This is just a little story, diary of events that I would like to share with people about a little life experience for a hobby and passion of mine, cars ! Yep its a car story. Throughout the years I have owned an assortment of cars, like in the Transformers movie when they say a car chooses its owner, I think that is true. A car ( or motorbike ) is the first step to freedom and you have many of them throughout your life, but sometimes something comes along that is a keeper and this is about one such car.
I had always thought of owning a 90’s 500 / 600 SL Mercedes, for me this car ticked all the boxes, corporate yet with style and you could enjoy it on the weekend too, after talking to a few people I decided to purchase a 600SL when I could, but I knew that I would have to earn it and that driving such a car you didn’t want to get labeled as a nobody, or some rich kid who’s parents bought it for them. One thing I have noticed in society is that society recognises you when you have earned something, so I told myself that once I have reached a certain milestone in life I would reward myself.
I had a very good friend who owned a 190e, Zircon Silver Manual, I used to help him with his photography business and some other things on the side, this was the first time I saw and experienced a 190e up close and personal, he always used to joke with his wife and ask me ” hey Aldo, who’s car do you like more “, to which I replied your one George, you gotta sell it to me one day, he showed me the manual shift pattern on the first time I was his assistant on photo shoot, and it was ” lift to the left and up for reverse “, he was showing me this and from the tone it was as if he indeed wanted to sell me that car one day, basically he was giving me a demo till the day came when I gave him money and he gave me the keys, he had all the seats in lambs wool covers, even the steering wheel, he told me that was, to keep the seats and interior in brand new condition and I was gunning for the day when I could buy this from him, or rather he passed it on to me. Well my great friend passed away and I never had the opportunity to buy that car from him, it was actually wrecked and sold, sad indeed but beyond my control.
Time went on, one day I found myself flipping through Unique Cars Magazine and suddenly something caught my eye, it was an advertising for a Mercedes 190e 2.3 16v and it looked similar yet different to the one George had, I was intrigued, it was as if the advert just winked at me, so I began to read further, the car was owned by a business owner not far from where I lived, but the asking price was twenty five thousand dollars, and I was thinking why on earth does a 1986 car so expensive . . . hmmmm . . . so I began to do some research and discovered why that car was so pricey, but aside from the price it was something that appealed to me and had piqued my interest. I searched for the car on car sales to get a better look. The next week I rang the owner and arranged a time to meet him to look it over.
I arrived after work to met Han, a restaurateur who owned several restaurants in Australia and Asia, he looked at me and must have seen the twinkle in my eye, I was serious, he threw me the keys and simply said ” take it for a drive , I have to go and open up the restaurant “. I looked back and said, ” umm thats ok, I just wanted to inspect it today and I never drive another mans car unless I have bought it “, one of these things drummed into my head by my dad, ” driving another mans car is like sleeping with his woman, there are somethings in life that you just don’t do ” yes, totally agree, never cut another mans lunch and all of that. Anyway so Han left and here I was alone with the car I had only seen in pictures, I opened it and the smell of the new car greeted me, when I looked inside, it literally was brand new inside, everything was in place, there was not a spec of dust, the only thing that was changed was the manual gear knob from the stock one, replaced by a wooden round ball type.
From just the interior I already knew that this car was mint. I opened the hood and had a look at the condition of the engine, that too looked as if it had been delivered right now from the factory, but then I saw the shock tower struts braces and I was like hmmmm . . .. Not knowing too much about this car and I didn’t want to be pretending that I knew about this car, I closed the hood as Han came back from opening the restaurant, once again he asked me ” do you want to take it for a drive ” its was in a manner that he was almost insisting, like go and have some fun kid, but I declined and asked him why the hell he was selling this car, it was literally mint. He told me that while travelling overseas he ” bought it because he liked the look of it “, he has many other cars, he rarely ever drove it, but kept all his cars serviced with the best of the best and now that he was travelling around a lot to manage his business he just needed to sell a lot of cars he acquired as they would sit and deteriorate as he was thinking of going to live overseas again. He told me usually restaurant owners park fancy cars in front of their restaurants as an accessory to attract business, there you go, learned something new, probably the same as hiring a hot receptionist, check out chick, bank teller, retail assistant, to get more business super model style.
Then Han turned to me and said, look if you’re really want it I could do it for 20 – 15, and if this one was sold he had another one in Black, I was like hmmm . . . cant lose either way, the next week he lowered the price on the online and possibly print adverts and I was keeping track of this. When I was ready, Han had left the country and the restaurant I had met him at now had new owners so I missed out on that car, this was the second one after Georges one . . . now I was determined to get me one of these cars !Next time, the big search begins. How I managed to find the car, or how the car found me more like.