Our previous Car Clock of the Week came from a car built just 12 years ago, so it seemed right to look at a timepiece from a much earlier machine. Last week, I was prowling my local self-service junkyards in search of interesting Junkyard Treasures, and I spotted a very solid proto-E-Class sedan.
The E-Class category hadn’t been invented yet in 1967, when this 230 sedan was new, but this car’s descendants eventually received the E-Class name starting in the late 1980s. Sadly, not many seem interested in rescuing a four-cylinder European sedan of the middle 1960s these days, so this car went to its final parking space with very little rust and a reasonably clean interior.
We’ll see more of this car in a future Junkyard Treasure, but for now we’ll just focus on that cool-looking Kienzle analog clock in the dash.
With a Detroit car of this era, chances that the clock will work— or even be easily repairable— approach nil. However, I’ve learned that old Kienzle clocks were built very well and I’ve got at least one from the 1960s that works perfectly.
A few minutes of work and $4.99 later, I owned this fine chronometer.
Kienzle was part of VDO at this time, or maybe it was the other way around, and so the front has Kienzle branding and the rear shows that VDO TACHOMETERWERKE built this clock. Note that it comes from Germany, not West Germany.
When I hooked up power to the clock the first time, nothing happened. At age 53 and four months, what would you expect?
However, I’ve opened up enough of these electro-mechanical VDO clocks to know their tricks, and a bit of cleaning and oiling had it working fine (after who-knows-how-many decades of being dead).
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