Monterey Car Week Highlights: The Golden Era of Mechanical Fuel Injection on Display
Yankee Diesel ventured west to California’s Central Coast to experience one of the most coveted weeks in the collector car world. Amongst the dozens of events, auction houses, and OEMs, we found ourselves amongst thousands of enthusiasts, spectators, and professionals celebrating all aspects of automobile excellence. Although social media and industry magazines will quote the latest concept vehicles, the most powerful hypercars, and the most expensive auction results, we prefer the highlights that are true to our roots. Exploring many of the week’s events including Legends of the Autobahn, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca, and the 68th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance showcased an extensive selection of vehicles from the last 120 years. Many examples from the peak of mechanical fuel injection prevalence were scattered through the show fields and race paddocks. In this post, we hope you enjoy these unique and memorable excerpts from Monterey Car Week 2018.
The “Brauner Benz”, a very well-traveled 1982 Mercedes-Benz 200D, was on display by Blue Nelson at the far end of the Legends of the Autobahn field. Originally driven nearly 600,000km by Markus Besold throughout Europe, Africa, and the Americas, the vehicle was found behind a shipping container near Long Beach California and put back on the road by Blue in recent years. The bullet holes, camping gear, sand ladders, and reshaped rear quarter where a tree limb fell on it serve as an inspiration to the adventurer in all of us, and embodies the spirit of overland travel.
Also present at the Autobahn event was a 1969 280SE Cabriolet fully restored and presented by the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center.
In the paddocks at Laguna Seca, a 1972 Porsche 911 S/T in light ivory without race numbers serves as a gentle reminder of its U.S. racing pedigree. This being one of twenty-one factory S/Ts built, had placed 4th overall and 3rd in class at the Daytona 24-Hours race that year.
Tucked in the upper left of the Porsche’s engine bay is a Bosch PE mechanical fuel injection pump. These pumps were used briefly from 1969 to early 1973 before Porsche switched to Bosch’s D-Jetronic for less than a year before adopting Bosch’s CIS injection system.
A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing cooling off after racing in Class 2A (1947-1955 Sports Racing and GT Cars)
At the Mercedes-Benz Pavilion, this 1938 Mercedes-Benz W125 Rekordwagen was on display, stating the January 1938 world record it set for fastest speed ever recorded on a public road: 432.7 kph or 268.9 mph. The record was not broken until November 2017, just shy of 80 years later. The 765hp V12 was cooled by more than 100 liters of ice and water since the aerodynamic body (Cd=0.17) did not allow sufficient air flow for the cooling system at speed.