Episode 231. Mercedes 500SEC. F335 MRT. (Part 5).

 It's funny, all the other cars I've had this year, once I've had the V5c documents I've put a 'FOR SALE' sign in the windows, but not this one, I kept thinking I should, and I knew that I had to, but just that I really couldn't bring myself to do it. I hate dealing with people who are trying to buy my car at the best of times. But dealing with the morons who seem to infest fleabay I find especially tiresome.

Anyway I'm going to try not to dwell on the negatives of selling a car, let alone a car that you really want to keep too much. I thought the best thing to do was hope that the fella who I gave the second chance offer would take me up on it and turn up and buy it. But I figured that no matter what, as Freddie Mercury once said, The Show Must Go On! So with that thought firmly lodged in my mind, on with the show, and yesterday morning, this happened...

And away it goes!! 

No really, I'm as surprised as you guys! I got up yesterday morning really early, even for a work day because my phone went off, it was the guy who originally won the Mercedes, he said that he was stood outside and he had come to collect it. So, eager to make the sale I got up, got dressed, and went outside to meet up once again. He said that while he was waiting for me, he'd had a good look at it, and was now prepared to offer me just  £1800 for it. To which I simply said, SEE YA, and headed off towards my front door muttering to myself that I couldn't believe that I'd been dragged out before I'd even had a cup of Tea in the Morning for this shizzle! Anyway, he followed me, and we chatted about it some more, and went for yet another drive in it, and eventually he offered me £1900 for it, I said no. So he continued looking at it, and he offered me £1950. He was heading in the right direction, but frankly he was really irritating me, and I wanted the price it ended on fleabay for it really, but by this time I was thinking call it £2000 and it's all yours. Before my brain had thought that all through, my stupid mouth had already said it. To which he replied ok. Still, atleast I got my money back on it, which I guess is good enough, plus, atleast it's now gone, and that makes it easier for me to continue the story. 

It's more of a storage space problem thing, and had I not been trying to get through the twelve cars this year, and I was just selling my car I would've said no, as really I'm only interested in the price it ended at. But as he was here, with the cash, I thought I'd just cut my losses, get my money back, and move one, which is what I did. Anyway, to add insult to injury, after he had gone I thought I'd better remove the second chance offer from the bay of E, to my relief the guy had not accepted my offer, phew. Offer removed, oh, I've got a message. It was from the guy I'd given the second chance offer to, it said, that he had the money ready, and he could come and collect it today! Damn, damn, DAMN!!! Should've checked my fleabay messages before selling it to the original bidder, I'd have got another £100 if I had! Oh well, more life experience I guess, but the thing is, now I feel like the one who's messing people around on fleabay! Anyway, enough talk about selling it, let me tell you about my month of driving it.

To sum up my experience with the Mercedes 500SEC I really could do it in a single word, FANTASTIC!!! Even though for me this was a re-visit, I quite enjoyed it. Although, when I collected it I was initially a bit dissappointed as it wasn't quite as good as I'd hoped for, and it was nowhere near as nice as my first one. However once you were driving it, it was perfect, it drove beautifully! In my month I managed to cover 548 miles. This took care of 127.93 foreign litres of go-go juice, or for those of us still working in imperial units (as should everyone be) that was 28.14 UK Gallons! This means that Mr T's Merc was averaging about 19.47 MPG!! Cruising in a cool car comes with a price tag, and this month the price was £140.00 suckers!

However, the 5.0 litre V8 never wanted for power, and wafted along absolutely effortlessly. I don't really think that Mercedes had sportscar performance in mind when they put this engine in these coupés. This was built as a big wafty cruiser, able to eat up miles effortlessly on the autobahns, although that being said it was equally at home burbling about town, and perhaps it was a little bit thirsty, but surely having a big car with a big engine that was to be expected. No one in their right mind would buy a car with a 5.0 litre V8 thinking that this was going to be a thrifty little ride. Having said all that it was no slouch either as two backwards baseball cap wearing window lickers in their Fabia VTS could tell you. The 237 brake horsey power V8 engine could launch this 1.6 tonne coupé at the horizon faster than it had any right to, but you didn't need to drive it fast to enjoy it. You have nothing to prove, you know its quick even though its a big old heavy coupé. I never, well, almost never felt the need to show anyone just how much power it had. 

Inside the car... Oh the comfort!! Opening the door and jumping in it just feels special, this really is how I expected the Jaguar to be! It had everything you could ever want in an interior. The front seats were leather, heated, and powered, even the headrests were powered! My two little Monsters also said that their seats were extremely comfortable, and that they had 'Oooodles' of space apparently. Personally I quite liked the grey interior, I liked the wood too, and how it was proper wood, and not just a thin veneer, or worse still, cheap looking plastic, like the interior of my Jaguar X-type had. I liked the chunky type switches, and the dual heating controls. I also liked that everything worked as it should, a 28 year old unrestored car with 182,573 miles on it, still working perfectly. I even like the chunky door handles, they look like they've been taken directly from a 1950's Fridgidaire refridgerator, and they were clearly built to last!

However the little device that hands you the seatbelts took a little getting used to, although once it had punched me in the face the first time I remembered how it all worked. So the next time I jumped into the car, and didn't put my seatbelt on so as to reverse out of a parking space I remembered that the seatbelt would want to punch me in the face, and from the second time on, I kept my face out of the way. I'm not gonna lie to you guys,  I'm ugly enough!

I'm presuming that Mercedes probably put these on more for the American market, where perhaps the owner of the car may be as luxurious, or maybe even more so than the Mercedes its self! To be fair to it, this is a better system than was fitted to my last Ford Thunderbird. The Thunderbird wouldn't try to hit you if you were hanging out your door trying to reverse into a space, that thing would try to hang you instead!

To be fair to Mercedes, atleast they did think to fit a large warning light that would flash away telling you the seat belt was coming and you should buckle up! It's little touches like this that set the car apart from the rest in my opinion. But of course it should've been a bit special when in 1988 the average new car would cost about £12,000 and to buy a Mercedes like this you would've been trying to pull somewhere near £60,000 out of your Shell Suit pocket. Ughh, Shell suits, the eighties really was the decade that taste forgot in so many ways wasn't it? I remember my uncle, who was a very well off businessman with plenty of money turning up at my folks house in his lovely Jaguar Daimler, and getting out of it wearing a day-glo Shell suit, what the heck? I sure am glad that my own folks had a bit more restraint when it came to buying clothing.

Anyway, enough about my Uncles fashion sense or lack thereof, lets get back to the point in hand, the Mercedes 500SEC...

For me though it's the exterior of this car that does it. The power is great, and the seats are extremely comfortable, but that big coupés bodywork is where this thing really stands out! I love pillarless coupés, I've always thought that with the windows rolled down leaving that massive hole in the side they just look so uncluttered, and just fantastic. Driving this car and peering out through the windscreen and down that bonnet you always felt that you were in charge of something very special indeed. It didn't feel like you were just driving a big piece of pressed steel, it had a feel of solidity about it, more like it was hewn from a solid block of Granite.

 So you may now be wondering if I would have another one? Yes I bloomin' well would. If someone offered me one at a good price today, I'd be down at the bank drawing out the money, it wouldn't nessasarily to be a 500SEC either. I'd actually quite like to try a 560SEC, just to see what those extra 600cc would give you. And I quite fancy a 380SEC, because as I've just said, it's the looks that I'm particularly fond of, and not so much the power, I know, I can hardly believe that I've written that myself, and I suppose if you're going to have a 560, and a 380, and you've already had a 500SEC, then you might as well have the whole set and have a 420SEC too. But unfortunately all of these will have to wait, there are still three cars left to collect before this saga is through, and I'll not bore you with another Mercedes. Or atleast, not another Mercedes that is similar to this one, and that ain't no jibber-jabber... You crazy fools!

 

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