Things I know I shouldn’t like…
…but I do:
my Mercedes-Benz 230TE.
Why I shouldn’t like it:
It smells of old people inside
It wallows like a dinghy in a force ten gale
The exhaust is blowing
It has wheel trims
It’s not exactly quick
But for some reason, the more I drive it, the more I like it. I’ve been trying to work this out and the only conclusion I can come to is that it gives me a sheer sense of well-being every time I drive it. Because despite having 160,000 miles on the clock, I really feel like I can depend on it. You know it’ll start, you know it’ll stop, and nothing’s going to drop off.
Okay, so there’s not much to go wrong in it (it has wind-up windows for goodness sake), but what is in there works without fail, and I get the impression that it will do for quite some time to come.
I think, though, it goes beyond that. It’s big inside, the boot is useful and it shrugs off all I throw at it… but it goes even beyond that. Drive it anywhere, and people don’t cut me up, they don’t pull out of side-roads in front of me, they don’t race me from the lights, they don’t tailgate me – and that is worth its weight in gold in terms of relaxing motoring. I’m finding that I get to where I want to go without feeling stressed or harassed – and frankly, in this day and age, that’s priceless…
Don’t worry, I’m not going to become a Merc bore, but it’s interesting how different a driving experience the old bus has been. No doubt, I’ll be sorry to see it go when it does…
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Clsssics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.