To my great relief I actually got the documents from DVLA with no questions asked! I was now the proud owner of two 124 300CEs...

After a trip to my friendly local garage for an oil change I dashed to my local tyre shop for five new tires after the guy had said that he wouldn't drive the car on those tyres. This is where the cost savings over a newer car start to become apparent: I can get five tyres for a 124 (or for a 123 for that matter) for the same price as two for my 3.0l Audi. The tyres for the 124 have the same speed rating...

Having done that I realised that the petrol gauge was still reading half full after goodness knows how many miles. That was a slightly worrying trip to the petrol station...

The petrol gauge was sticking - so how many miles dare I do between visits to the patrol station? I decided that around 200-250 (with 250 being the absolute maximum that I would risk!) would probably be ok. She has a thirteen (Imperial) gallon tank, so even at 20mpg (absolute worst case scenario - although to be fair she has never gone as low as that except on one trip to London) that would be 260 miles.

So all I need to do is zero the trip counter every time I fill her up? Ah, well, it doesn't quite work like that - in fact the trip counter doesn't quite work at all! The numbers go round just fine, but the push button to zero it doesn't work. It appears to be jammed.

Thus began what is possibly the world's largest collection of pictures of a W124's clocks, as clearly the only way to record the mileage is to photograph it!

Clara's Clocks

Oh and by the way I was told while I was getting the tyres that the whole exhaust system needed replacing. This could write the car off for me! They must be really expensive, I should think - such a rare car... Oh well, she sounds ok for now. We'll worry about that when the MOT comes around - or have a word with my guy next time he is doing something to it

So far not (too) deterred (and financially committed to making this work!) I was now in a position to start using a 28 1/2-year-old 300 CE with 151,000 miles on her as my daily driver on my 50 mile each way trip to my client. What could possibly go wrong?

4 What Could Possibly Go Wrong?