Lee’s garage has completed some mild cosmetic bodywork on the E500. The car is looking as good as it did the day it left the Porsche factory in June of 1994. Lee’s is an authorized Mercedes-Benz body shop and they do first class work. After the car got back from Lee’s, Dean spent over twenty hours performing a thorough chassis detailing and undercarriage restoration. This rigorous process included putting the car on a lift and scrubbing and removing all surface dirt and topical rust with specialized solvents and wire brushes.
Dean then media blasted key areas and steam cleaned the entire undercarriage. He called me and rendered the verdict: the E500 survived the last 21 years remarkably well and has very little rust on the undercarriage. He said the car cleaned up fantastically well. I was not surprised given the way I have maintained the car and the fact that the car spent its entire life properly garaged. Dean even corrected some small damage and scratches on the tire tub. He properly prepped it and re-painted it with several coats of factory correct gray Mercedes paint. As Dean said to me on he phone the other day, “you can now eat caviar off the undercarriage.”
Dean and his team are now hard at work on the interior restoration. This extensive project includes removing the circa 1994 Mercedes factory cell phone, replacing the headliner, correcting some worn upholstery and leather, removing the broken K40 radar detector system (a big job as several sensors and indicators were integrated into the bumpers and dashboard), installing the beautfully refinished woodwork, fixing the factory radio/CD changer, and replacing the old steering wheel with a horrendously expensive but beautiful Mercedes factory-correct walnut Sportline unit.
Later next week we will begin the mechanical restoration. Given the overall outstanding condition of the original car, our mechanical restoration will really be more of an extensive service check up. The mechanical work will include a general service to the A/C system, all new belts and hoses, and the changing of all fluids. Back in 2012, the E500 had over $6500 of mechanical work performed by Delray Mercedes-Benz in Florida. These repairs included replacing the complex wiring harness as well as installing a new ignition control module (both of which are well-known very high cost wear items on the W124 500E/E500 series.
Photos of the interior restoration in process: