CCs In Israel: September-October-November – Mercs and More

Grey GMC Sonoma, Gray Peugeot 305, Yellow VW Beetle, Black Mercedes-Benz W124

Along with everything else, COVID-19 has done damage to my CC capturing ability. As most of the world ground to a halt, so did classic traffic, as I usually call it, and although I was continuing to drive to work, more people working from home means less interesting vehicles to video. Thus, this collection of CCs and the like from Israel is the sum of three months bunched up- and two of these captures could be considered as cheating!


So, on with the video- as usual, if necessary I’ll elaborate below:

Starting off: I had this MB wrongly identified as the W124, one of my three most favorite Mercedes-Benz cars (the others being its W123 predecessor and the W126 S-Class). But Jim Klein corrected me in the comments below that this is the smaller 190E W201. To my credit, its black color and possibly the late-model cosmetic revisions (that draw it yet more similar to its larger brother), set me off. I had the plate number run through an Israeli register, and the result is a 1990 model year, so- still a respectable age for this car.

The first-gen GMC Sonoma is interesting because in Israel, it’s becoming rarer by the minute. I’ve written plenty about the second-gen (example), but the first generation is quite elusive. This specific truck is still a working truck serving a welder, as attested by the markings on the car. I’d say this is probably one of the later models, as shown by its grille, and a point of interest; note the left-rear light cluster- that’s a fine fix-up.

We come now to the “cheating” part of this post; you’ve seen that Peugeot 305 before. So not only have I captured and added it again in this post, I’ve done it twice! The 306 appears again further down this video, which runs chronologically. I’ve done that for two reasons: 1. Whilst driving and spotting a classic, I don’t hang around to think whether I’ve encountered it before- simply press a “save” button and view the files later. If the footage is good, then why not use it? 2. There really is a shortage of CCs driving around these days, as said above, so beggars can’t be choosers. Hence, I’ve inserted the 305, which is obviously taking the (mostly) same route as I am to work. As for the car itself, the only difference with the previous capture I can see, is the addition of ugly modern-style wheel covers, that are really unnecessary on this type of car- but who am I to judge?

You still get a second-gen Sonoma, just because of that flatbed setup, which is very rare in Israel- at least with this type of (smaller) pickup truck. Local owners will not easily be rid of the original bed, but who knows- maybe it was damaged so much on this truck that it was decided to turn it into the usual Israeli small-time movers’ truck, that would normally serve a small flat’s moving. That cage is built to the highest legally possible height to maximize the loading capacity, and usually you’d see a canvas top covering the entire setup. In Israel that role would fall almost entirely upon the pickup version of the Fiat Ducato/ Peugeot J5, which are equipped with a flatbed from the get go- simply add a cage and you’re set.

Next up is the familiar shape of the Mercedes-Benz SL R107, a previous example of which was captured before. As much as I like the W116 sedan’s style the R107 is based upon, I never warmed up to these SLs- perhaps it’s the “Bobby Ewing” connotations (you have to be old enough to get those, but that’s not a problem in the CC community…).

Moving on (past that 305 again) to another Mercedes-Benz, and as said above, one of my favorites- the S-Class W126. I’ve discussed these in the last post, so here I’ll just add that this example is a 1986 model, sold originally in Israel rather than being a recent import. The W126 has a fine survival rate and for a classic running back some 35 years, can still be seen on the roads from time to time.

Now on to my pick of this collection, a yellow VW Beetle. I’ve never been a fan of these, despite realizing their appeal- Beetles are too agricultural for me. But I always welcome (shall we say) “revisions” to such classics, as this example obviously received; lowered with wider wheels & tires makes all the difference. As with other countries, the Beetle enjoys a large following in Israel and a dedicated club of its own (well, mostly- it’s a VW air-cooled club rather). By now you’d think I’d probably write something regarding these cars in Israel, and you’d be correct. Plenty more examples are shown in that linked post.

The final CC in the video is yet another Mercedes, the replacement to the R107- the R129. In Israel, those are not nearly as common as their predecessor, perhaps lacking the “classic” feel or for being so large and ungainly (some might even call them ugly). Whichever way you look at it, the younger cars have turned some twenty years-old, so deserve a CC stature. I’d say this example is indeed one of the later models, and “sporting” what I think is non-standard, 20″ giant wheels. A pretty car? You’d be the judge.


Other than that? Not much; Come the end of November, the Astra has, after four years, a change of tires- the Continental ContiPremium 5 that were on the car from new started drying, although they still had much tread left in them. But as we’re entering winter in Israel, and really, those ought to have been changed after three years (they held up so well because the Astra is parked around 95% of its time in underground). So off I went to “my” usual place, where I attend to all tire matters, and was greeted with a novelty- A lift:

White Opel Astra K

Exactly a year and a day before I was at the same place with the Civic Tourer to replace its tires, and chose what is currently considered best all-round tires for such vehicles: Michelin Primacy 4. Sadly, COVID-19 has done havoc to their available stock, which would be replenished come January. I decided not to wait and take the Primacy’s Goodyear alternative. which is EfficientGrip Performance (of a recent crop- produced in August 2020). Like the guy at the tire shop said: “The Michelin is a Merc, the Goodyear is a BMW- take your pick!” Having done my homework a year ago with the Civic, I knew he wasn’t lying. So:

Good Year EfficientGrip Performance

Thus ends this post- hopefully I’ll be able to write the next one sooner than three months.