I drive a 1976 300D---in my opinion the best car in the world. That
said, I have recently been on a kick to beautify the interior. I
apologize in advance if this is kind of rambling. I'm 'just' a girl,
but I'm trying to learn more about my car while surrounded by men who
are not 'car people'. My mechanic is invaluable, but he's an engine
guy and not as interested about cosmetics as he is the nitty gritty
mechanical stuff. Translation: I'm basically on my own here.
1.) Cosmetically she's in absolutely excellent shape...with the
exception of the driver seat. I've just returned the third pair of
car seat covers, and even though my M.B. mechanic sagely warned me I'd
have trouble finding a good fit if I went the 'one size fits all'
route, I thought I'd try buying directly off the shelf. Stupid.
"Universal" clearly does not mean universal. After hours of searching
and reading ads I've come to the conclusion that in order to find the
best fit I will need to shell out $300-800 on custom-fit sheepskins.
Does anyone with the 114/115 chassis have a better suggestion or a
recommendation on where to more affordably find covers that will
guarantee to fit? And if not, and I do end up paying the big bucks
for sheepskins, which site or company would be the best bet? I am
rather overwhelmed by the options and price fluctuations for what
appear to be identical products. Plus, I've read a few nightmare
testimonials about ordering ‘custom' sheepskins (at custom prices) but
the covers still did not properly fit. Since they cannot be returned
and my budget barely allows such a luxury, I need assurance of
reputable sites or companies familiar with the classic Benz. Is this
something I should do in person at a local upholstery shop or is it
safe to order online? Oh, and I've browsed the MBCA site and didn't
really find my answer from The Star.
2.) OK, now here's where I look like a total idiot. There are the
sites that sell upholstery kits that match the German MB tex vinyls
like worlduph.com, adsitco.com, millermbz.com or gahh.com, but I have
no idea whatsoever what this entails. Some say it's a ‘no sew' kind
of deal, others say you have to use professional installation. I don't
even understand what exactly these kits or textiles do. Does it cover
the existing seat? What's involved in this? I'd rather be humiliated
here before calling these companies and asking such ignorant
questions. Basically what I'm asking is that once a site has proven
it can successfully match your interior what do you actually do with
it once these materials arrive?
3.) Next, the dash. My dash has no cracks or tears whatsoever, but
it does have an unsightly vent on the top that is rippled and warped.
(I'm not sure what this vent or area is called and my manual is too
far away right now to be fetched.) Apparently this is a common flaw
in many 300Ds. While surfing for the seat covers I discovered that
you can buy dash covers like this one
which are meant to cover the existing dash. Again, is this something
that is easily installed? Any personal experience using a similar
product? Does it look decent? If my vent is severely warped in that
one spot would this dash cover fit properly in the first place? Are
dash covers I've seen on other sites that are made from carpet/fabric
more attractive than the vinyl or hard plastic ‘casings' like this one
above? If so, again, any recommendations are welcome. In previous
years I've been fortunate enough to garage my car, but I may be losing
my parking facility and the Texas sun is a killer for interiors.
4.) Lastly, I would love to find a site or literature that would
tell me without doubt the exact name of my interior...and for kicks my
original factory paint shade too. I'm certain it must have a name,
but I've been unable to locate it. So anyone who can point me in the
direction of info about the names of original factory paint and
interior colors for 1976 300Ds for American sale, well, that would be
so helpful! I'm mainly just curious. I tried running my VIN through a
couple of sites to see if that would shed any light, but my car was
too old to be located. I also have searched eBay looking for maybe a
dealership brochure that would include paint/interior options for my
make and model but have not been able to locate such literature.
Calling my local Mercedes Benz dealerships is my last resort, as I've
had such sour experiences with them in the past with a previous Benz.
(In status-obsessed Dallas, the dealerships that see you driving a 25+
car, Benz or not, look at you like you've pulled up in a Pinto. Mint
condition or not.) I already know that calling them to query whether
my interior is ‘bamboo' or ‘antique bamboo' is pretty futile.
I thank all of you in advance for whatever help you can offer and hope
to glean more wisdom from experience as I learn more everyday about my
car. I never knew driving a diesel would be so much fun. And email
me directly if you happen to be in the D/FW area and need the BEST,
most honest and no-nonsense classic Mercedes mechanic in the
world--who usually correctly diagnoses any problems I have right over
the phone. He just listens to the car and knows what to do. (And he
treats his female clients with equal respect.) Driving these cars are
pointless unless you are willing to maintain them. He makes this a
Signed, one long-winded Benz chick.