450SE going to Taswegia

More threads by 450SE


New Member
Melbourne, Australia
It seems that all the marketing on the television of late for the Spirit of Tasmania got under my skin to the point of purchasing a return ticket for myself and a car.
I figured it could be fun to take the 450SE as it has a more useable (& I'd argue larger) boot than the CLS. Besides, there's something about the idea of doing a tour of the colony in the old girl that lit a spark within.

This is also a little out of my comfort zone, being away from my favoured mechanics and all. So my questions are -
What 'spares' should I pack in the boot before going?
Which (limited) tools should come with me?
Anybody have any suggestions for mechanic workshops or parts suppliers should all systems fail & my so far unfaultable old chariot break down on me?

I will be having a more thorough service than usual completed about a fortnight before leaving - but given the rarity that the car is driven, it may as well be the day before.

If it's any help, the car has done 165,000km. Timing chain replaced 5,000km ago along with front brake pads, fuel filter & pump replaced 1,000km ago. Tyres are 85% new.

Call me nervous, but I prefer to be overly prepared if possible. Any suggestions?


The Prince of Arabia
Sydney, Australia
This is also a little out of my comfort zone, being away from my favoured mechanics and all.
Call me nervous, but I prefer to be overly prepared if possible. Any suggestions?

Make sure you make contact with Sir Des....

The number ONE Taswegian on this forum.
He would have access to (God forbid something should occur) mechanics, tow trucks, etc...

Otherwise a thorough gentleman and a lovely chap...


Sydney - Centre of Civilisation
I would reckon you will be quite OK travelling through Tasmania with enough tools to change a tyre and tighten a radiator hose clamp.
I have driven the 450SE from Sydney to Melbourne and back/Sydney to Albury and back/Sydney and Parks etc and back and all without an issue.
Go and enjoy and don't worry. I assume you are a member of the RACV? If so, you will have reciprocal rights for towing etc.
Repatriation insurance should not be necessary. :eek:


The Godfather
Hi 450SE, have you already gone ? If so, my advice and recommendations may be somewhat late. Mind you, emergency parts and repair procedures are always a handy topic and and can be useful at any time.

When going touring with an "old" car, you can come across two situations in the event of a breakdown, namely:

1. Those you can fix or attend to on the road/garage with you doing the work, and

2. Where you need roadside assistance from the various Royal Automobile Clubs.

In both cases, you may need parts that may not be readily available. Mind you, though, the first thing to ensure is that:

1. You have a properly inflated spare tyre, and that both you and your wheelbrace have enough "muscle" to undo the wheel retaining bolts. Like, when you have had wheels refitted at a tyre place, and the rattle gun has been worked overtime. They all tell you that the pressure settings are set properly - never mind that, insist on doing up the bolts yourself by hand, and not with the gun.

2. Make sure that you have at least one wheel choke, preferably two - Mecedes jacks are not the best from a design and security point of view. I have had cars roll when they shouldn't have. Also, carry a 12" 4 by 2 piece of hardwood that you can rest the jack on when raising the car.

3. Spare belts can be handy, but you will need some good tools to change those. Mercedes nuts and bolts always have a habit of being tight to 'undo' and you should really have two decent 17mm and 19mm combination open end spanners, and a 22mm open ender can be very handy. I would also carry a small 1/4" socket set, an additional extension and a long tubed 10mm socket to remove the nuts that secure the battery retaining bracket.

4. To my way of thinking, top and bottom radiator hoses are a must, and it also would pay to have spare heater hoses - you can't always be sure what the condition of those hoses is like.

5. A screw driver set can be handy from time to time, as are a pair of multi grips and one of those excellent LED light torches that you can now buy at markets and computer stores.

I would also carry a spare ignition module, and a spare fuel pump would not go astray.

There is probably more, but is all I can readily think of right now. Regards Styria


New Member
Melbourne, Australia
Thanks for the tips, gents.
There were a few noted items that I'd thought of and some that I hadn't.
I'm not heading over there until early June, but wanted to get everything organised early.

The SE was driven last Wednesday after being properly detailed the day before. The engine bay was not done.
I used the excuse to do 100km or so running around town. All went well until later in the afternoon, when the car stalled about half a dozen times as described in another thread (no warning - just complete engine failure, but fired straight up again by turning the key off, then back on, sometimes while still rolling along at 80 km/h!). Fuel was low, but not dire.
It has not done it since filling up again yesterday. Considering replacing the fuel line & having the tank flushed as fuel pump & filter replacement don't seem to have worked...

Unless the mechanic can get to the bottom of the issue, I'll just take one of the other cars over. Not ideal, but I don't deal with gremlins or surprises very well.

Especially on holiday!


New Member
Melbourne, Australia
I have just returned from my trip around Tasmania & have to say that we had a ball. Stunning island state with far more to do that we could have imagined. It looks like we'll head back sometime in the not too distant future to see some of the many things that we missed out on.

It's funny how things happen.

In the end, I elected to not take the 450SE. I guess I had too many reservations about being stranded in the middle of somewhere with a broken down 35 year old car. The 380SL at 24 years old isn't much better and the E500 was considered 'too good' to take over on the boat.

By chance I was flicking around carsales a week before we left and saw a 2000 last of series W202 C200 Elegance for sale. One older owner from new, low km, full history, silver over black full leather (with sheepskin), sunroof and CD stacker. Two days later it was sitting in my garage. We had ourselves a car to drive around the island and use as a neat shopping / errand car when we returned.

Our trip took us into Devonport, before spending a few nights at each of
: Cradle Mountain, Strachan, Hobart, Port Arthur, Coles Bay and Launceston before returning to the boat back to the mainland.

The car didn't miss a beat over 2100km, ran on the smell of a lightly oiled rag, was beautifully comfortable, especially with the sheepskin seat covers. It does lack a bit of power being a C200, but hey - it is ultimately a shopping cart, not a track car. We were very impressed.

Stop 1, Day 1. Penguin.

On road to Cradle Mountain.

Near the historic steam railway station, Strahan

Top of Mt Wellington, Hobart. (Note the sleet in the bushes). It snowed quite a bit that evening, the first time this year.

In the Huon State Forest

Getting dirtier by the hour! :eek:
Near Gordon, Cygnet area

Hiding behind the gate of our accommodation in Hobart

Launceston mornings. Note (rather, please disregard) the filth on the front wheels!

Final day, near Batman Bridge (?), linking the East and West Tamar Valley Highways together.

Needless to say, the car was washed at 8:45am the morning we arrived back in Melbourne! :D


The Prince of Arabia
Sydney, Australia
Good to hear you made it there and back and that you are all safe and well.

Great pics, thanks!

The C200 is truly an unsung hero of Mercedes Benz, isn't it?


Sydney, NSW, Australia
I did La Tour de Taswegia many years ago in a camping body Morris Nomad, in June 1972. Got stuck in a blizzard at midnight 10 klm north of Zeehan, about 4000 ft altitude, 6 inches of snow on the ground in about 10 minutes, obliterating everything, including the road, the wipers were useless, the light from the headlights just being thrown back in your face from the falling snow. We had no choice but to stop. We decided to bunker down for the night, when a snowplough came through so we followed it into Zeehan.

The itinery: Devonport Burnie Roseberry Zeehan Queenstown Strahan Princess River Derwent Bridge Hobart Huonville Hastings Caves Hobart Richmond (Bridge) Port Arthur Bicheno St Helens Scottsdale Launceston Devonport.
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