That Mercedes-Benz 500K


Mr. John R. Davy is correct in regard to the 500K Reg. No., which should read BYW 612. As regards the tasteless accessories deprecated, they were all there when I had it dragged out in Newcastle in 1957. It is providential I did not send you the rear 3/4-view, as this reveals a horrific tow bar. This was removed forthwith. If your May 1951 edition discloses the absence of debatable accessories, I cannot argue, but as I wrote you earlier I knew the car in 1936 to 1939 and somehow I think they were there then and did not detract one iota from its majestic low-slung appearance. If Mr. Davy cares to look up your April 1959 edition and Messrs. Simmons of Mayfair full page advert, he will find it there realistically priced, just as I first saw it. To complete the saga in this vein, in one of your later editions last year a newish concern advertised it as being available next month as from the South of France, where it did go, at approx. 11,600. I should add, and Mr. Davy can make up his mind whether he was fortunate or otherwise in not acquiring it, that during the rebuild we found the oil pump filter completely blocked with caked carbon, hence the run big-ends, not surprising as according to the original log book it had been stored 18 years, from 1939. There was no apparent damage to the crankshaft and when rebuilt it ran as it should, with good oil pressure. It is therefore extremely unlikely that Mercedes-Benz ever looked it over. Before I parted with it in 1959 I left it at their works along the West Rd. for a check-over and on returning next day asked for my account, I was agreeably surprised when told it had been a pleasure and there was no charge! How nice!

I am enclosing another picture of an old favourite, a 1924 Alvis Special. Seated is my old friend the late Bill White, affectionately known as "Castrol White", area rep. Newcastle area. This Special had close-ratio box, a Wizard hard-top, half of which swung outwards while you leapt in, fully cellular all round and top with braced steel struts, stored in tail with spare wheel.

The last I saw of it was when my brother was recalled urgently from leave in 1941-ish and I lent it to him to return to his RAF base in Wiltshire, I think. He was next heard of at Seletar Aerodrome, Singapore and, being equipment officer and with the Japs breathing down their necks, was told by his CO to scram but first ignite 6,000,000 gallons of high octane which he did. Glad to say he finished up o.k. by Chinese dhow via Java to Ceylon. Being a regular he was posted to New York as embarkation officer RAF around 1950, was decorated by the Ambassador, Washington, after which his friend driving him away from the party pranged the Ambassadorial R-R and finished up a tree in the driveway. You can't win 'em all. This Alvis deserves a full description, maybe later, but do hope it meets with Mr. Davy's approval; just the bare necessities!

Lytham-St. Anne's W. B. WRIGHT