The W108 series is the navy-blue blazer of cars. It’s almost always appropriate. It’s a little bit old money, but it doesn’t exclude anyone. It can be casual or it can be semi-formal. Just don’t try adding gold buttons to your W108.
The invisible man trying to impress his lady friend.
The Invisible Man has good taste.
You’re no doubt familiar with that thing that non-car people ask when they find out you’re a ‘car person’.
“If you could have only one car, what would it be?”
Most ‘car people’ groan at that question because really. They want you to say something predictable, like “oh a Ferrari”. But it’s like asking someone who’s really into jazz what their one-and-only desert island track would be. Not disc even, but track. While your erstwhile interrogator is thinking “they’ll say Take Five, I know it” you’re thinking, after you get over the sheer stupidity of just one track for Pete’s sake, whether you should say, “The Shoes of the Fisherman’s Wife Are Some Jive-Ass Slippers by Charles Mingus” because it takes ages to say and people tend to go cross-eyed about the slippers jive-assedness or whether you should go to the trouble of explaining that while “Bye-bye Blackbird” from the Miles Davis Friday Night: In Person at the Blackhawk in San Francisco isn’t the best Miles that long after you get tired of the actual music the decades of memories that you have of personal events you associate with the track will more than keep it fresh.
If I was pressed I could make do with the W111 cabrio’ as my one car. It’s practical, comfortable and fast. It seats four, but is equally just the thing for picnics with your sweatheart. And Mercedes still makes all the pieces so there’d be no problems with parts made of unobtainium2.
This gets a bit complicated but as far as I understand, the W112-series car comes only with the 3.0L 6. Until 67, the W111 either comes with the smaller 6s, from 2.2 to 2.8L. The W112 cabrio ceased production in ‘67 but the W111 continued on in ‘68 and in ‘69 it got the 3.5L V8. Given my half-formed theory about cars from 1969, that’s the one I want. ↩
Next time you a W124-series car in the street, and you will, because they are still everywhere, pay attention to how awesome it is. This is Mercedes at the zenith of their powers.
Even the oh-so-80s cladding on the lower half of the sedan is restrained. The coupe’s c-pillar is a joy to behold and the (brown!) wagon has a muscular elegance that says, “I bought this car when I was 40 and it will last me for 30 years”.
After getting the essential power and torque figures out of the way (571 hp and “up to” 900 Nm) the next thing we learn about the S63 is its fuel efficiency (10.5L/100km). Because when you buy a 2 tonne saloon with a twin-turbo 5.5L V8, your priorities naturally are:
More power than a grand-prix car
Good fuel efficiency
Does that strike anyone else as like insisting that your electricity is only produced by burning ethically-mined coal?
I’ve singled out Mercedes in the examples I’ve chosen, mainly because it’s Mercedes who used to get the Tarantino approach so right. Look at the W123 models. There were no aliens. The White House didn’t explode, Will Smith wasn’t in the glovebox with a wise crack. They were just well-made cars.