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bystander reactions to Mercedes cars

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I have driven several brands of luxury cars over the years, but I never cease to be amazed by the way bystanders react to MB cars...My W126 420SEL is sick again, so I drove my rusty nasty R107 560SL this weekend.  Keep in mind the car has 214XXX miles, rust all over it, seats look like a dog chewed on them.  I paid $1000 for this car recently.  I overheard the checkout clerks at a gas station discussing how much the car was worth today, speaking in hushed tones like it was something special.  I used to drive a late-model Cadillac and none of my teenaged kids' friends ever commented on that one way or the other.  I bought several 20+ year old MB cars and you would have thought I was a celebrity.  I dropped the kids off at school in a 1993 300E and within an hour one of my kids called, from school, and said people were asking if we were "rich"?  These are kids my kids have gone to school with for several years...why did an old W124 impress them so much?  It troubles me, because I don't want to set myself up as a target for a home invasion or carjacking, just because I bought several tired old luxury cars. 

Drive a diesel benz and then no one will think you are a rich man


If I were a little richer, I'd be driving one right now!  They are the most valuable of the old Benzes today by and large.  Even the 126s are significantly more valuable if they are diesel.  People (at least here in the US) are always shocked when the price of gas goes up (even though it's more $ in most of the rest of the world); and diesels are beginning to look more and more attractive (noise and smell aside) here.

I know what you mean, Dave.  Let me give you an analogy.  When I was younger, I was into weightlifting.  I was 245lbs with a 34" waist, and when I walked into a room, people noticed me.  It wasn't until I injured a knee, and basically quit working out, that I noticed the difference (i.e., I didn't notice I was getting a lot of attention until I stopped getting it).  I've driven a nice looking 90 Cadillac Fleetwood, and an even nicer looking  92 Lincoln Town Car - and neither got nearly as many glances as my 77 450SEL.  On the downside,  I've noticed a lot more street people hitting me up for $ as I get out of my car!


--- Quote from: michaeld on 20 May 2006, 09:30 PM --- ... On the downside,  I've noticed a lot more street people hitting me up for $ as I get out of my car!
--- End quote ---

On the rare occasion that happens to me, I ask them what makes them think I'm 'rich' enough to give handouts; when they point at my car, I tell them (true or not) that it's the very reason I'm poor!

It works.

Hi davestlouis and all

Since you started this thread, I will try to use the same cars that you have and tell you how they are seen here :

W126 420SEL - nobody notices you but thinks that you ought to buy a more practical car.

R107 560SL (rusty like yours) - Some people walk up to you and say they have a mint one or one that they are restoring and make you an offer on your rusty car as they want a parts car. A typical offer would be around 2000USD

1993 300E - no comment, these cars are a dime a dozen here. I would say like a big Buick in America

Late model Cadillac - you get a few stares. If it were a seventies convertible, you would gather a small crowd around it  ;D

Different places, different people, different views. I think that people usually like what is "exotic" ! Take the vertical headlamps of the W108/109 cars. Only the 6.3 had the "American" headlamps originally. Well people here will pay a premium for this while Americans pay a premium for the big glass units. You could almost have a US-Europe swap site and it would work.

W116/W126 cars are also gypsy cars in some parts of Europe (dubious status hey) while in eastern Europe near Russia, a black one is a mafia car - little mafia mind you...

Years ago I was a student in Holland and walking on a street in Utrecht. I suddenly saw a sign "Prestige motorcars" with several nice shiny cars for sale, let's see, there was a Daimler double-six, a jaguar 420, a Plymouth Bareiros...a what ? a Plymouth Bareiros - a Spanish assembled car with nice interior and finish, all built on the basis of an early 70s Dodge Dart with the 6 cylinder slanted engine  :o

"Prestige" motorcar hey  ::)

Go figure...


Paris, France


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