I guess we will keep her

This past week we drove rusted-out Der Klunker (1981 SD300) from New York to Florida and back. Total mileage about 3,000. Fuel mileage for the entire trip was 28.5 mpg and on some legs where it was all highway
driving at 70+ mph mileage was just short of 30 mpg. A flawless expedition. Everything worked, except the tachometer. Most of the time a steady 70+ mph all day and at the end of the day feeling fresh, not exhausted and beaten up by vibration and bumps of every size. A true Grand Touring Car. Nice car. Good car. We will keep her.
Some observations:
On uncongested sections of the Interstate, regardless of the posted speed limit, the de facto speed limit is 70 mph. If the posted limit is 55, traffice noves at 70. If it is 65, traffiuce moves at 70. And if it's 70 traffice moves at 70. The cops seem to tolerate that. The people who get nabbed ar doing better than 80 out in the open and/or weaving crazily through the traffic. The main stream cruising along at 70, regardless, does not get bothered.
Mercedes are scarce outside major cities. We saw very few of any type on the highway.
I had no idea there were so many RVs in the world, especially RVs towing a car, like great land yachts towing a dinghy.
Anybody who spends more than $50 a night for lodging is getting ripped off. For as little as $35 you get double or king size beds, huge TV, microwave, fridge, lots of towels and toiletries, free breakfast and last but far from least (a deal breaker, in fact) high-speed Wi-Fi internet access and you park your car at the door of your unit. The Wi-Fi was a revelation. Ten times as fast as our at-home DSL.
Diesel fuel has got horribly expensive. We paid as much as $3.60/gallon and propably averaged $3.30. Much costlier than gasoline.
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The car has once again proven its worth. Good luck with it.
--
2007 T.G.Lambach. Publication in any form requires prior written
permission.
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I have an '81 300SD that I'm selling but you're so right about that car's cruising comfort. Nothing like it. Glad you decided to keep her for now. Good luck to you.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

We are not keeping her for now. We are keeping her for as long as she holds together.
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I'm asking $1500 for it. Perfect body, runs well, but has a lot of quirky interior issues.

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

That's what we paid for Der Klunker in 1999. It proved to be a very small down payment.
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I know that this is way off topic for subject matter in this group, but since you brought it up, do you mind telling us where you stayed for $35 per night? We make this trip often, and the recent price increases have been extraordinary.
Dan

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snipped-for-privacy@DELETETHIS.comcast.net says...

grows a forest of cheap motels, fast food joints and the like. If you stop in at the state welcome center you can get booklets full of coupons for lodging discounts, not to mention AARP discounts. It was really astonishing, even if some of the places are a bit seedy. The difference between one Econo Lodge and another, for example, can be great. The really impressive thing about travel lodging in this country is how good even the worst of them is. Clean towels, clean rooms, freshly made up beds, microwave, fridge, TV and of coure WiFi. The worst place we stayed in was the Traveler's Lodge in Alexandria where we paid more than $80 for a pretty small and seedy room, albeit fully equipped. One of the best was an Econo Lodge just north of the Georgia border, which had a pool (didn't try it) and a full free hot breakfas. $50. If you have your computer with you you can check your destinations with MapQuest, get a listing of all hotels and motels in the area and check thier prices before hand. It's just marvelous.
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