Last Sunday was brisk and sun-lit. We decided to exercise our 1972 Mercedes 250C.
I keep a log for all my cars. I discovered it had been six weeks since we last drove it.
It took six to eight pumps on the throttle before it would fire up. The Webers still need the cold-idle speed adjusted, so getting it out of the condo garage was an interesting exercise in feathering the throttle and quick shifting to neutral and revving the car.
We went for a quick 40-mile trip up I-84 through Troutdale and into the Columbia Gorge. Using the iPhone app Puregas, we found a Shell station that had ethanol-free gas.
While entering fuel data, I realized that we have now put 3,000 miles on the car since it joined the SCM fleet.
This includes a 700-mile trip to and from Spokane, WA, for the SCM 1000, as well as the 1,000 miles we racked up on the tour. We also drove the Mercedes to the Oregon Festival of Cars in Bend, OR, and to Eugene, OR, for the Northwest Classic Car Challenge.
Aside from the 50-year-old mechanical fuel pump failing during the SCM 1000, it has never let us down.
On the freeway at 70 mph, I was again surprised at how quiet the car is. And since we followed SCM Contributor Pierre Hedary’s advice and installed 560SL front shocks, the car is surprisingly sure-footed and stable, even in the high crosswinds we experienced this weekend.
I’m afraid to add everything up, but I think I have over $40,000 “invested” in this car. That means it has only cost me $13 a mile to drive it so far.
The car is earning its way into my heart. While it is not a “sports car,” it is a fun car. Having four seats means I can have friends along, and the capacious trunk holds my mobility scooter with ease.
I have a track-record of cycling through cars quickly if they aren’t a “good fit.” As time with the 250C goes by, there is more and more that I like about the overall driving experience. I’m hard pressed to think of another 50-year-old car that has been so rewarding to own.
Do you have a vintage cruiser you feel the same way about?