How a fouled spark plug can cause stuttering fibrillations and tribulations in a classic Merc W123

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Stuart Johnston had to replace the spark plugs on his classic Mercedes-Benz W123.
Stuart Johnston had to replace the spark plugs on his classic Mercedes-Benz W123.
Stuart Jonhston

It was one of those mornings when everything seemed to be going right, as they used to say in one of the old car ads (Toyota, yeah, and they weren't kidding). Even though I'd stayed up till after midnight in a Nascar-watching funk, I'd managed to haul my sorry head out of bed just after the second snooze cycle.

I felt pretty good because my favourite driver had hauled his Ford Mustang back from a lowly 32nd place and a lap down to finish sixth after three hours of crashes, cautions, pit stops, and a couple of the front-runners having run out of fuel with the chequered flag in sight.

I pondered these things as I readied myself for a meeting with the dealer principal (DP) of a car sales emporium about 20 minutes up the motorway. It was important because, due to Covid-19, I had been forced to write a road test in less than ideal circumstances. I needed the dealer principal to allow me access to a similar newly launched model to double-check what I had surmised about a rather controversial aspect of the car.

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