks for the goodwill.
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  #12  
Old 11-30-2004, 05:33 PM
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my mom has a 95 320e wagon, and i love it for a couple reasons.
1. the driving position, is adjustable to be perfect
2. the car kind of makes you drive it correctly, if you take a corner off line it gets confused, but if you get the turn right, it rewards you. i like that
3. its fast! if you get it on the cam in 3rd it really moves

my 71 is almost the same except it smells better (leather, horsehaar, etc etc)
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