If your life lacks misery for a long enough time your risk tolerance for pain revitalizes itself. For whatever reason I one day decided that my new interest would be old Mercedes Benz vehicles. When I tell people about this car I’m thinking about getting they all say the same thing, “why?” Actually, it’s more like, “wwhhhyyyyy?” It’s a common reaction when I tell people about anything that I plan to do.
I get it. Old cars tend to be a headache or at least a walletache. Or maybe they see an early 1980s Mercedes Benz and think what a piece of shit it is. Maybe I long for a time I barely even knew. In 1984 I was still wetting the bed.
A couple weeks ago I was on my way to meet a friend when he cancelled on me. Since I was already out I decided to go to a shopping mall. Outside of this mall there’s always commotion from people stopping their vehicles in places where they shouldn’t be. For entertainment I stood there watching people honk their horns in frustration. Lo and behold an old Mercedes pulls up to pick up the older lady standing beside me. It was more or less exactly what I’ve been looking for and it had a ‘for sale’ sign on it. I thought it was fate.
It looks like this
They told me the price was $4000(Canadian dollars). I took a picture of the phone number and told him we’d be in touch. Some days had passed by until I could have a look at it. Turns out he lives walking distance from my home. Cosmetically it was above average inside and out. The test drive was underwhelming. It’s stupid slow and only a little faster after it warms up. What really bothered me was how poor the braking was. In his Russian accent he said, “of course, this car is tank. 2500 kilos.” I was thinking in my head, no way it’s that heavy. The internet confirms it’s 1625 kilos. In the end I told him I’d get back to him when I find an auto mechanic to look it over.
The next couple days brought on pre-buyer’s remorse. The internet tells me to not do it unless I’m going to do many of the repairs myself. Yesterday I went to an auto mechanic shop to inquire about a pre-inspection. “I’m thinking about buying a 1984 Mercedes turbo diesel,” I said. After saying, “oh god,” he put his head down on the counter. Then he asked, “wwwhhyy?” It reminded me of the time I went in to my bank to get out of my mutual funds in 2009 when the stock market was at rock bottom.
So, why? I might not be an artist but I have an artist’s mentallity which means I have a tendency to be weird, eccentric or whatever you want to call it. In my head, owning that car is a statement. It states that I don’t give a shit, I’m not like you and I have style. I feel that it would give me an identity and attract like-minded people. Owning any vehicle that is more modern looking would state that I’m either a loser or a poser.
My rational thought is that it would be a bad idea on most levels. It’s a 35-year-old car with a mostly unknown history. Like a person you don’t know what/who they’ve been through and what they are capable of. If I buy something expensive like a big TV I would just bring it home and enjoy it and maybe regret it later. With an old car you have to buy insurance, sink thousands of dollars into it and possibly be that guy who is stalled on a busy street during rush hour traffic. Everyone hates that guy. They slow down to yell, “hey buddy, time for a new fricken car. Unbelievable.” Apologies of “the internet says these are good cars,” will fall on deaf ears.
The car in question