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?


  1. Happy Holidays Keith! It was good seeing you at the Alfa party this month. Great hearing that the Mercedes is a good fit. It is of the era of bank vault door closures that I remember as a kid in the army in Germany as all the taxi’s were Mercs. I have 3 old cars along with the 3 newer ones. Two are Alfa Spiders, same platforms but quite different. My ‘74 is racy and fun but my ‘87 Quad Spider is comfortable and enjoyable and doesn’t make me feel like “ok, enough”.

  2. Wonderful to hear how you are enjoying tooling around in a vintage Mercedes, Keith. I hope your experience with the car is encouraging other car enthusiasts to consider vintage Mercedes as durable and enjoyable road trip machines. I’ve taken mine on many two lane tours with little or no trouble. Mercedes models, up until the early 2000s, were over-engineered with long-term ownership in mind. The best way to get a return on the overall investment is to keep driving and enjoying them. Happy Holidays.

  3. Until last month I had four cars over 50 years old. I sold my 64 Avanti in one day to make room for another car. I’ve owned my 66 Alfa SS and my 74 Alfa Spyder for 50 years and my Olds 71 442 for 15 years. I prefer driving all of them on back roads to interesting places. Plus I can still work on them until my mechanic has to fix my mistakes.
    I’ve always enjoyed your stories and am glad you are feeling better. Keep exceeding our capabilities and interests in your experiences.

  4. Keith, I became handicapped 12 years ago and use a TravelScoot scooter. This scooter will fold up and fit in the back of my 1963 Corvette Coupe as well as my C8. My favorite keeper car is a 1957 Chevy Wagon. Car is stock appearing, wide whites, Air, PS, PDB, plenty of room for friends and my scooter. Learning to adapt has allowed me to continue to enjoy the car hobby.

  5. What a great blog entry! We all evolve in our relationship with cars, the rorty, raw rasp and wind in the hair appeal of a Duetto matures into an appreciation for those “bank-vault” doors, the incredible attention to detail and reveling in the smooth, taut ride and torquey six of a Fiat 130 Coupe, a BMW E9 or a W113/114 coupe.

    Thank you. I am really enjoying the same kind of gratitude of which you write, plus the added benefit of involuntarily having to turn around as I take a last look leaving the garage or parking space.

    Merry Christmas!

  6. That is truly a beautiful car – nothing beats conservative German styling. It still looks great 50 years later, and it NEVER goes out of style!

    Happy holidays to you and yours.

  7. Hey dear Keith, greetings 👋 from Greece 🇬🇷
    I’m really enjoying reading your blog stories, hence I got the idea to write up with bits of information about my positive experiences as they are also written in my blog