The award winning Benz W123


Justice Geoffrey Kirywabwire’s Mercedes Benz 200 that falls under the manufacturer’s classification as a W123 is was registered in Uganda on March 23, 1978 with UWJ 419 number plate sequence.

Bought from Spear Motors Minimal, the 44-year previous black vehicle was 1st owned by the late Jovan Kiryabwire, who, in his will, gave it to his son, Geoffrey Kiryabwire, who is the second and current proprietor. It is just one of the autos in which Geoffrey learnt to travel as a teen, right before he totally owned it at 21. It was a person of the cars and trucks that have been picked, though not made use of in the motion picture The Last King of Scotland.

Jogging on a 2000cc 4-pace, petrol manual transmission engine, with a utmost speed of 240km/hr, the Benz’s decker radio is nonetheless functional. The engine is began by turning the ignition vital from the still left hand side of the steering wheel, when the handbrake is on the suitable hand aspect, a number of centimetres to the steering wheel.

Justice Kirywabwire has also stored the car’s unique company and routine maintenance reserve that exhibits you wherever each and every motor vehicle element is found and how it is replaced or serviced, and its primary logbook. Any auto enthusiast will know how to dismantle and reassemble this auto utilizing the specific illustrations in the maintenance manual. For instance, for an motor overhaul, it shows which elements are crucial and how to go about the procedure.

A great deal as the Benz W123 was launched in the 1970s, Geoffrey recalls it grew to become well-liked in the 1980s and early 1990s especially considering the fact that several people desired to use it as a bridal auto.

“On September 19, 1992, I chauffeured Justice George and Catherine Bamugemereire to their marriage ceremony. Clinical superintendents at Mulago Nationwide referral Hospital at the time these types of as Lawrence Kaggwa and Edward Naddumba also used it as their bridal vehicle and I was their driver,” Geoffrey recollects.

As Jovan aged, the Benz W123 was no for a longer period his vehicle of selection. He parked it in the garage for a long time from where it drastically deteriorated before Geoffrey picked it up in 2005 to start off its restoration. At the time, the seats had been rotten owing to rat waste. When the electronic process had also not been spared by the rats, the Benz W123 experienced also rusted. At the restoration garage, the automobile experienced to bear entire striping. The restoration approach started in 2005.

“It was a section with no timetable. Anytime I obtained some income, I worked on a component or two. I began with the system, followed by the electrical process, the engine and the seats ahead of spraying. What amazed me was that even prior to the restoration could commence, when I related the battery, the engine started off. It proved the engineering power of this model,” Geoffrey recalls.

Restoration took 8 decades. It eventually arrived out of the garage in a roadworthy issue in 2015, the yr in which it turned preferred. In 2018, the Benz W123 gained an award, (vehicle with the most intriguing heritage) all through the vintage and common automobile clearly show at Sheraton.

In the course of the restoration procedure, Geoffrey sourced for sections this kind of as the gearlever from Spear Motors Limited, open up marketplaces and from aged Mercedes makes no longer in use.

A few components these kinds of as the windscreen had been imported from Germany simply because the unique a single experienced cracked. Since the alternator could not cost the battery, he acquired 1 for a still left hand drive product that was then changed to be a right hand drive. The new seats with fresh sponge material were regionally sourced.

“If you want to restore any auto, toss away the receipts considering that it is tricky to set a selling price to it. When you commence, it turns into a passion and interest,” Geoffrey states.

John Burrows Lumu, a mechanic, states with the exception of sourcing for spare sections, vintage vehicles are simpler to restore since they were made with sturdy and tough metal compared to present day cars.

“Most classic autos, together with the Mercedes Benz W123 and the quite a few I have had a opportunity to restore, had been abandoned and still left to rot absent in bushes. Most components could be outdated but the overall body is generally intact. The obstacle is that mechanics who have an understanding of this kind of cars couple and tough to find. Their spare parts are also expensive and most are not sourced domestically,” Lumu points out.

Geoffrey drives his Benz only for the duration of the weekends. He expert services it after or two times a calendar year and replaces pieces this sort of as oil filters, motor oil and fuel filters and other few critical parts, which all charges not additional than Shs250,000.


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