My Love Affair with Mercedes

I have long been passionately in love with Mercedes cars. As a young boy in my teens in the 1960s I particularly admired the fintail Mercedes as the height of elegance, and vowed that, one day, I would own a fintail (German = Heckflosse).

In the late 1990s I had the opportunity to purchase a grand Mercedes saloon - a gold 1977 450SEL automatic - which was a dream to drive. It was surprisingly fuel-efficient for a V8, despite its volume and mass. It was the closest I have ever come to driving a limousine. I especially loved the luxurious leather seats. Once it was wound up on the freeway and on country roads I could leave posers in their Commodores and BMWs for dead. Surprisingly, I never got a speeding ticket in my limousine. My two sons have only recently admitted to "borrowing" it on occasions to impress their friends. A truly awesome vehicle.

My next Mercedes was a grey 1988 300E automatic saloon, purchased in 2000. It was a reliable and speedy vehicle. In late 2003 I was diagnosed with cancer - non-Hodgkins lymphoma - and decided that I needed to acquire a fintail Mercedes before I fell off the perch. Consequently, I made an extravagant decision and bought "Brunhilde": a 1963 220S automatic silver saloon which was originally off-white. I loved this car passionately, but through a series of misadventures she almost bankrupted me, and I parted with her ultimately in 2010. Brunhilde came with black and yellow number plates initially, but I soon indulged myself in personalised plates "220S". This extravagance was relinquished in favour of MB220S.

My next Mercedes, bought in 2004, was a 2002 manual black C180 with very low mileage, called "Black Betty". Almost like new, it too was an extravagance and was reluctantly sold after two years. In its place I bought a brand new panacotta gold 2006 Holden Astra coupe. A beautiful and faultless car with lots of oomph, the Astra was a much under-rated car, but I ultimately found its two doors too restrictive and it was regarded as too much of a hairdresser's car by my sons. Adhering to the lure of a Mercedes yet again, I purchased a 1998 silver C180 automatic saloon in late 2010 for the bargain price of $8300. It was extremely economical, reliable, and a great cruiser, although it will never win a race at the lights. It was a very comfortable car with great all-round vision. It featured personalised number plates which, in my dotage, I can never forget: JBC 180.

In September 2013 I traded in the C180 for an updated 2004 C180 Kompressor automatic model, in silver, which retains its predecessor's number plates. An absolute pleasure to drive, and extremely economical.

There is something about driving behind the three-pointed star that cannot be described!