Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The Mercedes SL

Until we design self aware robots, the automobile will be the closest thing to a living being that humans have crafted. Mercedes has produced many beautiful vehicles during their reign atop German (possibly the world) auto manufacturing. The SL is the legendary sports coupe of the Mercedes family, and for my money the 70s/80s branch of that family tree (the R107) is the best. From '72 to '89, Mercedes produced these wonderful 2 seaters that looked like a deck of cards on 4 wheels. The 3rd car down in the photo is the era of car I am talking about here. They are short, hanging lower to the ground than a normal sedan. For a kid raised on Camrys and Accords, they looked like a sprinter in starter blocks.

My little pea brain associated this car with 'making it', like you had made it if you were driving in one of these in sunglasses and a Lacoste polo shirt with Blair from Facts of Life in the passenger seat. I'm not alone, as the wikipedia entry has a quote from Andy Reid of Classic Motorsports saying that they were the measure of success. I still see these cars, now sold as classics, and get a bit of a rush. Consumerism and advertising corrupted my little head. Since Indiana does not require car inspections, I could buy one on the cheap and cruise with the top down & Duran Duran blaring. If I had to pick a favorite color/model combo, I'd go with the merlot burgundy exterior with creme beige leather interior (here). Blair not included.

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