Author is ‘ecstatic’ after Ossett garage fixes her 43-year-old Mercedes-Benz

A Wakefield author has praised a garage in Ossett for saving her 43-year-old car called Gertrude.

By Shawna Healey
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 4:17 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th August 2022, 4:06 pm
Elisa Wilkinson is 'ecstatic' that she could get her 43-year-old car fixed.
Elisa Wilkinson is 'ecstatic' that she could get her 43-year-old car fixed.

After bumping her beloved Mercedes-Benz 240 TD estate, which she has owned from new, Elisa Wilkinson, 83, from Thornes, said she struggled to find a garage to carry out the repairs.

She shopped around and was told that it would be “too difficult” to source the original parts from 1979.

Paul Rhodes of B & P Rhodes in Ossett who was the only mechanic who would touch the repair.

Elisa calls her Mercedes Gertrude.

Elisa said: “My car was the first demonstration model of an automatic diesel in Britain.

“The front wing, bumper bar and the chrome down the side of the car needed replacing.

“The garage in Ossett was the only one that would do anything with it.

“The others didn’t want to search or wait for the parts.

Paul was the only mechanic prepared to fix the car due to its age.

“I’m ecstatic over it. The car is like brand new again.”

Paul sourced the original parts needed for the repair on the Mercedes from Germany.

He said: “We’re good at repairing old vehicles and keeping them on the road.

“It is quite time consuming to source the parts and make sure they are the right ones.

“We repair anything here. We’ve been here as a company since 1963 and I’ve been here a long time. We’ve repaired cars a lot older than this.”

Despite Gertrude’s age, Elisa has no plans of retiring her and wants them to “grow old together”.

Elisa has driven the Mercedes-Benz “everywhere” including a road trip from Land End to John O’Groats, covering a distance of more than 837 miles.

Elisa has published several books including Seeing is Believing (2013) and Before and Throughout WW1 and WW2 to the Peacetime of the Present Day (2021) which weaves real stories of her family and her husband’s family wartime efforts with fiction.

She is due to release her newest title, the Haunting of Church Cottage, in the next few weeks.