Land Yacht - Revcounter 434

By: Guy Allen

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mercedes benz mercedes benz

Uncle Phil empties Guido's wallet, again

Uncle bloody Phil – he’s done it to me again. A little while back I was minding my own business, mud-wrestling with the latest mag or web deadline. Or maybe pondering whether it’s possible for one person to keep the entire spares parts industry going. (Have a look in my shed some time and you’ll soon understand why.)

Anyway, he’s on the speaking trumpet rabbiting on about some Benz he’s tripped over which he reckons would be a great buy. I was half listening at the time, muttered something along the lines of ‘that’s nice dear’ and thought no more about it. Why? Because I had no intention of buying yet another vehicle.

Now there’s a bit of history here. Phil has been the wheeler-dealer behind several of the family cars over the years, to the point where we have a term for them: is it a PAV? As in Phil-Approved Vehicle. He’s found us some absolutely stunning cars over time – a BMW, a couple of Benzes, a Mustang and Corvette – and it’s got to the point that if one of us has the temerity to buy something without consulting him, we hide the fact for as long as possible. It’s not that he’s mean about it, but you can sense his disappointment that he wasn’t consulted. And there’s a very real chance we’ve cocked it up without his unquestionable expertise.

Anyway, about a week down the track, he’s back on the blower. "Mate," he says, "Someone we know has to buy this thing. It’s a gem and it’s a bargain." Clearly he’s got me at a weak moment, because I rise to the bait.

"Okay, what is it again?" See, always with the incisive questions. Apparently it’s a 1989 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL (so the long wheelbase) in excellent condition. It’s had a heap of work done on it over time and if anything has suffered a little from under-use.

"How much should I offer?" is the next query. He mentions a very modest number and within an hour the deal is done. Of course I haven’t even clapped eyes on the thing, though he did send a couple of dodgy phone pics.

A couple of weeks later, I finally get to collect the Benz from the workshop that’s been handling it for the last couple of decades and the thing really is impressive. Fantastic condition.

So the next day, partner Ms M and I load up and head across the Snowies to Cooma for the Motorfest and then on to Canberra – the first long run that car has had in over 20 years. The fuel consumption steadily improves as it starts to loosen up and it’s a magical ride.

Phil’s done it again, dammit. Found a peach of a car at the right price, which makes it harder to say no the next time around...


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