Category Archives: Cars
All By Itself.
One truly stunning white-on-red classic effortlessly contributes a generous splash of panache to my neighborhood street. While such a specimen of historic German elegance emerges from a long line of attractive relatives competing for their place, this particular 1961 190 SL also happens to hold its own, making a powerfully nostalgic statement all by itself.
A Fresh Look…
Among all the classic masterpieces already sold, slowly by surely come more for sale via Mercedes Motoring. It’s always a pleasure to take a fresh look at the remarkable lot.
Adding to My Bucket List…
Checking out the offerings du jour from my newest favorite sales source, this beautiful gem quickly rose to the top. 1978 was certainly a good year for SLs. As such, I’m adding to my bucket list a cross-country road trip from Vermont to California.
The details are here, in case you beat me to it:
1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SL for sale #1765408 | Hemmings Motor News.
Of All His Moments…. This?
The well-played role of Tom Bradford notwithstanding, this schmaltzy moment of all-American automotive nostalgia is what somehow first popped into my mind upon hearing of his passing. RIP Dick Van Patten.
Again, Worth Stopping.
As I’ve mentioned at least once before, a favorite cycling moment for me is one in which I’m brought to a halt by the sight of a well-kept, vintage Mercedes-Benz. Such an instance came again, this time along Foothill Road in Santa Barbara. On this occasion the beautiful classic worth stopping to examine was one Stone Pine Green 1976 450 SL, in remarkable condition– at least cosmetically for all I could see. And even better– it’s for sale, along with many more photos than my one. Have a complete look for yourself if you share my appreciation.
Upon mere outside glance the decision might be a difficult one, given such immediate similarity between the C and CLA. As well discussed however, the numerous distinctions come from within the engineering of these two Mercedes-Benz cars, not to mention that other difference– the one from within your bank account. Horsepower, drivetrain and rear headroom aside, talking pure looks in this case, I get the feeling I’d opt for the lower-priced CLA myself. Et vous?
History That Shines, MBZ Style.
From one famous version to the next, to capture such a transition in the same eyeshot always proves fascinating, especially via matching samples. This particular automotive progression covers 1971 to 1972, W113 to R107, second generation to third– or most visibly, 280 to 350/450. Altogether, the Mercedes-Benz SL shines through its rich history, while in this case the original California blue plates accurately reflect the close purchase period, no less. And to think, the newer of the two sits for sale right now in Santa Barbara, asking price $26K in case you’re so inclined.
On my regular cycling route along Pacific Coast Highway through Malibu came a recent halt to my cadence, much to my non-surprise. After all, at hand is this rare, stunning and visibly flawless 1974 450 SE, if not with original paint job then appropriately repainted to the period-popular factory color of thistle. This particular car’s rare column shifter is noteworthy; the oversized American-spec bumpers are not, first mandated in this model year after all. Halted as I was, the happier I resumed my ride. My affinity for well-kept vintage Mercedes-Benz cars lives on, especially considering those the exact same age as I am. If I could look this good at 40! 😉
At 50: Better Than Ever!
Of the numerous classic American and world icons rounding the half-century mark this year— Jeopardy!, The British Invasion, 8-Tracks– one biggie stands quite worthy of its own mention: The Ford Mustang has been with us for 50 years, exactly– this week in fact. The legendary muscle coupe of decade-varying proportions debuted in New York on April 17, 1964. And now, expectedly enough, a new generation is on the way to commemorate Mustang’s anniversary model year. What looked great 50 years ago– and maintains its good looks today following a few awkward “growth periods” shall we say (watch just about any original episode of “Charlie’s Angels”)– is clearly poised to emerge yet again looking better than ever! At last, I feel young.
A Halt in My Step.
The sight of an impeccably restored and beautifully detailed– not to mention blindingly buffed– 1981 380 SLC proves more than enough to put a halt in the step of any true classic Mercedes-Benz aficionado. So it is for yours truly, as I clearly halt in good company– with a well-deserved nod to the responsible party.
Dead & (Soon) Gone.
What was I just recently saying? Well, in the past few weeks since this further update, the visual confirmation has been steadily reconfirming itself. One example: The ELR commercial that played countless times during the Olympics– a well-cast and even better-scripted spot which I very much appreciate, by the way.
So be it. Cadillac has made its decision. The insignia’s wreath is dead and will soon be gone– via a slow fade into history like so much else of the original emblem. And who knows, this newest look might just grow on me yet– and that’s really a maybe. Meanwhile, I still miss those long-lost ducks.
2 Too Many?
The 2002 has returned, sort of. At least we can say a presumed successor, long-in-coming no less. The fact BMW is offering up the all-new 2 Series speaks to the past as well as the present, no doubt pleasing to all us Bavarian motor historians. Then on the other hand, it’s another similarly styled model yet, hereby completing the debatably long and crowded sequence from 1 to 7, while replacing numero uno here in the U.S. In this regard, is 2 too many? It certainly is hard to tell most BMWs apart these days, after all.
My New Favorite…
Online discoveries often prove exciting, especially when they involve numerous vintage Mercedes-Benz automobiles in absolutely phenomenal condition. Simply put, my new favorite website has me spellbound!
Click on each car above to link to its showcase page. Photos courtesy MercedesMotoring.com.
A True Classic Star
From a commendable cast to their colorful characters, the stunning storyline to its sinister setting, along with a steady stream of twists, surprises and laughs, I loved every minute of it. Then I walked away thinking foremost of one gorgeous and timeless automobile– a true classic star who elegantly carried her own weight throughout the film. The 1978 Eldorado Biarritz clearly adds to all things fabulous about American Hustle.
A Timeless Collection
As the 2013 L.A. Auto Show closes shop, I’m thinking of a handful of classic and not-so-classic models that were not there on display, including more than a couple I’ve always liked. For all that TIME Magazine told us back in 2007– via some clever and humorous writing to boot– the continued passage of, well– time– might change a few hearts but will never rewrite history. TIME’s collection of models can simply be called timeless.
The Naked Sight of It…
Something’s missing, so I thought upon sight of one of the newest TV commercials— it just looks naked. Then upon personal investigation, I quickly assured myself that my sight is well intact.
Cadillac appears to be ushering in another change to its iconic and history-steeped emblem. Notice, the ad tags we’re now seeing show no wreath surrounding the coat of arms. I spotted this nakedness right away– and not to my delight. Apparently some call the discarded element outdated– old-fashioned– obsolete. Well, call me a traditionalist here. As the wreath gives way to a so-called “cutting-edge” image, I’m sorry to see it go.
Take a good look at the above prominent logo, and picture it sans wreath. A naked sight, no?
Laughs That Sell?
Any TV commercial that makes me laugh out loud simply has to be good, and this one takes the lead– starring one of my all-time favorite fictional comedy characters in a series of such spots. Not to mention, to my satisfaction there’s an automobile involved here of course, while perhaps these new laughs will indeed trigger some sales– we’ll see. Meanwhile, if only I can figure out where to score myself that fantastic suit!
A Surprisingly Wonderful Drive
My first impression is finally reinforced.
The “Q” in Question.
Apparently it’s not 1990 anymore. And I have to admit I wasn’t paying attention of late. Upon first sight of a TV commercial for the all-new 2014 Infiniti Q50, instantly I thought: “Oh good, it’s about time a full-size Q returns to the helm, a descendant of that which initiated the brand 24 years ago. I can’t wait to get a look.”
Boy, was I wrong! Upon investigation of Infiniti’s website confusion set in. Then with further reading I sat corrected. Unlike the old days, tomorrow’s Q is not attempting to keep pace with S, 8 or 7. Rather, the return of the once-reigning letter kicks off Infiniti’s new nomenclature, a shift sure to put the “Q” in question.
As for that look… well, as I’ve said before I say again, too many cars these days look alike. In other words, I’m at first glance underwhelmed. At this point I say the M remains Infiniti’s most unique and strongly styled model. Oh, but wait– with everything starting with “Q”, so long “M.” I better start paying attention!
Here’s To “Exuberant Cheesiness”
Anyone like myself who grew up in Southern California during the 1970s and 80s– in earshot of a TV set that is– surely can hum the unmistakable jingle. As a child in Woodland Hills, I could not have told you how to get to Long Beach. However, having seen enough wacky car commercials with his dog Spot— again and again as intended– I knew that to “go see Cal” on Bellflower Boulevard meant a hot deal on a ’79 Cutlass Supreme.
Decades later I distinctly recall these iconic spots, unmatched in style, creativity and– to borrow the term– “exuberant cheesiness.” They came from a man whose personality flourished in the right time and place, defining a bygone era of advertising firsts. And now, after a long life memorably lived, he too has departed at age 92. With a few chuckles along memory lane, we bid farewell to the one-and-only Cal Worthington.
Seeing Another “S-Car-Go”…
…merely to be outdone by its replacement. So comes number nine, the next in a remarkable line of generations that have closely followed our own… uh, generations. The 2014 S-Class will be joining the Mercedes-Benz U.S. lineup just about any day now. Meanwhile, the insightfully wordy folks at Vanity Fair have done us the good deed of ranking all “S-carnations” for our careful review– including the brand-new ninth. Let’s just say that for the order in which they here fall, I do mostly concur– especially with number one!
In any case, here’s to seeing another “S-Car” come and… well, you know.
From 3 to 4.
Yet another new model? Are there not enough already? Hasn’t every possible market segment been covered? And what distinguishes this one from the others, aside from the number? So went my initial thoughts.
Upon further investigation I quickly learned it’s a replacement, which seems to make more sense. Three now becomes four, as BMW’s incoming 4 Series takes the place of the outgoing 3 Series Coupe. “Attractive though not unusual” is my take on this newest Bavarian, and as for the answer to my last question above:
“Park a 2014 4 Series next to a 2013 3 Series two-door and you’ll probably notice how much wider it appears. The 4 Series is 1.7 inches wider, with the rear track stretched 3.1 inches. The car’s wheelbase is two inches longer than before, but its height is 0.6 inches lower.”
So it is, from 3 to 4. We’ll just have to wait and see how quickly our heads turn out on the road!
A good 99 out of 100 television ads pass me by unnoticed, at least on any day without a Super Bowl. From time to time however comes one that bucks the trend. In this case a head-turning new car model teams up with a tuxedo-clad gentleman and one of my favorite singing voices of all time, altogether grabbing my attention just as intended. After all, anything “classic” wins with me– the nostalgist at heart– even as I remain unlikely to purchase the product at hand. Bottom line: I’m sold– but not– while delighted that the classic is back.
Heads Will Turn
When one of these stunning-yet-sadly forgotten machines crosses the path of any classic car aficionado– seldom as it will be– heads will turn. So indeed turned my head upon my own rare sighting of one underrated masterpiece that deserved such a longer life. At least one left-hand-drive Jaguar XJ6C still lives!
Much More Remains…
Intrigued? Yes. Sold? Not quite yet. I’ll need to see more– much more– of this newest member of the family before knowing what I really think. While her lines are attractive no doubt, I fear ultimate disappointment for– among a number of possible reasons– just being too small for any human being six feet and above. Then, starting at the entry-level price point, are we not already wondering how many expected amenities are in place– or not– at the outset? In any event, my attention is present– along with my questions. Much more remains to be revealed at this point, and for better or worse I’m looking forward to getting better acquainted with the all-new 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA. In the meantime, you might enjoy this photo gallery as much as I do!
From Yesterday to Tomorrow
No surprise that my two favorite attractions at San Francisco’s auto show this year carry the same emblem. While the flawless 1971 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet steers nostalgia, the striking 2013 SLS dictates an exciting future. From yesterday to tomorrow, the remarkable timelessness of Mercedes-Benz automobiles deserves a nod once more. At the same time, Sammy Davis Jr.’s 1963 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III isn’t too shabby either, another “star” to grace the Moscone Center this time around. Altogether, here’s to another good show!
After all these years, she still turns heads. The now-classic grand coupe continues to grab my attention every increasingly rare time she crosses my path. Nothing else quite competes with the Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC in terms of overall style and simple elegance. This beauty remains a strong number two on my MBZ wish list!