The original battery died earlier this year... exceptional effort from a galvanic cell. It was at this point I discovered the location - under the passenger seat...Germans, go figure!
Fuel pump packed it in $300 AUD fix.
Front LHS suspension strut replaced after clanking over bumps... so I replaced both. Never realised what I was missing with new dampeners. The handling firmed up, a lot less roll now without noticeable compromise on ride comfort, ie it didn't become stiff.
Usual service checks bring up small items like dashboard globes, power window switch getting stuck (gotta stop eating munchies in the car)
I drive the car quite hard so I have had to replace the pads and machine the disks at twice the rate.
Transmission Valve Body needed replacing at 115,000km...no reverse...- Most expensive fix $900 AUD. Probably cause I drive it like a manual.
Air conditioner radiator behind the dash leaked..$900 fix AUD.
Master brake booster leaked. $750 fix AUD.
For all the apparent problems I need to put it in context. Over the 60,000km of travel I've spent about $6000AUD in maintenance. The car was purchased for $33,000AUD. This is about 10% of the car's value each year over two years.
From some of the other horror stories I've read this seems fairly docile.
Very happy with the performance and the overall bang for buck.
The quality of the interior is superb. 10 years on and friends still comment on how new it looks inside. Admittedly, this is a combination of classic styling and good maintenance... or is it just friends stroking my ego?
Passenger comfort is outstanding. Better than most new mainstream cars. (Fords, Holdens, Toyotas etc.) In my opinion a well kept older classic vehicle has better value for luxury bang that a brand new cloth seated car.
I treat the leather seats 4 times a year with cleaner and protecting softener. This makes a huge difference. The seats come up practically new every time! I highly recommend this.
All electrics, (mem seats, mirrors, sunroof, rear shade blind, auto dimming rear view mirror etc) still work fine... maybe I've been lucky.
The engine is this car's stand out feature. The V8's ability to lug around almost 2 tonnes with effortless ease is exceptional when you think of it.
Fuel Consumption: in the hands (or in this case FEET) of the driver. Driven softly and on highways will sip 9.5L/100km. That's on par with new FORDS and pretty damn good for a 10 year old car. Throw some frustration out and it'll happily guzzle 18L/100km. But gee the exhilarating feeling it provides when you leave traffic 100m behind you at every turn.
I've found this capacity of power to fuel consumption trade off agreeable. V12 750's are too costly to run and 730's have no grunt.
Still get that sinking feeling when the foot pounds the floor. Gotta luv that 4.4ltr V8. Bear that in mind before choosing a 730.
For a heavy luxury sedan it handles and performs beyond expectations when compared with similar priced and aged luxury vehicles.
Again, not without its problems, but then again who can seriously say they expect a mechanical machine to be maintenance free?
On balance, beautiful, refined with a solid safe feel about it.
Time to move up to a 1998! Ah yes...the money.
This is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.