Peter van Wijk was active as a taxi driver in a previous life. He got to know the Mercedes-Benz W210 there, and embraced his childhood love in 2016. Peter bought an S210 Avantgarde with the six-cylinder line OM606 3.0 Turbo-diesel engine (Euronorm 3). He had his copy of the controversial building series cosmetically restored by Dick Bathoorn, and with angular patience ensured that the 339 Violan painted Benz became a technically flawless, crackling and rattle-free copy. More about that later in one of the following issues of the magazine Auto Motor Klassiek. Now we already share our driving experiences with the result and have tasted every reason to call the worried child of the past a true car enthusiast.
Via garage owner and mechanic Mike de Jong and restorer Dick Bathoorn (also good friends of Peter) we set sail for the dealer who delivered the S210 in 1999 new: Baan Twente in Rijssen. A nice ride is on the horizon. The correct sitting position can be found in this wonderful young timer in no time. We send the Benz almost automatically over narrow inner roads, built-up areas, provincial roads and over the A28. The large Mercedes fits like a glove, and the ease of operation exudes self-evident from the outset. And during every kilometer traveled, the courteous comfort qualities of Das Haus emerge clearly and unambiguously.
Comfortable chassis does not shrink
The chassis in this Avantgarde trim is sportier-tuned with an excellent working tension between the double front arms and Raumlenkerachse (with level control) behind smoothly absorbs unevenness. Despite the sportier coordination, we experience a very high level of comfort in this S210. The chassis gives no shrinkage and no cracking, while the front in particular springs in and out dosed. As a result, this Mercedes-Benz also takes care of the work for the occupants and almost carries it away, without this being at the expense of the driver's feeling of driving. Impressive.
There is something else that greatly contributes to the unrivaled driving experience: the combination of the OM606 and the 722.6 five-speed automatic transmission, which we leave in the Standard position. There is another option to switch to winter mode, whereby the channel change is used earlier. We leave this out of operation, because even in the regular position, the transmission works superbly. It is striking that the automatic transmission almost presents a mental connection with the driver and the 177 PK-generating three-liter Turbodiesel in the front. Those who want to accelerate quickly or want to use a deciduous between acceleration are well served with the kickdown function of the machine. The speed of the six-cylinder Turbodiesel climbs effortlessly to 3.250 rpm, before moving on smoothly to the next shift phase.
Connection with driver
Thanks to the blocked torque converter in three, four and five, the automatic transmission switches to the highest gear with ease. The electronics, together with the perfect state of maintenance of the container, ensure far-reaching flexibility. With smooth acceleration and acceleration, that smooth shifting characteristic is maintained. This machine offers so much feeling that it is child's play to have it move with a slight foot movement. The electronics and the transmission are really connected to the driver, and we do not always see that in today's vending machines. It says a lot about the construction of this Mercedes machine.
Excellent acceleration characteristic
Talk about speeding up. The beautiful conventional turbo diesel in the foreground - with a noticeable 318.000 kilometer life experience - releases its maximum traction power early and accelerates steadily. On the A28 in the direction of Hoogeveen we drive the E300 Turbodiesel Avantgarde in no time at a speed of 170 kilometers per hour, with in the background that fine six-cylinder diesel noise that produces the indirectly injected and blown self-igniter. We hold on to that speed for a moment, because we want to arrive in Rijssen without fines. This knowledge also means that we do not use the reserves any further, and that we take back gas. But this is Langstreck suitable, so you can keep it up for hours. Yet the moment has arrived when we will take the exit for rurality. When we leave the highway and descend through it to the Twente country, a completely different characteristic emerges: the ease with which the Benz can also be driven at lower speeds.
It is logical to assume that the Mercedes is challenging the driver to drive faster on the provincial roads than is permitted. But the Benz does not do that. You don't feel any incentive to speed up when the pointer of the speedometer indicates 80-100 kilometers per hour. Even then, the car remains extremely controlled, and it adapts flawlessly to the need to drive very quietly. You ask, Benz is running. That idea.
Chameleon quality, opulent equipment
It is a chameleon quality, because there are countless sturdy motorized vehicles that impose their impatience on the driver, unlike this Benz. The engine does not buckle, the machine acts obediently, and that wonderful spring, seating and sound comfort does the rest. It is combined with comfort-friendly equipment for 1999 standards (including separate climate control, sliding / tilting roof, Mercedes-Benz stereo, electrically adjustable driver's seat, automatically dimming interior mirror, downward-facing exterior mirror for reverse parking, leather upholstery, maple wood) and safety area (ASR, ABS, traction control). We have not even discussed functionalities such as the 600 liter measuring luggage space and the possibilities for creating a long flat floor, but count on Peter van Wijk to make optimum use of these conveniences.
Loved when coming home to Twente
We arrive at Mercedes-Benz dealer Baan Twente. There we get a nice glimpse into the company on the basis of founder Jan Baan and soon come face to face with a collection of beautiful classics. The son of the founder and the current co-director Gert Jan Baan is impressed by the condition of Peter van Wijk's young timer. Baan, who has seen quite a few special examples of Das Haus pass by, cannot resist the temptation to make a round with Peters' Benz and is very impressed. That can be considered as a big compliment. A loft speech for Peter, who went very far with Mike de Jong and Dick Bathoorn to get his daily driver perfect. They made this S210 the Next Level E-Class as Mercedes-Benz had intended it. It is a real one, proving why it is a privilege to be on the road with a Mercedes-Benz.
In one of the following AMK releases you will soon read much more about the S210, the restoration and the background of the revival.